Doctors Urged To Sign A Pledge To Confront Patients About Guns

By John Crump

Doctors and Guns
Doctors and Guns
John Crump
John Crump

U.S.A.-( An article by UC Davis emergency department physician, Garen Wintemute, in the Annals of Internal Medicine is calling on primary care physicians to confront their patients over guns that they might own. Dr. Garen Wintemute is a gun control advocate who believes that doctors should counsel their patients on firearms. He considers himself a “gun violence” expert.

Dr. Garen Wintemute came to this conclusion by what he considers inaction by Congress and the Whitehouse. According to Dr. Wintemute these bodies of government, “have abdicated their responsibility on this complex and pressing problem as on so many others.” Dr. Garen came to fame by multiple articles trying to link gun ownership and violent tendencies.

He calls for doctors to hold interventions with their patients over their firearms. This intervention would include such intrusive question as of where ammunition and guns store and informing the patient of firearm death statistics. Dr. Wintemute likens firearm ownership to smoking in that the first time to doctors urge their patients to quit smoking they usually do not, but over time the pressure might cause them to abandon the habit.

According to Dr. Wintemute, doctors should address these conversations as a caring doctor by saying such things as “If you’re going to be effective you have to be able to say, ‘I’m asking you this because I care,’ ” He stresses doctors should frame the questions in a way not to offend the patient.

Dr. Wintemute, in the past, has applauded the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals decision over Florida’s Privacy of Firearm Owners Act. This act would have prevented doctors from asking their patients about their guns. In the court decision, it was ruled in a 10-1 majority decision that the statute would have violated the first amendment rights of the doctors.

What is disturbing is what Dr. Wintemute list as warning signs of gun violence. These include such things as acute injury, a difficult diagnosis, a job loss, or having an impulsive teenager, children or impaired adults living the same home as the gun owner. Since most people have been through one or more of these scenarios, it would mean almost everyone is susceptible to gun violence.

Dr. Wintemute believes that a lot of doctors have reached a personal tipping point with the tragedy in Las Vegas. He wrote, “I frequently hear from physicians who have reached a personal tipping point and decided to stay on the sidelines no longer.” He also stated that they would not be acting alone in their crusade. He urged doctors to band together to combat gun violence.

Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

Dr. Wintemute has asked all primary care physicians to sign a pledge stating that they will talk to their patients about firearms. He also encourages doctors to email, call, and push their colleagues to sign the pledge. According to Dr. Wintemute, they will use the list to distribute aids that will help doctors confront their patients on guns.

About John Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%’ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on the history of the patriot movement and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss or at

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Todd Jaffe MD

I encourage my patients to buy a gun, get a carry permit, and write their Congressman for passage of the suppressor as an accessory law.

James Higginbotham

i had a doctor ask me that a few years ago.
i grinned and told him he was FIRED, AND GOT ANOTHER DOCTOR.

gary h.

If they continue to pester you about it for the question from a doctor or insurance form, tell them you are going to report them for an ” Ethical Boundary Violation” to your state medical board. This should shut them up. Get the address for the Ins. co. if they are telling you you have to fill the question out on a form.


A lot of good ideas posted here. Remember this clown is from the University of Commifornia and I am sure he fits right in. So he is an expert in guns and the handling of them, explain that to me since he is in one of the states that put unusually high rules on gun ownership. Expert is a drip under pressure. He probably wouldn’t understand what I am referring to.

Edgar Enriquez

When my doctor asks me if I own guns I’m going to ask her if she owns dildos? And if she says it’s non of my Business I’ll tell her the same of her question.


Perhaps, before urging doctors to pledge to engage in “professional discussion” on topics in which they have no professional competence, which is unethical according to AMA standards, he should be urging doctors who wish to engage in such discussions to take some NRA shooting classes, and become knowledgeable about guns and competent in the safe handling, storage, etc. of guns before doing so. I wonder why he is urging them to behave unethically instead? If my doctor asked me about my guns, I think I’d look over the diplomas on his wall, and ask where the NRA certifications were. In… Read more »

The other Jim

About 25 years ago U.S. Health Care use to send out an evaluation sheet with a franked return envelop to evaluate the doctors at the visit. They actually looked into some of doctor wrong doing, and pursued it. Since then whatever plan I have had the rates have gone up 3 to 38 percent a year. Doctors continuously falsify their records and put in false billing codes to jack the visit bill up, and when the time is taken to report them nothing is done (mind you, it is not all doctors but a substantial number of them). The doctor… Read more »

Webfoot Logger

The clinic I use asked that question some years ago . . . it was gone in months, because most patients refused to answer.

