But the law's wording makes it clear that Florida firearm owners are primarily concerned about their own privacy. The law prohibits recording firearm ownership in a patient's medical record, prohibits "harassment of patient regarding firearm ownership during examination," and prohibits "discrimination by insurance companies" against firearm owners.
Asking about, or counseling against, gun ownership is not an idle issue. As physician Erin N. Marcus points out in a New York Times essay on this topic:
As a general internist in South Florida, I often see the effects of gun violence. Many of my patients have been injured or disabled by a gunshot, or had a family member shot and killed. Shortly after the new law went into effect, local television stations broadcast a story about a 4-year-old in Miami who was accidentally shot by his 17-year-old half brother, who was playing with a .22-caliber rifle.
Asking patients questions about their sexual habits, alcohol consumption, gun ownership, and other "off-limit" topics is part of a doctor's job in providing good health care to a patient. This information is used privately by the doctor to ensure better care, not reported to local authorities. Questions from health care providers about illegal activities, such as illegal drug use or texting while driving (illegal in some states) don't provoke public outrage. Questions about legal gun possession do.