By Mira Soni
After six years in and out of courtrooms, Florida’s contentious law banning doctors from asking their patients about their gun ownership has officially been put to rest.
The Firearm Owner’s Protection Act (FOPA) passed the Florida legislature in 2011 with support from Republican state senators and the National Rifle Association. According to the Orlando Sentinel, FOPA stemmed from an event in which a patient who would not reveal to her pediatrician how many guns her family had in their home was told to find another doctor.
FOPA ordered doctors not to put information about gun ownership in medical records and kept them from asking about gun ownership unless they believed it to be relevant to safety. The cost for non-compliance could be as high as the revocation of a doctor’s medical license.
The law was invalidated by a federal judge in 2012, but a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit upheld the law in 2015. It was then declared unconstitutional by a federal appeals court in February 2017.
Because the state declined to appeal the ruling before the deadline at the end of May, the appellate court’s ruling will stand strong.
Doctors Win in Florida ‘docs vs. glocks’ legal tussle (Orlando Sentinel)