Boston Mayor Wants to Make it Mandatory For Doctors to Know if You Own Guns

Ferlon Webster Jr. | January 14, 2019
Font Size
Most people we know have had a visit or two with a doctor. The visit usually goes along the lines of the doctor asking questions like: How are you feeling? What’s concerning you? Have you had a fever recently? 
These are pretty typical questions if you ask me. But there is a question I haven’t heard my doctor ask, a question that I wouldn’t expect my doctor to ask, and that question is being proposed as a new law by Massachusetts government officials.

What’s the question you ask? The question is: “Do you have a gun in your home?”

Huh? Yeah, “huh?” is correct. 

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and his administration will ask lawmakers to approve a bill that will make it mandatory for doctors to ask patients if they have guns in their homes, according to the Boston Globe

“This is a great way for the medical field to help identify any red-flag issues,” Boston Police Commissioner William Gross told the Globe in a press briefing. “It’s to put another tool in the physician’s belt to help out the victims.”

As the Boston Business Journal reports, "The fact that a patient owns guns would not be put in their medical record, and is not intended to have physicians help solve crimes."

“We’re just asking them to help identify ways to save lives,” Gross told the news outlet.

The mayor has the backing of several groups committed to supporting his agenda, including the Boston Police Department and Bowdoing Street Health Center.

“We’ll be calling on those partners to advocate for these bills as we go through the process,” Walsh’s chief of policy, Joyce Linehan said. 

It’s interesting to see that a healthcare provider would have this questioning be a mandatory part of their job. I realize doctors need to ask specific questions to get to know their patient and find out what’s affecting them, but this proposed law just seems like a way for the government to sneak in your home by proxy.