Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger, et al. v. Governor of the State of Florida, et al.

On February 16, 2017, a federal appeals court ruled that a Florida law which prevented doctors from discussing the safe storage of guns with patients is unconstitutional in the case of Wollschlaeger v. Governor of Florida—commonly referred to as the Florida “Docs v. Glocks” lawsuit.

The full panel of 11 judges from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued two majority opinions holding that the portions of the law which threatened doctors with loss of license based on conversations they had with patients violates the First Amendment. There was only one dissent. The ruling overturns a previous 2-1 ruling from a three-judge panel that held that the law did not violate the First Amendment.

The 11th Circuit also held that a separate portion of the law regarding patient discrimination was not unconstitutional.
The ACLU of Florida had previously organized a coalition of medical and child welfare organizations, who together filed a friend-of-the court brief in the case, co-authored by attorneys Tom Julin and Gerald Greenberg, arguing that the law unconstitutionally restricts the free speech rights of medical personnel and hampers their ability to protect the health and safety of their patients. Along with the ACLU of Florida, that amicus was joined by: Alachua County Medical Society, Broward County Medical Association, Broward County Pediatric Society, Palm Beach County Medical Society, Florida Public Health Association, University of Miami School of Law Children and Youth Clinic, Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty, Inc., and Early Childhood Initiative Foundation.

Date filed

July 25, 2014


United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit



Case number

6:15-CV-1098-ORL-28 DAB; 1:11-cv-22026-MGC