Texas bill would bar gun ownership status in medical record

By DAVID WARREN
Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) - Texas lawmakers are considering a bill that would forbid doctors from listing patients' gun ownership status in medical records.

Doctors worry the proposal would be an unnecessary intrusion into their patient relationship and could stifle health discussions.

Robert Shulter, chief of staff for Rep. Stuart Spitzer, says Spitzer submitted the bill because constituents were concerned when doctors asked whether they owned a firearm. Shulter says the bill is meant to protect patient privacy.

He also contends it's needed to prevent federal authorities or anyone else from amassing a registry of gun owners. Critics of the bill note that medical privacy laws protect a patient's information and government agencies already track gun ownership data.

Florida passed a similar law in 2011 but legal challenges have kept it on hold.

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