Published: Feb 22, 2011 8:53 PM EST
Updated: Feb 22, 2011 5:53 PM EST

TALLAHASSEE - A bill that would prohibit doctors from asking patients if they own guns or denying treatment if patients refuse to answer questions about gun ownership earned its first approval.

The Senate Justice Committee voted 4-1 in favor of the the measure (SB 432) Tuesday over the objection of several doctors.

Doctors said they sometimes ask patients about gun ownership during domestic violence screenings, after shootings or to provide advice to parents on how to keep children safe from accidents.

But bill sponsor Sen. Greg Evers (R-Crestview) said there is no need for doctors to know about gun ownership and described one case where a child was refused treatment when a question on gun ownership wasn't answered.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)