My doctor said that patients he knew to own guns and patients he knew didn’t alike were refusing to answer because it was none of the doctors’ business.

He said the only time it became the doctor’s business was if there were warnings of suicidal or homicidal behavior, and simply owning a gun was not such.


And this is coming from the people who started the opioid epidemic? It is not the distributors or manufacturers who WRITE the prescriptions, but the physicians, and they want to ask about guns. They need to get their own house in order before they start asking about other people business. True irony


I would answer that question as, “Yes, Doc, I have plenty of tools in my home and I know how to use them, store them, and keep them well maintained for a rainy day”. Evasive, yet thought provoking.

VT Patriot

My reply would be a simple chuckle and statement that “I used to when I was younger and hunted, but I gave it up years ago. One moron in the woods was enough to scare me for good.”

Samuel Stephens

Wintermute is a lying meddling piece of sh** and shoul be treated as such.


Just another step in the bigger gun control agenda. Many people think of doctors as authority figures and will answer their questions without thinking of the ramifications: Doctor makes notes that the patient owns guns and ammunition and also where they are stored….then the push for a single payer (government run) health care plan comes to fruition. ….now the government knows who owns guns and ammo and where they’re stored, making for easy confiscation! The gun control organizations know that the public will push back if they move too fast, so they will use misdirection, deceit and “baby steps” to… Read more »


most new doctors and i mean that for doctors who received their license in the 80s are quacks plain and simple . my father was an md and mother a nurse and i have noticed a steady decrease in the caliber of doctors today .most are specialists that do not realize that the body works as a whole and not individual pieces.they are not gun experts and most are not even medical experts .

John Dow

At the same time, doctors should ask about automobile ownership. As many people die where autos are involved as die when guns are involved. And two thirds of those deaths are not suicides.

Heed the Call-up

Ask the doctor what he is doing to reduce the 200,000+ doctor and medical negligence deaths each year, and what are warnings signs of poor doctor practices that will impact my health and how to avoid them.

Then ask if there is any correlation between firearm ownership and doctor malfeasance, and what studies he’s done on that.


it is over 660,000 k deaths

Donald Chase

This Dr. ought to look in a mirror and evaluate his own diet before recommending changes for other people.


Umm, that’s the author

Roy D.

My doctor’s questions and comments about guns would be more along the lines of, “I am thinking of buying a gun, what do you think about this model?” Or, “I finally got out to the range to shoot my newest rifle. She sure is sweet.” We tend to have gun friendly doctors in Oklahoma.


LOL. Mine too. Or it would be “Hey I was at the range the other day and I…”


Mine as well, when I wore my DTOM Pin on my jacket, my DR said he liked it, I told him I was surprised to hear that being that his office has “No Firearms Allowed posted” prominently on all the doors. He said that wasn’t his doings and he is with me! I feel a lot better about him now.


I’d say…… sure! You want buy some …. they ain’t cheap! I only deal in cash! You got some you want to get rid of?

Or….. Hey, Doc On the way to your office I think I saw your wife going into the Hoilday Inn with some guy!

Or……. ain’t none of your darn business!


Don’t fight it. If he is a good Doc otherwise, the simple solution is what Nancy Regan counseled on drugs: “Just say NO.” A person is not under oath when he speaks to his doctor and is not obligated to tell the truth. Don’t react to the question, don’t avoid the question, just take it in stride, and simply say “No I don’t own guns. Or, No, there are no guns in my house.” And, of course discuss this with your significant other, and ask them to please also, Just say NO. Children, when they are old enough, should also… Read more »


And the Communist killed the doctors and professors first.

Herb T

Maybe the good doctor could provide a better and effective public service if he studied the information about over-prescribed medicines and failures within the medical profession. Rumor has it that more people die from medical incompetency than guns. How to weed out instead of protecting the incompetents seems a worthy effort.

Jack Crow

I feel like this is disappointing, but easily combated.

“Do you have guns in your home?”

“Next question.”

I mean, who asks these questions and expects an honest answer? Who is answering these questions? It must be a vanishing small number. Don’t get me wrong, I find it intrusive and wrong, but my response would be to finish the exam, and them find a new GP.

Big Lou

My reply,that has nothing to do with why im here. I’m here for lower back pain,do you have anymore questions that will help you with your diagnosis,if not this office visit is over.


How about, Dr, what’s your checking about balance and account #, I want to verify you are not laundering money for the DNC or some Mexican drug cartel.


I like that one