A Florida law prohibiting physicians from conferring with patients about gun safety claiming it violated the patients’ First Amendment rights has been overturned.
“The Second Amendment right to own and possess firearms does not preclude questions about, commentary on, or criticism for the exercise of that right,” Circuit Judge Adalberto Jordan wrote. “There is no actual conflict between the First Amendment rights of doctors and medical professionals and the Second Amendment rights of patients.”
Another appeals judge, Circuit Judge William Pryor wrote, “The promise of free speech is that even when one holds an unpopular point of view, the state cannot stifle it. The price Americans pay for this freedom is that the rule remains unchanged regardless of who is in the majority.”
Both judges agree that any law that would suppress speech is as dangerous as any law that suppresses the ownership of firearms. Both can be used in and out-of-context to restrict the liberties of American citizens.
The Court of Appeals agreed that no law should prevent medical professionals from speaking about firearms with their patients because that would violate free speech but the patient also has the right to decline to comment. There are already many laws in place that enforce unnecessary restrictions on the possession, transfer, and ownership of firearms.