Gun Laws & Legislation

What To Say When Your Doctor Asks You About Your Gun

Barbara Baird Contributor
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In a recent podcast of “The Women’s Gun Show,” Carrie Lightfoot interviewed Dr. John Edeen, membership director for Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership (DRGO). She asked him how to respond to questions from your doctor regarding your firearms ownership.

Edeen is not only a pediatric orthopedic surgeon in San Antonio, he also is an NRA certified Basic Pistol instructor.

Edeen prefaced his response by pointing out how the culture war against gun ownership began in the mid-1980s – with an army of specialty organizations as the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association and the American College of Surgeons – with a “concerted effort to stigmatize firearms ownership.” Edeen stated the solution, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, is to “get rid” of your guns.

“Here’s the rub … the doctor that gives you that advice has never touched a gun, doesn’t know anything about firearms safety, has never been educated in firearms safety in medical school,” continued Edeen. “The only thing they know about guns is what they see on TV … you and I both know is total misinformation.”

“This is really unethical,” said Edeen.

Checklist of answers to your doctor’s question, “Do you own a gun?”

  1. You don’t have to answer.
  2. If the medical expert insists on an answer, then ask, “What are your qualifications to give advice regarding firearms safety?” and “Who are you certified by?”

If a doctor responds to your question and lists one of the medical/political organizations as a qualification, you can respond with, “That is not a firearms safety organization. It is a political organization of physicians.”

This advice also applies to questions on forms regarding gun ownership, which Lightfoot says many women aren’t sure whether they’re allowed not to answer the form questions.


Dr. John Edeen

You have the power to push back

“The doctors are using their position as physicians to push a political agenda … We call this a boundary violation; it’s an ethical issue in medicine, kind of like sexual advances toward your patients,” said Edeen. He urged people to push back.

You can do so by filing a complaint with your insurance company or the quality insurance board at your workplace. Or you can go to the state medical board and file a complaint against that physician for an ethical boundary violation.

Edeen said healthcare professionals are essentially asking you to give up a civil right when they tell you to get rid of your guns.

Edeen and Lightfoot also discussed the electronic files kept now at healthcare facilities, and how government can access this data mine for backdoor registration of guns.

“So, the answer is … it’s not an appropriate question to ask and let’s go on,” said Edeen.

Edeen said you could also ask your medical professional about poison, drowning, automobile accidents and things that are so much higher in causes of children’s deaths. Push back and show your doctor that you are educated and knowledgeable and basically, understanding the agenda.

When it is OK for your doctor to ask about guns

“If someone is suicidal and you are worried about someone taking a life, it certainly is appropriate because it is [firearm] a tool that can be used,” said Edeen.

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Visit Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership:

Listen to The Women’s Gun Show, now at iTunes and Stitcher.

Barbara Baird is the publisher of Women’s Outdoor News. Click here to visit