Mikael Thalen
March 19, 2013

A bill that would prohibit medical providers in Montana from refusing to treat patients who choose not to answer questions about gun ownership passed its hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday, 62-38.

Photo by Zardientjess, via Wikimedia Commons
“This bill is drafted in response to President Obama’s Gun Violence Reduction Executive Actions… He is going to use the healthcare system to collect the database of where the firearms are and who has them and once you surrender that information, at some point in the future, confiscation will be that much easier,” said Rep. Krayton Kern (R), primary sponsor of House Bill 459.

In light of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, President Obama has released 23 executive actions and orders to limit gun use, including several provisions that point out that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors from asking their patients about guns in their homes. An overview of the plan encouraged doctors to ask the question by stating that “we should never ask doctors and other health care providers to turn a blind eye to the risks posed by guns in the wrong hands.”

“This is a simple bill. It does one thing. When a medical facility or doctor, as part of their history taking asks you questions about your ownership of firearms, you do not have to answer, that is all this says,” said Kern.

Although Kern’s bill does not currently prohibit healthcare providers from asking the question, there is talk in the Montana Senate to amend the bill further to disallow gun ownership questions from being asked entirely.

Some gun control advocates have begun lobbying to allow gun ownership data from medical records to be compiled allegedly for research purposes, which has received backlash from gun rights-supporting medical doctors.

“I have been asked. My wife and I had our first child while I was in law school… and at our first pediatrician appointment in Missoula with the doctor, one of the first questions she asked me was if I owned a firearm,” said Rep. Austin Knudsen (R), giving his support to the bill.

“I promptly responded to her that that was none of her business and that had nothing to do with why me and my wife where there.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics has pushed for allowing pediatricians to ask about gun ownership as well as supporting a ban on “assault weapons” and certain magazines.

Kern’s and others’ concerns over the medical establishment being used to thwart gun ownership has intensified recently given recurring incidents of gun owners being disarmed without due process from the medical system.

Lynette Phillips, a nurse from California, who was involuntarily held in a mental hospital for two days last December, had her and her husband’s three firearms and ammunition confiscated by Department of Justice agents this month.

Following a TV appearance, famous preparedness enthusiast David Sarti had all his firearms confiscated after being declared mentally defective by the state and being put on an FBI list following a simple visit to his cardiologist for chest pains and shortness of breath.

Lawyer John Whitehead, best known for representing Iraq and Afghanistan veteran Brandon Raub, who was involuntarily detained for psychiatric questioning in Virginia last year for talking about government corruption on Facebook, has stated that over 20,000 people have been involuntarily detained from their homes and declared mentally defective by the state without being given due process or being charged with a crime.

Six other states, Alabama, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia have proposed similar legislation in recent years. In 2011, a federal judge blocked enforcement of the nation’s first law restricting physicians from asking patients about gun ownership, ruling the law violates free speech rights.

Mikael’s article first appeared at Examiner.com.

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