MIAMI, FL – Today, a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion reaffirming its July 2014 decision upholding the constitutionality of a Florida law banning doctors from discussing the safe storage of guns in their patients’ homes. The three-judge panel’s decision comes in the case of Wollschlaeger v. Florida – often referred to as the “docs v. glocks” case – in which doctors had challenged the 2011 law as a violation of free speech.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida, along with leading medical and child welfare organizations, had 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.
A district court had previously found the law to be unconstitutional, but the same three-judge panel that issued today’s ruling had overturned the district court’s ruling in July 2014. Today’s order reaffirms that 2014 decision and also vacates an injunction that the district court had put on enforcement of the law, meaning the law now goes into effect.
Responding to today’s news, Howard Simon, Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida, stated: