Saturday, January 22, 2011

A felony to ask questions about guns?

Guess what they're criminalizing down in Florida these days?
Doctors and other medical providers would be barred from asking patients — or the parents of child patients — if they have guns in their home under a measure that promises a major showdown between powerful lobbying groups. ...

Sponsored by Rep. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, the bill (HB 155) would make it a felony for a physician or staff member to ask patients or family members of patients if they own guns or store guns at home. If found guilty, the medical provider could be fined up to $5 million or face up to five years in jail.

Yeah, that sounds perfectly reasonable, doesn't it? Five years in prison for asking someone if they store guns at home? How could anyone think that was batshit crazy?

And yeah, this is among the NRA's top priorities in Florida this session.


Tony Williams said...

Here in the UK you have to obtain a firearms certificate from the police before you can own a gun. On the application form, you have to put the name of your doctor, who may be asked if s/he knows of any medical reason why you should not own one.

The onus is therefore on the police to make the enquiry, not the doctor.

Incidentally, you also need two independent referees who are also prepared to state that they know of no reason why you would not be a suitable person to own a gun.

Chimeradave said...

Tony, is that in order to get a rifle? I was under the impression, maybe the wrong impression that you could get a hunting rifle under some conditions, but that no one (other than police or military) could get a handgun in the UK.

Tony Williams said...

The only firearms which ordinary citizens can own in the UK are:

1. Manually-loaded centrefire rifles (bolt, lever or pump action OK). These can be for target or hunting use, but in the latter case you need to specify the areas you will be hunting in and show that you have the landowner's permission (there aren't many "wide open spaces"). In the former case you generally need to be in a gun club.

2. .22 rimfire rifles, which may be self-loading.

3. Shotguns, which are less tightly regulated (but not much).

4. Black-powder muzzle-loaders, including pistols.

That's the lot. No self-loading centrefire rifles (banned since the Hungerford massacre of 1987), no handguns of any type (banned following the Dunblane massacre of 1996), except black-powder muzzle-loaders.

We had another massacre last year in Cumbria (12 dead) using a shotgun and rifle, but this time there has no serious move to introduce further bans (so far).