What To Do When Your Doctor Asks If You Own A Gun

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Some anti-gunner politicians have gone to devious lengths to deprive people of their Second Amendment rights. Whether it is lying about the effectiveness of gun control (it isn’t effective) or about how guns are the problem (they aren’t), deceptiveness (or, if we are giving the benefit of a doubt, ignorance) is the hallmark of anti-gun legislation and anti-gunner politicians.

Sadly, some states want doctors to look for excuses to take guns away from their patients, but, of course, that information isn’t disclosed to the patient before the conversation starts. And some medical journals advocate this type of deceptiveness “for our own good.”

One example of this, cited by Ben Guarino in The Washington Post, was published by the Annals of Internal Medicine. Guarino writes that doctors should gather personal information such as gun ownership from patients and should share it with “appropriate third parties.” Just in case there is any question, his definition of an appropriate third party is a government agency that can take your guns from you.

Now, this is dangerous, from a rights standpoint, for your doctor to be doing this. Frankly, on a Federal level, they are not required by law to ask this information, but some do it anyway. The problem is that most people, and that includes most doctors, don’t know the first thing about firearm safety and about protection from personal threats. This means that they are not qualified to be able to tell when a person should or should not have a gun.

So, what should you do if your doctor asks you if you have a gun? Jazz Shaw says,

There was a time when I’d have suggested that such a conversation was harmless no matter how you decided to answer. Sadly, I live in New York, and any gun owner here can tell you that you no longer have that luxury or reason for any confidence in the privacy of the doctor – patient relationship. Since the passage of the New York Safe Actthere have been tens of thousands of residents stripped of their Second Amendment rights, many of whom were placed on the government’s “No Second Amendment Rights” list as a result of an anonymous call from a medical professional with “concerns.” There is no need for court adjudication to prove someone is dangerously unbalanced or insane. Just a call saying you “seem depressed” will be enough. It’s then up to you to spend the time and vast amount of attorney fees required to go to court and prove that you’re not crazy.

Because of this, Shaw continues,

So what do you do? I normally would advise against this under any other conditions, but as far as I’m concerned you should lie. If your doctor asks anything about firearms in your home, don’t just say, “I’m uncomfortable discussing that” or bring up privacy issues. That leaves them free to interpret the answer as they will. Just lie through your teeth and tell them there are no guns in the house. Of course, what you do is up to you, but that’s how I plan to handle it if the situation arises. Leave law enforcement matters to the police and your doctor can just stick to curing what actually ails you.

I’m not a fan of lying, and, frankly, lying to your doctor about your lifestyle activities, diet, exercise routine, parent or siblings’ health issues (to identify genetic factors) are terrible ideas. Limiting that kind of information means that they may not have all of the appropriate information to give you a proper diagnosis and recommendation.

But guns aren’t a health issue, no matter how much anti-gunners want to define it as such. Guns are a personal protection issue. They are a protect-your-family-from-harm safety issue. Your guns are none of your doctor’s business, so it may be worth considering Shaw’s recommendation if you want to keep your guns.

59 COMMENTS

  1. The way I have decided to answer it is truthful and does not let them know I have a gun. My answer is ” I have millions of guns, they are stored in armories all over the US and world. I purchased them through my taxes and the military stores them for me free of charge!”
    How can they argue with that? It is a true fact I own a gun, million in fact. Not stored at my house but in armories all over the world by my military. Not one doctor has argued that with me. If they push a little harder I tell them when I was in the military I frequently got to use my gun at the range to hone my skills to Defend the USA for them, me and my family. Then turned it in at the end of the day, cleaned to the unit armourer.

  2. If this question arises, I do NOT answer, but instead do the following:
    I carry a card I printed on my computer that Reads:
    MESSAGE TO DOCTOR AND/OR REPRESENTATIVE
    THE INFORMATION YOU ARE ASKING ME TO PROVIDE HAS NO BEARING ON THE CONDITION OF MY HEALTH AND IS NONE OF THE GOVERNMENT’S BUSINESS. THE GOVERNMENT HAS NO RIGHT TO PROMISE YOU HIGHER PAYOUTS IN EXCHANGE FOR MY PERSONAL INFORMATION!

