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DRGO's Dr. Arthur Przebinda

“[Doctors] should not treat firearms and firearms ownership as a direct causative factor of injury or violence. And doctors should definitely not propagandize or badger their patients over their gun ownership. Unfortunately, and predictably, Dr. Wintemute pivots off (the Las Vegas) tragedy to advance his supply-side gun control agenda. This is not only not constructive but it promotes physicians committing boundary violations as a matter of course.” – Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership’s Dr. Arthur Przebinda in ACP to Docs: It’s Time to Talk About Guns [via]


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  1. My Doctor has never mentioned guns at all, I wish she would just so I could come back with some of the replies I have seen in the comments of prior TTAG articles on this subject. 🙂

  2. Yes.

    If my doctor wants to talk with me about guns – where to go to learn, what to look for, taking sides in 9mm vs .45ACP, that’s fine. If my doctor wants to talk at me about guns, however, that’s a different matter.

    Why should I look to my doctor for advice on a subject about which he has had no more formal training than I have, and probably less actual experience? I don’t ask my plumber for advice on cholesterol medication, even though he deals with a circulating fluid system so there are superficial overlaps.

  3. I’ve noticed it’s a question now on the typical pre-visit sheet. Two of them. Something like “are there any firearms in the house?” followed by “are they secured from unauthorized access?” Answered with complete honesty of course. /sarc

    The doctor himself has never said anything about guns to me.

    • Seriously, I would point to that question on the form and ask why there are no questions about stairways, swimming pools, electrical outlets, cleaning chemicals or smoke alarms. Because each of those things is involved in far more accidental deaths than firearms.

      The doctor should not be given a pass on this. He deserves to be confronted with the sheer ridiculousness of his inquiry.

  4. Quite honestly I will not see a doctor at all anymore unless I’m bleeding uncontrollably or I’m fairly certain I’m going to die if I don’t get prompt medical attention. Doctor-patient confidentiality is pretty much non-existent anymore and since I have no control over what gets filed in those electronic medical records, I don’t want to lie to a doctor so I just want as little as possible in it.

  5. Dr. : “Do you own guns?”

    You: “I don’t think that’s any of your business. Why are you asking?”

    Proceed or not based on their answer to that question.

    Simple really.

    • They’ll take that as a yes because it’s highly unlikely that any non-owner would answer in that way.

        • ^ True enough; there will be a lot of interpretation. ^

          That said, for all my hanging around on TTAG, I don’t own a gun (or two, or several either.) (I live in the People’s Republic of New York-istan, under Proconsul Cuomo-the-Younger, with a bit more overhead to many things than civilized places. The trade-off is currently worth it. Becoming less so, day over day.)

          For health care “services” hereabouts there’s a lovely “information sharing” permission on it’s own form, distinct from sharing information to provide me treatment, or in aid of securing payment.

          I always hand that one back to them, with a question: “Am I correct that this is neither about sharing information for my treatment, nor for securing payment?” They look at me funny every time.

          To the eventual answer about state studies to improve treatment delivery: “I’m happy to help you help me, or even other people. I have no interest in further exposing my information, to provide fodder for political posturing. So, really, no is a win for me, twice. Or, do I misunderstand?”

          I just assume I’m on the list, so nothing to lose.

  6. This is an interesting topic. I remember a few years ago the NRA was trying to make it illegal for physicians in Florida to inquire as to whether there were guns in the homes of their patients. I strongly disagree with this policy. At the end of the day you either believe in freedom or you don’t. If a doctor wants to ask, that’s his right. Hell, if he wants to ask you to find a new doctor because he doesn’t like guns that’s also his right. His business, his rules. State and government hospitals can do whatever they want, but government should stay the hell out of private business wherever possible.

    I think family docs were asking people with kids in the house if they have guns and if they are locked up. The state anti-gunners were trying to either make this policy or pressuring the state boards to make it policy for docs to ask. I get why you wouldn’t want that, but a doc should be free to ask. You can also decline to answer, lie or find a new physician.

    Rights are universal. They don’t exist at the intersections of freedoms…if somebody’s right infringes on somebody else’s right then one of them isn’t a right.

    • His business, his rules? Yeah sure thing. So what’s next? He ask me who I voted for? Or do I prefer women with large breast or small? Or if I can bring in my kitchen knives next time so he can check them out? According to your logic I should just answer the questions. His business, his rules, right?

      People have forgotten that there are boundaries and rules in a polite society. I’m paying a doctor for a very specific service, I’m not paying him to invade my private life. Rights are universal and mine come first when I’m writing the check.

