Judge blocks Fla. law restricting doctor gun talk

September 14, 2011 - 4:25 PM

MIAMI (AP) — A federal judge has blocked enforcement of a first-in-the-nation law that restricted what Florida physicians can say about guns to their patients.

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke ruled Wednesday that the law violates the Constitution's free speech protections for doctors and patients.

The law was pushed by gun rights supporters who claimed the doctors' questions are an invasion of privacy.

The law took effect June 2. It was challenged by physicians' groups who said it violates longstanding preventative medical practices.

The measure was watered down by state lawmakers to allow exceptions. For example, a doctor could ask a person with mental problems about guns at home.

Still physicians were concerned a patient could file a complaint that might lead to loss of their medical licenses and fines up to $10,000.