    Please feel free to use this as a “template” and make your own

    • The Government is trying to rid itself of the constitution so they can have complete control of US citizens. This is mostly the left wing communist party. Don’t buy into there BS.

    • And on his form he checks “Has a gun” before he makes his anonymous call.
      Legally, of course, you are correct. If the doctor is arrogant enough to ask that question,
      your perfectly reasoned response means nothing to him.

  3. N.O.Y.D.B. — NONE OF YOUR DAM BUSINESS. would be my answer or if this is unacceptable I would plead the 5th amendment.

  4. According to stats in California, the liberals are buying guns at rates similar to the rates previously posted for conservatives.

    This causes me to wonder what would happen if conservatives started calling in about liberals who “seem depressed”, etc. In particular, politicians and their personal security agents. I think it would be funny as he11 to be there when they awake and find all their security has been taken away and they felt what we feel. It could very well happen here in Kalifornia where they want to pass a law allowing citizens to call in and add their names to a “do not sell a firearm to this person” list.

    • From the little I have heard about the proposed law there are no safeguards to prevent one from calling in pretending to be someone else so Yes that is what gun owners should do, call in every politician and every one of their body guards and get them put on the list.

      • I watched the State of the Union Address and most of the Dems if not all of them looked DEPRESSED, AGITATED or just down right PISSED OFF…….Make this my formal informing them on them or the one’s who hate America.

  5. I was asked that question about 2 years ago. (Here in the socialist state of nj) My answer was “That’s a subject that has no ties to the medical profession and i do not care to discuss “. The person that asked the question replied “good, it’s really none of our business”.

  6. I think I would ask the Following of the Doctor: Have you received your gunsmith License ? If so I will leave now and find a Medical Doctor to discuss my Medical condition. If I purchase a fire arm I will keep you in mind in the event I have a problem with said fire arm.

  7. I’d say NO, I’m terrified of those nasty old things….why would I want one in my home? Then I’d ask him if he owned any guns….saying I hear you can call in to the authorities if you think someone might be off and could commit crimes with guns.

  8. This dumb question might be answered with/by another equally dumb question. For instance, how often does the doctor engage in sexual intercourse with his wife or girlfriend. Of course the answer to either of the questions in none of the questioners business, that being the other side of that well known coin.

  9. If someone asks if you own a firearm just give them the stock military answer ” you neither have the clearance or the need to know” end of discussion.

    • ………………or just repeat that old DI’s meme: “This is my rifle, this is my gun. One if for fighting, the other’s for fun”

  10. I would say I just take care of Business, and he would say “what Business is that?”, reply would be “none of your Business !!!!!”

  11. Or. if your doctor is stupid enough to even ask that question, just tell him to “F” off and find another doctor who will mind his own damned business.

  12. I would say I do not own a gun. I live in rural Alabama, so that question probably wouldn’t be asked. Most people here own several guns. But, information is disseminated on a need to know basis, and nobody needs to know.

  13. this happened to me 15 yrs ago.. I said please doctor dont start no bullshit and there wont be any because I really like you. but please dont ever ask me that again…. he appolgised but I WILLSAY THIS DOC WAS THE ONLY ONE THAT CARED ENOUGH TO TRY TO HELPME OUT.. SO HE WAS NOT

    AT ALL WITH OUT MERIT SCOTT

  14. Lie,as it is breach of security and turn their name into the police as they obviously must be part of a home break in ring scouting potential targets.

  15. The proper and correct answer is no – which is short for N. O. – which is short for None Of Your Business.

  16. Office of Disciplinary Counsel of the Supreme Court of Ohio that an exception permitting less strenuous evaluation uses when the federal government look for to fight deceptive business speech by needing (as an option to limiting speech) the disclosure of “simply accurate and uncontroversial info” that is not “unduly challenging” and is “fairly associated to the state’s interest in avoiding deceptiveness of customers”– this lowered requirement of examination of obliged business speech uses beyond the have to avoid customer deceptiveness; and (2) whether, when the Zauderer requirement uses, it suffices that the obliged speech be: factually precise, even if questionable and, when checked out as an entire, possibly misguiding; and simply fairly associated to any non-” unimportant” governmental interest.

