FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 4, 2016
CONTACT:  ACLU of Florida Media Office, media@aclufl.org, (786) 363-2737

MIAMI, FL – A federal appeals court has vacated a previous decision from a three-judge panel that upheld a Florida law banning doctors from discussing the safe storage of guns in their patients’ homes and granted a request for a new hearing before the entire court. The law remains unenforceable pending the outcome of the en banc review by the entire 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in the case of Wollschlaeger v. Governor of Florida—commonly referred to as the Florida “Docs v. Glocks” lawsuit.

The American Civil Liberties Union (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.

Responding to the decision to hear the case en banc, ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon stated:

“We are very pleased that the full court has chosen to re-examine this issue. The court finally has the opportunity to end the nonsense that a doctor talking about gun safety somehow threatens the right to own a gun. Doctors and medical personnel across Florida can breathe easier knowing that the day will soon come when having common sense gun safety conversations with their patients no longer means risking losing their ability to practice medicine in Florida. Conversations about gun safety threaten nobody’s Second Amendment rights.”

“This Florida law was a test balloon to see if legislators could get away with blatantly gagging doctors. We look forward to seeing the medical and child welfare experts make their compelling case before the entire court to stop this bad Florida idea from becoming a bad nationwide policy.”

A copy of the court’s order vacating the previous ruling and granting en banc review is available here: https://aclufl.org/resources/order-granting-rehearing-en-banc-wollschlaeger-v-florida/

The ACLU of Florida’s amicus brief in the case, filed with 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, is available here: http://aclufl.org/resources/amicus-brief-in-wollenschlaeger-v-florida/

Stay informed

ACLU of Florida is part of a network of affiliates

Learn more about ACLU National