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Circuit court to rehear Florida gun law appeal :

February 4, 2016

Circuit court judges in Florida have agreed to rehear the appeal of a lawsuit over whether physicians can discuss firearm safety with patients.

In the meantime, pediatricians in that state and across the country can continue to counsel patients on firearms.

The lawsuit, Wollschlaeger v. Florida, filed by the AAP Florida chapter, other medical societies, and six individual physicians, challenges a 2011 Florida law called the Privacy of Firearms Owners Act, restricting physicians, nurses and other medical staff from asking a patient and their families about firearms. Physicians who break the law could be disciplined by the Florida Board of Medicine.

Judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit on Wednesday threw out a 2015 ruling that the law does not violate the First Amendment.

The case now will be heard by the full panel of active judges. Pending the outcome of the rehearing, a 2012 ruling blocking enforcement of the law remains in place.

Since 2011, 12 other states have considered similar legislation, but none of the bills have passed.

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