  17. I own many firearms and I have a ‘RULE OF THUMB’, or maybe better called my personal ‘STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE’, If someone is lying of being deceptive, or vague to me than I have absolutely no obligation to be truthful to them. If I was at a doctors office (or medical facility etc)and he/she asked me about any guns I might own, just asking the question proves at least an attempt at deception on his part ( DUH ! asking me about guns has absolutely nothing to do with medicine or my health )

    My response would be very simple. I would scratch my head like I’m trying to understand his VERY NON MEDICAL question. Squint my eyes like his question is TOTALLY out of place (which it is), And than say ( Loud enough so that the people in the waiting room will hear me ) “I sorry for taking up your time, I seem to have mistaken this to be a doctors office ( all the while I am up and looking at and inspecting all the medical stuff in the room, to include his PHD lic. Framed on the wall ) I didn’t realize that you were a socialist government agent posing as a doctor, and trying to acquire personal, private information from people. But to answer your question, NO, I do NOT own a gun. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to find a REAL Doctor” ! ( I would than leave in a huff, slamming doors as I left )

    I’m willing to bet that that’s one doctor who will keep his snoopy questions himself/herself in the future.

  18. If my doctor asked if I owned a firearm, my first thought would be to ask him “Do you think I need one? Let me give it some thought.”

  19. I don’t think doctors shouldn’t have the right to be the accuser, judge, & jury. I know people that have lawsuits against the government because they took all their guns for years and didn’t know how to give them back !!!

  20. When ANYONE asks me if I own guns my stock answer is, “Not since Vietnam.” That usually ends any further questions about guns. If they really want to know, just have them try getting into my house without an invitation!

  21. Ask them if THEY own a gun or live in a gated community . That might shut them up ,anyway i don’t have too much faith in the new gen. of medical pros..

  22. I can assure anyone that NO doctor, here in Alabydamnbama would EVER ask this question of his/her patient. Guns are not an instrument of good health, Quite tell opposite!

  23. my answer would be. old age has made me so shaky and my vision so bad i could not hit the target. so i sold all my guns two years ago and paid bills with the money

  24. I would ask him “Are you Writing a Book” will it be Fact or Fiction and my personal life falls under the HIPPA Laws so their fore I “Take the Fifth” and if you ask again I will take my Health Concerns elsewhere.

  25. I always have to laugh when I read stuff like this. Why is it that just because a question is asked that we assume a response has to be given? The one choice that is never expressed in these discussions is to simply stay silent when such inquiries are made and yet this option works wonderfully every time it is used. I “discovered” this half a century ago as a teenager in my anti war activist days when I enjoyed a continuing shadow compliments of the FBI. At time when they came into the light to harass me, they were infuriated and left frustrated and infuriated to the max because they could accomplish nothing, gain no leverage, and learn nothing unless I spoke, and outside of Hi, how are you, I never did. Because of this one simple tactic, it was always they who were on the defensive. If you lie on the other hane, you hand your opponent a pry bar he can always use as a lever or worse club you over the head with it.

  26. In so far as memory serves, the question has never come up. That said, and push coming to shove, the simplest way to deal with such questions is to simply say that I’m not a gun owner, that being factually correct or not. In my view, a medical practioner has no legitimate reason for asking such questions.

  27. There is a sign on the door of the hospital that my PC doctor office is located in. Essentially making it a gun free zone. After it was put up my doctor asked if I saw the sign. I said I did. He said ” you can ignore it when you are coming to see me. Frankly it is no ones business if you are carrying. Beside I’m getting tired of wearing a ankle holster.” My kind of doctor and former military.

