FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 20, 2016
CONTACT: ACLU of Florida Media Office, firstname.lastname@example.org, (786) 363-2737
ATLANTA, GA - On Tuesday, June 21, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals will hold a hearing in the case of Wollschlaeger v. Florida, a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a Florida law that prevents doctors from discussing storage and safety of guns with patients. The hearing is part of an en banc review, in which the full court will hear arguments about what has become commonly referred to as the Florida “Docs v. Glocks” lawsuit.
ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon, who is in Atlanta to attend the hearing, stated:
“This is no ordinary free speech case: the law is a restriction on the speech of doctors that could result in death, especially suicides and the accidental shooting of children.
“The NRA sold this law to the Florida Legislature based on the fiction that allowing doctors, even pediatricians, to talk about guns and the safe storage of guns in the home with their patients or family members threatens the right to own a gun.
“If the Court doesn’t stand up for the free speech of doctors and rescue the people of Florida from the extremism of our Legislature, you can count on the NRA to have this dangerous law introduced in every state. But a strong free speech decision by the Court could end this deadly threat here.
“I look forward to the hearing before the 11th Circuit, and am confident that free speech – and common sense – will prevail.”
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.
A copy of that brief is available here.