      • So if the Dr. crosses a boundary then you don’t see that Dr. anymore. Pretty simple.

        The free market works both ways.

        The real problem is that people want the government to be selectively in all forms of private business and concerns.

        POTG typically don’t want the government to regulate their preferred method of self defense nor do they probably want the government to mandate that doctors know about their gun ownership, but flip the script and they’re just begging Fedgov to mandate that ALL states recognize every other states’ concealed carry permits.

        How insane. First, concealed carry permits across the board are unconstitutional and antithetical to liberty and 2nd anything the fedgov can mandate in a positive way it can reverse and mandate in a negative way, e.g. make it so that concealed carry is illegal in all 50 States…

        The logic is sound. Government should be involved in very little. The less it’s involved in the better.

        • Until ALL the doctors are doing it. I’m guessing you didn’t notice that Google, Facebook, and Twitter are throwing conservatives off their platform. Trick is that Google pretty much owns internet search and the other two pretty much own the new methods of communicating with friends. It is not good to let any organized monopoly start attacking our rights. When the AMA convinces every graduating doctor to dig into your gun ownership, the ‘free market’ disappears.

        • concealed carry permits across the board are unconstitutional and antithetical to liberty
          That statement shows an unfamiliarity with both the Constitution and Liberty.
          There’s a reason why a driver’s license is valid as you travel from State to State. The Constitution’s Privileges and Immunities Clause. Just as you are not required to get a new license at every State border, you should not be required to get a new CCW at every State border.
          Plus, the US Constitution spells out specific powers which would allow Congress to not only require every State to recognize a CCW from another State, Congress can order a person to own an AR-15 if Congress so desired.
          Article I, Section 8:16 “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia,”
          Arming the Militia, which is you and me and everyone else not in the Military or public office. The Federal Government has vast powers on what it can require citizens to own in terms of firearms. What the Federal Government doesn’t have is powers to prevent people from owning firearms.

        • “The free market works both ways.”
          Except that it’s not a free market at all. The government forces you to pay for a service, need it or not, and if you need it, they get to decide who provides that service, and they have control over the cost of that service, which you must pay for.
          It is in no way a free market and you are not free to choose your service provider.

        • Xanthro,

          Where does the United States Constitution give the federal government authority to issue and therefore require licenses for basically anything?

          I ask this question for two important reasons:

          First, British Parliament required colonists to have licenses/permits and/or pay a tax/fee before doing pretty much everything. It was a GINORMOUS motivation for the colonists to secede from England.

          Second, broad permitting/licensing requirements for countless endeavors and activities means that we do not have liberty. Rather than the federal government issuing permits/licenses or forcing states to recognize out-of-state permits/licenses, it would be far better if the federal government forced states to stop requiring permits/licenses.

        • Response to Jomo: “When the AMA convinces every graduating doctor to dig into your gun ownership, the ‘free market’ disappears.”

          Except that the AMA doesn’t control every graduating doctor, by any means. Physician participation and membership in the AMA has fallen tremendously, and continues to fall. The bed bugs in the mattress are the politicians and bureaucrats at every level of government getting control over as much as possible. Just say NO.

          Just two of the free market doctor’s organizations now available, and growing.

          The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons – AAPS – is a non-partisan professional association of physicians in all types of practices and specialties across the country.

          Since 1943, AAPS has been dedicated to the highest ethical standards of the Oath of Hippocrates and to preserving the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship and the practice of private medicine.

          The FMMA Promotes Transparency in Healthcare

          The free market movement in healthcare is gaining steam. This is because of providers, patients, and self-funded employers, who believe that changing the way we purchase healthcare services is necessary, and seeking out value driven healthcare providers is important.

          Matching a willing buyer with a willing seller of valuable healthcare services is the goal of everyone involved in this movement. We help identify patients willing to pay cash, doctors willing to list their prices, businesses attempting to provide affordable quality insurance, and providers/services/and patient advocates that are helping make everything work.

        • There is no free market in health care.
          I have spoken with high level hospital administrators who acknowledge that the future of health care in the U.S. will involve less freedom for patients to choose their providers. It will go that direction even if Obamacare is repealed. Most people get their insurance from their employer, and that insurance will cover only certain providers.

