Thanks CK for raising a new question for me. She asked if Florida law prevented medical and mental health professionals from asking if a client owns a gun. Interestingly, I found something about this question and related to typical risk assessment questions on snopes.com
DHHS, according to a recent letter forwarded to me, states that HIPAA allows us to disclose (duty to warn) information – so apparently we may ask pertinent questions just like we have always done for suicide and homicide assessments (ideation, intent, plan, means (would include weapons), etc.
From Snopes regarding FALSE claims related to questions about whether or not medical professionals can ask about gun ownership and claims that disclosing the ownership of guns to assessment questions would result in losing one’s gun permit.
“In June 2011, Florida became the first state to pass a law prohibiting such inquiries when Gov. Rick Scott signed a law barring doctors from routinely asking patients if they own guns unless such questions are “relevant to the patient’s medical care or safety.” In September 2011, however, a federal judge declared the law to be unconstitutional and issued an injunction blocking its implementation. . . “
Here is the link to the information (updated on January 16, 2013) on Snopes: http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/medicare.asp
If anyone finds additional information would you please share by posting a comment here?