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Florida Doctors: Ask Patients About Guns, Pay Huge Fines

A bill is being debated in the Florida legislature that calls for doctors to be fined up to $100,000 if they ask their patients if they own a gun.

The bill stems from an incident in which a doctor told a woman that he would no longer treat her children if she refused to answer whether she had a gun in her home.

With backing from the NRA, a state Senate committee gave the go-ahead last week to the bill. It now has to be approved by the legislature, which shouldn't be much of a problem -- Florida is GOP-controlled and gun friendly. Gov. Rick Scott is also an unabashed firearms advocate.

Doctors found guilty of asking patients about guns would have to fork over $10,000 for a first offense, at least $25,000 for a second, and $100,000 for a third. The original bill was much more severe -- it called for a felony charge and up to $5 million in fines.

Supporters say it's also needed as a reaction to American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines suggesting that doctors ask parents of children whether they've stored their guns safely.


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