  28. While I am not a Gun owner, I do support the Second Amendment because In wake of this week’s mass shootings, this issue has gone far beyond the argument of gun control mainly because these things do not apply effectively or any at all! but the sneaky business of a Doctor/Patient confidentiality being betrayed to take away your Second Amendment rights like this is seriously unacceptable and stupid! but then it is stupid to live in places like New York City or Chicago when those states seem to not get the message that the so-called “gun free zones” simply do not work! at some point, people are going to get sick and tired of the liberal left telling them what they can or can’t do, with respects to the right to defend yourself, and a 911 call doesn’t do shit when your criminal could blow you away in a mere second! and if any Doctor-Patient privileges are no longer of any help over the fear of betrayal to bureaucrats, then people know what they need to do here! the “gun free zones” are total bullshit simply because they don’t work! and while it’s still a mystery on how the Nickolas Cruz boy got his hands on an AR-15 at his age, you can bet that the liberal factions will be using this argument to its very highest, telling this country that AR-15s and all guns are bad and evil, when all this crapola isn’t going to apply to the criminals out there, and that just isn’t a realistic argument anymore, which is why such conditions like a Doctor telling people that you’re some liability that shouldn’t be owning guns is serious bullshit, because again, that isn’t going to apply to criminals, and they all know that, but they still want to play games at the expense of people, who still have the right to defend themselves, and using the mass shootings that are random acts that nobody can predict, just seems to feed the liberal anti-gunner point of view at a heavier rate of insanity, and that is NOT acceptable! the mass shootings that our country has suffered from over the previous years and our present have nothing to do with gun control or gun rights because these are acts of spiritual warfare when unstable people today can become unglued by emotional abuse or other areas of unstable mental health, which is also a very spiritual
    condition. and these mass shooters are all examples of very serious spiritual warfare because their actions are greatly evil- and no debate over certain kinds of guns or gun rights, or states who take away a person’s second amendment rights is going to prevent or stop this kind of evil from happening again- and the Bottomline here, is that people are getting sick and tired of the mass shootings, the criminals who take advantage of legal and political loopholes, and the states who think that depriving Americans of their second amendment rights is the answer here, because it isn’t! spiritual warfare of this type isn’t about guns, especially when you have terrorists who can kill you with trucks, bombs, and other potential biological weapons that can do a nastier job than an AR-15 rifle can do, and the answers may certainly be debatable here, but going as far as turning in a patient that a doctor thinks is a liability because he has legally owned firearms certainly is no answer here, nor is a state which foolishly thinks that such measures are necessary because it isn’t going to make crime go away, much less make other people feel any safer! it’s a tricky debate here, but one which is highly valid!

  29. The FBI was notified and given a tip about Cruz while the sheriff’s department(police) was called to the house for over 20 disturbance calls in 2 yrs leads me to believe these people in charge don’t really care. The big question is “Why was this guy able to just walk into the school and start shooting?” Where were the metal detectors and guards? It seems to me that a LOT of the ones in authority are more at fault than the gun.

  30. I ask them what that has to do with my visit. Weather or not I own a gun is nobody else’s business but my own.

  31. These Cowards Shooting up our schools . they feel safe because there is no one there to stop them ! We should have a few school employs trained in the use of fire arms at every school . let it be known that they are there and they are ARMED ! I believe these Cowards would think twice about shooting up a school if this was to be !

  32. Shaking my head…”I can’t believe you asked me that! Does that have anything to do with my medical care?”

  33. I would ask for his expertise and credentials in asking weapons. I would inform him that I am calling his malpractice insurance carrier and tell them he is practicing outside his scope of education and expertise. Then I’d ask him if he is going to examin me and treat me. If not I would inform him if he complaint that I was going to file with the medical board for abandonment and refusal to treat. Money talks and bullshit walks!
    Bill, RN

  34. I would answer his question with this response:I believe in gun control, but whose controlling the gun; We are,
    with the 2nd Amendment. If someone is in a car accident and someone is killed, is everyone who drives have
    their car taken away or if their depressed is it taken away. If someone tries to use “deadly force” why would
    you want to take away my only chance of self defense and give the criminal every opportunity. Think about
    it. It is delusional to think that is ok

  35. My reply from now on if this question is ask is, can you show me the door because I need to find a new doctor due to the fact this has nothing to due with my health and you don’t need me as a customer. Hit them in the pocket book, they will change fast if we stick together

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