Guns, Physicians and Privacy

Who would expect that a routine visit to your family pediatrician would end up with the good Doctor telling you to go elsewhere for your care? That’s what happened to Tom and Amber Ullman when they brought their third child, a four month old infant in for a routine checkup.

Now the state of Florida has a bill, Senate 432: Privacy of Firearms Owners, introduced by state Senator Greg Evers, scheduled to be heard in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on Tuesday, February 22 at 9:00 a.m.  This bill would stop anti-gun doctors from asking children and parents if they own guns and then telling them to get rid of their guns.  It further stops doctors from denying care to children if the parents refuse to answer questions about gun ownership. There have been stories, like the Ullman’s, about office staff entering the answers to the gun ownership questions into the electronic medical record.  Now some may argue that medical records are protected under HIPPA but didn’t you sign an authorization to share your information with your insurance company. Your records can also be shared “to protect the public health.”

A quick look at the American Academy of Pediatrics’ website clearly shows their agenda.

On this page “Handguns in the home” They cite a number of statistics with no reference other than their own materials which in turn have no citation.  For instance:

Every two hours, someone’s child is killed with a gun, ei­ther in a homicide, a suicide, or as a result of an unintentional injury.”no  citation and no definition of who is a “child” some of these studies have defined  “children” up to age 24, and these statistics have also included criminals and gangbangers who were killed by the police or other gangbangers.

“Major urban trauma centers are reporting an increase of 300 percent in the number of children treated for gunshot wounds; in fact, one in every twenty-five admissions to pediatric trauma centers in the United States is due to gunshot wounds.” – again no citations for either figure or real numbers for that “300 percent increase”

“Parents should realize that a gun in the home is forty-three times more likely to be used to kill a friend or family member than a burglar or other criminal.”no citation but probably came from one flawed study. Source:  info pg 26

“ To compound this problem, depressed preteenagers and teenagers commit suicide with guns more frequently than by any other means.”true if you search for ages 0-19 but more like 1/3 in ages 0-15, depends on how you define “child.” Source: WISQARS

“A Center to Prevent Handgun Violence survey estimated that about 135,000 students carried handguns to school each day, and another 270,000 brought handguns to school at least once; that figure may be even higher today.” – no mention of where, when or how this “study” was conducted.  A quick check of how many schools are in the us gives us the number as 124,100, are we to believe that there is at least one gun in every school?

Here are some more quotes from the above mentioned page and two of their other pages:

Where We Stand: Gun Safety and Gun Safety: Keeping Children Safe That clearly show their anti-civil rights agenda, and they want us to give them our gun information.  Are we supposed to trust them to keep that information private?
“The best preventive measure against firearm injuries and deaths is not to own a gun.”

“The most effective way to prevent firearm-related injury to children is to keep guns out of homes and communities”

“The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly supports gun-control legislation.”

“We believe that handguns, deadly air guns, and assault weapons should be banned.”

“Until handguns are banned”

So I think I would take medical advice from my doctor and not tell him or her if I do or do not keep guns in my home.

More links:

I will take my firearm advice from the real experts on the subject.

Like the NRA and their Eddie Eagle program. Now the anti-gunners might like sticking their heads in the sand and imagining we live in a perfect gun-free utopia but that isn’t going to cut it. Even if they do not own guns themselves their neighbors do out in that cold cruel world. It seems that it would make sense to educate their children rather than remain in denial, it might really be safer that way.

For those who want to provide home protection with a firearm and have little ones at home there are some excellent resources out there. You can get more solid and realistic advice that you can get on the AAP website here at Safeshot Ltd.

Not all doctors are anti-gun either there’s Dr Timothy Wheeler of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership who co-authored the book “ Keeping your Family Safe: the Responsibilities of Firearm Ownership.”

Then there’s my all time favorite website for women who shoot and especially moms (she raised 5 boys) The Cornered Cat, run by Kathy Jackson. Who offers some really sound advice for keeping kids safe around guns. She too has a great book out called “The Cornered Cat: a Woman’s guide to Concealed Carry.”

