TAMPA - The National Rifle Association is celebrating new Florida legislation the organization believes will take politics out of the doctor's office.
Many pediatricians, now barred from asking patients about their guns, say the only thing removed from their office is safety.
HB 155 currently awaits Governor Scott's signature. It prohibits pediatricians from asking any questions about gun use or ownership unless it is relevant to their patients' care or safety.
"This legislation takes the politics out of the examining room," said NRA Spokeswoman Marion Hammer. "Get back to the basics, good quality medical care."
Dr. John Curran, a pediatrician and professor at USF, says he and his colleagues ask questions about guns in order to give quality medical care.
"We want to point you to information for safe storage of weapons and safe handling," Dr. Curran said. "It's part of educating parents."
Dr. Curran says they ask similar questions about other potentially hazardous items, like pools. "Does it have a fence around the pool? Does it have a gate that you can lock?" Dr. Curran said.
Fritz Casper, safety instructor at Shooting Sports in Tampa, is also a parent who owns a gun.
He says most parents don't take the necessary precautions like putting their guns in a safe, but he believes a pediatrician wouldn't change that, bill or no bill.
"It's a legitimate concern, kids and guns," Casper said. "The amount of information the pediatrician is trying to convey at that moment which is, 'keep your guns inaccessible', isn't going to persuade as many people as it's going to take and educate them enough."
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