        • Where does the United States Constitution give the federal government authority to issue and therefore require licenses for basically anything?
          I have no idea where you got the idea that I said the Constitution gives the Federal Government authority to issue and require a license.
          That the Federals Government has the explicit power, enumerated in the Constitution, under Article I, Section 8:16 ” To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia,” and this means the Federal Government could pass a law requiring you to own an AR-15, doesn’t mean the Federal Government is issuing you a license to own an AR-15.
          What’s even more odd, than you reading something that simply didn’t happen, is that I explicitly wrote that the Federal Government doesn’t have the power to prevent someone from owning firearms. The Second Amendment makes that clear.
          That said, the Federal Government has the explicit power to require people to be armed in a certain manner, and even to appear on certain dates. The Federal Government could require every person to muster twice a year for review, as that is a power of organization and discipline.
          Possession of a positive power does not indicate possession of the negative of that power, no does it in same way mean a license must be required.

    • DRGO was involved in the Wollschlaeger case in Florida. The problem is multifold: patients had been badgered and even fired over the issue of gun ownership.

      It is wrong to assume the physician has individual rights in this setting. We argued that the Gentile balancing test says that a doctor’s professional speech does not trump or rise to an equal status over the patient’s second amendment rights. The fundamental reason for this is that a number of medical associations have an openly stated agenda of reducing gun ownership. They were (and are) pushing to exploit the clinical setting to advance an anti-2A agenda.

      We’ve written about this issue for some time. You can search out site and TTAG for “Wollschlaeger” to learn more.

      Arthur Z Przebinda, M.D.

    • If my doctor wants to ask me about guns becuase he is interested in the answer and it is between him and me, that’s one thing. Heck if he wrote it down a decade ago, it’s not much far off. It’s between me and my doctor.

      But the reality is that when a doctor asks you about guns, it’s entered into your electronic medical record which is now mandatory. That record is then accessible to a bunch of entities. Which is also mandatory. This takes it outside the realm of normal first amendment protected speech.

  7. I live in Florida and my doctor mentioned guns. But he didn’t ask me about any, he anicdotally told me about his wild weekend at the range.

    That’s when I knew I had the right doctor. Gotta love Florida.

  8. I get text messages all the time from my car dealership. They remind me to get this periodic maintenance or that. Many people may be grateful thinking that their dealership is genuinely interested in their cars health. Me, I know the dealership is simply creating business. Since when did our society start to think that someone else is more interested in our heath than we ourselves are? What f-ing business does my doctor have telling me anything I didn’t ask for? He is my body mechanic. I go to him when it makes noises it shouldn’t and expect him to fix it. Simple as that. If at any time a doctor starts a fishing expedition for information, he’s fired. We need to take back control. I don’t pay for my co-pay before I am seen. What if I am not satisfied with the service? Receptionists hate me.

    • My old family doctor, after he sold his practice to the local hospital, charged the co-pay upon leaving the office, then billed the co-pay after the insurance paid their share, with no credit for the upfront payment.

      “that’s a computer error in the billing company we use, we’ll adjust your account”

      And it kept happening again to every member of my family for over a year.
      We should have gone to the Attorney General’s office the 2nd time it happened, as it was obvious that nobody wanted to fix an “error” that made them money.

    • “Since when did our society start to think that someone else is more interested in our heath than we ourselves are? What f-ing business does my doctor have telling me anything I didn’t ask for?”-Agree100%, hopefully you extend that line of thinking as the they accelerate the push for mandatory vaccines for children AND adults in the coming years.

  9. “[Physicians pushing gun-control on their patients] promotes physicians committing boundary violations as a matter of course.” – Dr. Arthur Przebinda

    Remember, there are no timeless standards of ethics or right-and-wrong for Progressives. Anything goes as long as it moves them closer to their vision of utopia.

  10. Considering medical care is the 3rd leading cause of death in the US each year, would the good Dr. consider that as ‘physicians committing boundary violations as a matter of course’?

  11. Doctor: “Do you own any firearms?”
    Me: “Do you own any battle dongers?”
    Doctor: “Wha-what?”
    Me: “Exactly” *Nod creepily*

    Guaranteed to never ask about your guns again.

  12. Hmmm…I was asked on a form a few years ago. I answered NO. My doctor who was treating me for a non-mental problem also thought it was silly but didn’t push it. He also served in Iraq and sometimes carried a gun there. Are these questions invasive and a form of registration?!? He!! YES😡

  13. My doctor asked me about my gun one time… mainly wanting to know how it ended up in my anal cavity I told him that I had just tried to raid a drug cartel against Holder’s orders, I was called to his office, and my gun was forcefully placed there for interfering in an Agency sting. Since that day I’ve been on desk duty.

