Doctors Demand Patients ‘Give Up’ Their Guns

By Dave Dolbee published on in News

Pro Second Amendment forces were up in arms when doctors started questioning and demanding patients ‘give up’ whether or not they had any firearms in the home—even when it had nothing to do with the treatment. Well, good news for the defenders of the Second Amendment, because in late July 2014 the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit gave the doctors a lesson in medical procedure. Specifically, the court ruled doctors do not have the right to ask patients if they own a firearm when unnecessary to the patient’s care.

Walter Reed Army Medical Center unit insignia

The United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruling is another defeat in a long line of contested cases where the gun control lobbies and allies have attempted to stomp on the constitutional rights of citizens. However, it exemplifies just how the Second Amendment is under fire from levels and directions never before experienced in American history. For instance, looking at the current case uncovers a history of its own. In 2011, Governor Rick Scott signed a bill backed by the National Rifle Association to protect the patients from doctor interrogations. This, in turn, received the ire of the Florida chapters of the American Academies of Pediatrics and American College of Physicians, along with a number of other groups and individuals backed by the anti-gun community. The anti-gunners and doctors collaborated and decided to file the current lawsuit seeking to strike down the protective legislation. Fortunately, the court demonstrated a clear vision of the case and ruled against the doctors and anti-gunners.

The lesson is that we—pro Second Amendment enthusiasts—can fight back in many ways that do not directly call on the Second Amendment alone by broadening our thinking and use of the law. In this ruling, the three-judge panel ruled: “In keeping with these traditional codes of conduct—which almost universally mandate respect for patient privacy—the Act simply acknowledges that the practice of good medicine does not require interrogation about irrelevant, private matters. As such, we find that the Act is a legitimate regulation of professional conduct. The Act simply codifies that good medical care does not require inquiry or record-keeping regarding firearms when unnecessary to a patient’s care.”

That does not mean we do not safeguard the Second Amendment at every opportunity, but rather we diversify our thinking and ways in which we seek to protect it. In this case, the antis tried to make doctors their agents. The court correctly showed this practice was outside the requirements or even professional conduct. In truth, it took little more than common sense, which was something this court demonstrated that others, such as the recent ruling in Maryland, seem to lack.


The NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action’s Executive Director Chris Cox welcomed the ruling remarking, “Every gun owner in Florida and across the country is grateful for this common sense ruling. It is not a physician’s business whether his or her patient chooses to exercise their fundamental, individual right to own a firearm.”

This is a great example of how we can broaden our protections and further cast the antis into the spotlight. Doing so would demonstrate the anti’s backdoor attempts to subvert the Second Amendment through unscrupulous practices such as subverting healthcare and endangering the doctor patient relationship.

Do you know of another area where the Second Amendment is under attack through secondhand channels that needs attention? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comment section.



Growing up in Pennsylvania’s game-rich Allegany region, Dave Dolbee was introduced to whitetail hunting at a young age. At age 19 he bought his first bow while serving in the U.S. Navy, and began bowhunting after returning from Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Dave was a sponsored Pro Staff Shooter for several top archery companies during the 1990s and an Olympic hopeful holding up to 16 archery records at one point. During Dave’s writing career, he has written for several smaller publications as well as many major content providers such as Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Outdoor Life, Petersen’s Hunting, Rifle Shooter, Petersen’s Bowhunting, Bowhunter, Game & Fish magazines, Handguns, F.O.P Fraternal Order of Police, Archery Business, SHOT Business,, and others. Dave is currently a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!

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Comments (62)

  • William Baker


    Last month we took our child in for his annual check up and flu shot and was asked by the nurse “Do you have any firearms in your house?”

    wouldn’t answer their question because they couldn’t provide a relevant reason other then “I’m instructed to ask”. Why do they think this is any of their business. I really hate living in the Peoples Republic of Kalifornia.


  • jim


    So, doctors are actually asking their patients if they have guns? I have no comment about doctors in Mainstream Medicine because I have no experience with such, BUT, for many years ow if you admit to a VA doctor that you are having thougts associated with depression, said doctor is required to pass that information along and you can be disallowed from having your guns. So if you thought that what you say to your VA doctor is cofidetial, Forget IT!


  • William Walkingstick


    Doctors should have the right to take the govt line iF they agree to charge a reasonable say, $40.00 per hour to treat patients.Docs in a lot of countries only make about $15-20.000 per year. They are no different from all the other working peoples.
    Could you imagine, most docs schedule allows about five minutes per patient so your average bill would be $2.00 for five minutes.


    • Smitty 550


      Where exactly did you get your information about “docs in a lot of countries making only $15-20,000 per year?” And as for your comment that “they are no different than “working people”? So…you don’t think that busting your arse to cure sick people isn’t “work?” If it isn’t work, then why don’t more people go into the practice of medicine and dentistry? You insinuate that physicians and dentists just sit around while getting paid to do little or nothing in order to rake in their “reasonable $40/hour.”

      And how did you come to your mythical conclusion that “most docs’ schedule allows about five minutes per patient?”

      Frankly, your ignorance is astounding. I suggest that you make a PAID consultation appointment with your favorite physician so you can find out what it REALLY takes to be a good health care practitioner. You obviously have been reading too much liberal nonsense and don’t know what you are talking about. I don’t know what your problem is, but I’ll bet it’s hard to pronounce


    • Bill


      How does the size of the Doctors paycheck determine my human rights?

      The real issue here is “when unnecessary to a patient’s care”. When WHO decides it is necessary or unnecessary?

      One door closes, another opens.


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