Published: Jul 03, 2012 3:44 PM EDT

MIAMI (AP) - A federal judge struck down a Florida law that restricted doctors from talking about gun ownership with their patients.
    
The Miami Herald (http://hrld.us/N6h1lu ) reports U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke on Friday ruled in favor of physicians who argued the law violated their free speech rights. Cooke had issued a preliminary order blocking the law in September.
    
In a 25-page ruling Cooke wrote evidence shows physicians had started "self-censoring" because of the legislation's "chilling" effect.
    
Florida's Republican-controlled Legislature adopted the Firearm Owners' Privacy Act in 2011 after an Ocala couple complained that a doctor had asked them about guns. The couple says they refused to answer and the physician refused to see them again.
    
Rep. Jason Brodeur, a Republican from Sanford who sponsored the bill, says an appeal is likely.
    
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Information from: The Miami Herald, http://www.herald.com

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