      • All I remember is checking the guy into booking, he made a phone call, then I was called up front and told that I just screwed up Fast n Furious. I said dude cool!!! I didn’t know they were makin another one. I thought after Paul died they were cancelling it. Then things went black and I woke up in my bed, farted, and shot the cat. Poor mittens!

    • Exactly. Time to call it what it is-the state using the medical profession as a proxy to gain more information and control over the beguiled public.

  14. I talk about guns with two of my doctors, one of whom is anti-gun. I run rings around that one intellectually, which is very satisfying to me.

    • And yet, you deem that doctor intelligent enough to provide competent medical diagnosis and treatment.

      Go figure.

  15. There could be some legitimate occasions I can think of for a doctor to ask about firearms.

    For example, a woman who is pregnant or trying to become so, or who is nursing, should be made aware of the risks of lead. Lead absorption through the skin isn’t a risk, as I understand, but inhalation certainly is. Ingestion is, too, which is possible if lead is transferred from hands to food.

    Lead is associated with some birth defects, but the danger threasholds haven’t been precisely determined as yet. The potential from gunfire for hearing damage to the unborn is a consideration, too.

    Other than these, docs need to keep their outsized opinions of their limited expertise to themselves.

  16. Say, why aren’t doctors being prompted to ask if i own a car that goes above the posted legal speed limit?


    WHO THE F ARE THEY, not even the CDC can boast of a useful purpose for having access to ALL OF YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS.

    F em to near-death. F em till they like it.

  18. Nobody kills more people across the country every day, than doctors. That’s not even including the innocents that they hack away at with scissors.

  19. The problem with Doctors asking about firearms is simple….. The Government has no business knowing that.

    How did I get from your Doctor to the Government so fast? Obamacare.

    Doctors that accept Medicare/Medicaid patients are required to submit Electronic Medical Records to Medicare to get paid for the services they provide. Doctors that accept any flavor of Obamacare/ACA insurance are required to submit EMR to get paid for the services they provide.

    Every system out there that submit EMR to the insurance companies includes with each submission what is called the ‘demographics’ which is name, address, all the things that identify you as you and not the guy in the next town with the same name.

    Things like smoker, drinker, all those things that are included on the clipboard of questions you fill out as a new patient, including the question about firearm ownership, is included in the Demographics.

    That means that when the Doctor, rightly or wrongly, checks the box or in any way includes the information about firearm ownership in your electronic chart that information is being submitted to the Government.

    Thus….. your Doctor asking you about Firearm ownership is giving a list of people who probably own firearms directly to the Government.

      • All of that information goes to insurance and medicare.

        They (may or) may not retain that information but it goes with every claim submitted.

        • Yea… no.

          I’ve actually owned a medical clinic and have worked in billing and claim submission (let’s just say it wasn’t a big clinic :).

          But I’m not going to convince you.

          Google cms-1500 that’s the only info you submit. Unless you need to appeal a denial, then you may need a cover letter as well.

  20. Once again I’m going to say the doctors have no special training in firearms
    When Medscape covered the concept of patients asking the doctor about safe storage of firearms the consensus among medical practitioners was to refer them to an NRA licensed firearms instructor
    Doctors agree that there are so many more dangerous things in and around the home that firearms is very low on the list
    Education about Seatbelt use and pool safety would save many more lives
    And for your information everyone in my department is a bunch of Gun enthusiasts

  21. ER Doc: Are there any firearms in your residence, and are they secured from unauthorized users?
    Me: Does your mother eat garlic?
    Doc: (Confused) I…I don’t see how that is relevant…
    Me: I was thinking the same thing.

    I was getting treatment for a staph infection on my foot from getting it cut by coral on vacation

  22. When asked about smoking by a refferred doctor specialist I replied that I quit 38 years ago. My doctor was aware of that, but it took the refferal specialist to note it in my charts, so I just put a big “S” on my forehead as far as my insurance is concerned. I get notices about quitting smoking classes every few months.

    Only share that type of info with your primary doctor. Sharing past illegal drug use, even marijuana, is not wise. One day any of these admissions could end up with the government taking your guns and other rights, declaring you a second class citizen(one that does not work in LE).

  23. “His business, his rules.” works well with the complementary “My custom, my rules.”

    When they control who may be in that business, define what that business is, and require me to participate … that’s something else.

    Calling some people “customers” and others “sellers”, both required to participate, with defined commodities in mandated transactions does not make a market. A market is people with something they want to offer, coming together to find a trade that works for them.

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