Litigation Roundup: Nov. 14, 2014

US District Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. issued a ruling last week in the District of Columbia, denying a motion by the District to reconsider his July ruling that the District ban on carry outside of the home is unconstitutional “under any level of scrutiny.”

You may remember that the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the “good cause” requirement for concealed carry licenses in San Diego County, CA. The ruling in the Peruta case was appealed due to the Brady Bunch and CA Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, who both attempted to join the case to try to save the law.

The Appeals Court has ruled that Brady’s and Harris’ interest in Peruta came too late, saying: “The panel denied motions to intervene, which were filed after the panel’s opinion and judgment holding that a responsible, law-abiding citizen has a right under the Second Amendment to carry a firearm in public for self-defense.”


The case may also impact Hawaii’s restrictive gun laws. The Ninth Circuit Court also hears appeals from Hawaii’s US District Court, and the plaintiffs’ claim in Peruta is essentially the same as Chris Baker’s suit against HPD Chief Kealoha. In addition to Peruta, the same Ninth Circuit judges heard Baker v. Kealoha at the same time and ruled similarly that Hawaii US District Judge Kay erred, opening an opportunity for appeal to the US Supreme Court.

The Eleventh US Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld Florida’s Firearm Owner’s Privacy Act, which was passed after medical patients were harassed or denied access to health care services because they refused to be interrogated by their doctors about their ownership of firearms. The case is Wollschlaeger v. Governor of Florida, in which Dr. Wollschlaeger and the other plaintiffs insisted they had a First Amendment right to routinely interrogate patients on their choices concerning firearm ownership, without regard to any good faith belief such information was relevant to the patient’s individual medical case. They also alleged the law’s proscriptions were unconstitutionally vague.

The Court of Appeals rejected these claims, saying “The essence of the Act is simple: medical practitioners should not record information or inquire about patients’ firearm-ownership status when doing so is not necessary to providing the patient with good medical care…. [t]he Act merely circumscribes the unnecessary collection of patient information on one of many potential sensitive topics.”

The court noted that nothing in the Florida law prohibits doctors from expressing their views about firearms or about any other issue, but is consistent with long-established “codes of conduct that define the practice of good medicine and affirm the responsibility that physicians bear” and “protects a patient’s ability to receive effective medical treatment without compromising the patient’s privacy with regard to matters unrelated to health care.”

Plaintiffs in the case have requested additional review before a full panel of the Eleventh Circuit, but the court has not yet ruled on the petition for rehearing.

This is a silly situation brought about by patently untrustworthy doctors. The law, which should have been unnecessary, never restricted the doctors’ free speech rights. What it did was restrict their ability to force patients to talk. If your doctor suspiciously asks about your gun habits, remember two words: “boundary violation.”

Adam Brock filed a lawsuit Oct. 6 in Hinds County (MS) Circuit Court alleging that signs posted in Jackson Medgar-Wiley Evers International Airport violate state law. Brock’s attorneys (Reed Martz) argue in their complaint that a state law that took effect July 1, 2014, gives people with concealed-carry licenses the right to sue local governments that illegally post no-guns-allowed signage.

Martz noted that “The signage at the airport needs to be moved from the entrance doors to the sterile areas and needs to use the language required by Mississippi and/or federal statutes.

Attorneys for the City of Jackson filed a motion to have the suit dismissed, arguing that the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority, not the city, solely owns and operates the airport.

California is being sued by gun dealers due to its ban on gun advertising. Well, duh.

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