On June 6, Bruce Manheim filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, alleging that a Florida law banning doctors from asking their patients about gun ownership violates their First Amendment rights.
“Unquestionably, this will be a precedent-setting case,” said Manheim, a life sciences partner at Ropes & Gray.
The lawsuit is the latest pro bono case on gun safety for Manheim. He recently represented the Brady Campaign in a lawsuit challenging a federal rule that lifted a ban on loaded and concealed handguns in national parks and wildlife refuges.
“Because of the great work he did in that case, we asked him to file the Florida case,” said Daniel Vice, a senior attorney at the Brady Campaign.
The Florida law, passed on June 2, is the first of its kind, but other states have considered similar legislation. Manheim’s suit, brought on behalf of physician groups, seeks an injunction.
In its national parks suit, the Brady Campaign alleged that the Bush administration ignored the National Environmental Policy Act when it rushed through the new rule in 2008. The law requires that a review be conducted to assess a rule’s impact on the environment.
In 2009, the Brady Campaign obtained a preliminary injunction, but both parties settled the case after President Obama signed into law the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which included an amendment ensuring that handguns could be brought into national parks. On Feb. 1, the Interior Department agreed to pay the Brady Campaign $140,000 in attorney fees. — Amanda Bronstad