If you feel strongly about this invasion of privacy and you live in Florida you can email your State Senators at these addresses:,,,,

And ask them to SupportSB 432 and Stop Doctors from Violating Gun Privacy Rights.

Now isn’t that just Common Sense?

This entry was posted in Common Sense, Firearm Owners Civil Rights, Lies and Misinformation. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Guns, Physicians and Privacy

  1. My doctor has never asked me this information. However, if my doctor tried to get me to get rid of my firearms, I would take my business elsewhere. Remember, doctor’s are a business that still needs customers in order to stay in business. Treat them like you would any other anti-gun business.

    • Gail says:

      That is so true but not so easy for people living in rural areas where there are very few medical providers. By all means I would go elsewhere if I had other options. I am lucky, I recently needed to find a new provider in my little town. On my first visit to his office I was put at ease by all the gun magazines in the waiting room and “the question” was never asked.

  2. alcade says:

    I’ve often worried about these reporting requirements that are proposed every so often. When I first went to the midnight shift at work, I noticed I was having trouble sleeping during the day. I developed insomnia because I’d lie awake thinking about what I should or could be doing with my time rather than sleeping. I brought this up to my doctor, who said it wasn’t insomnia but a form of generalized anxiety disorder. He gave me a perscription which worked wonders. But I noticed that when I’d go to other providers, they’d ask questions like “What are you depressed about?” and “How long have you suffered from depression?” I was pretty puzzled, until they said that the medication I was on was used primarily as an anti-depressant. Although I’m not taking it for depression, I’ve often worried that if federal bureaucrats eventually have the power to see medical records they may try to enact a blanket ban on gun ownership for anyone who takes X, Y, or Z medications.

    • Gail says:

      That could potentially be a real problem as antidepressants are also used to treat migraine headaches, pain, and other off-label uses. That’s just another reason to be vigilant on what medical information could be released to ATF if they want to start releasing “mental health” issues. If a trained professional makes that mistake can you imagine what kind of mistakes the ATF could make?


    I found myself in the same situation once. A nurse practitioner, during the course of a routine checkup, asked me whether I owned firearms, what kinds I owned, how they were stored, used, etc. I told her, politely but firmly, that I don’t discuss such matters. She persisted; once again, I told that it is not discussed, period, end of conversation. This is the standard U.S. Secret Service response to media questions about the weapons and security measures that they use to protect the President and other VIPs. Works for the U.S.S.S, works for me.

    • Gail says:

      Good answer, I think I’ll borrow it. I think what happens in some cases is that in facilities that use electronic medical records they have to supply an answer to that specific question before they can proceed. I have been involved with setting up the software for Nurses to use in and you can make the fields mandatory if you want to. The staff member cannot override that option so they have to put something in that field.

      • RFWAVELENGTH says:

        Ah, yes, mandatory fields to fill. Not a problem. “None of your damned business” should fill that field quite adequately. (LOL!)

  4. Miguel says:

    Still one of the greatest advices ever posted for doctors and with form attached:

  5. MR says:

    I ask some of my patients about guns. Gun owners tend to prefer that I address their concerns with logic and providing choices. Non gun owners tend to prefer I address their “feelings”
    and make decisions for them. The answer to the question helps me tailor my approach to their care.

    • Tyler Cruse says:

      What an interesting reply. Almost like the gun discussions, Maybe the pro-gun side needs a “messaging document” like the MAIG document for the anti-gun groups.

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  7. Tyler Cruse says:

    There are times when the doctor should such questions, namely when you have problems that may be related (e.g. High levels of lead in blood, hearing loss, wrist damage, …). I do however have big problems with doctors being forced to share such information with IRS or ATF. Medical privacy is necessary if we expect people to be treated for “out of favor” problems. The entire Bill of Rights needs to be protected from minor infringements that can be accepted as OK.

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