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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

“Gun Violence Research Act” Would Erode Patient Privacy

A new bill intended to increase federal funding for studying gun violence as a “public health crisis” was filed last Wednesday. Authored by U.S. Rep Mike Honda, D-Calif., H.R. 3926, the so-called “Gun Violence Research Act” would build on President Obama’s 2013 executive order directing the CDC and other scientific agencies to study the causes and prevention of gun violence and would authorize appropriation of “such sums as may be necessary” to carry out this research. 

While the use of taxpayer dollars to fund studies that may become the bedrock of further anti-gun efforts is obviously problematic, one provision stands out as particularly onerous. The bill would allow doctors and healthcare workers to ask patients about gun ownership, possession, use and storage. We examine this issue in more detail here, but in short, this information would likely become part of a patient’s Electronic Medical Records and could be used to create a de facto gun registry.

Use Your Power!

Tell your representatives and senators to stop the invasion of patients’ privacy by voting NO on H.R. 3926. Call (202) 224-3121, or use NRA-ILA’s “Write Your Lawmakers” tool here.