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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gun lobbyist says doctors play politics with gun question



One of the more intriguing subplots so far during the 2011 legislative session has been a fight between two powerful Tallahassee special interests -- the gun lobby and doctors.

The bill at issue is SB 432 or its companion HB 155. The measure, being pushed by gun interests, would prohibit doctors from asking their patients, or their patients' families, if they keep a gun in their home. An original version of the bill made it a felony punishable with up to a $5 million fine for asking whether a patient owned a firearm. An amended version lowered the penalty to a non-criminal violation with a $500 fine (which could grow if the doctor willfully broke the law or was a repeat offender).

PolitiFact Florida checked a claim from Marion Hammer, a longtime lobbyist for the Unified Sportsmen of Florida and a former president of the National Rifle Association, that the American Academy of Pediatrics "supports banning guns."

[Last modified: Monday, March 14, 2011 5:05pm]


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