SHARECOMMENTMORE

LEXINGTON, South Carolina (WIS) -At Palmetto Pediatric Dr. Deborah Greenhouse says gun safety can be an invaluable part of routine checkups.

She's seen what happens when kids don't get the message.

"3-year old, 5-year old sibling. A gun was laying around, one picked it up, shot and killed the other. Just like I would talk to a family where maybe the parent is a smoker and would be exposing the child to secondhand smoke, it's the same thing here. If the parent is a firearm owner, we should be talking to them about how to keep their child safe," said Dr. Greenhouse.

Putnam's bill is similar to one Floridians came to know as Docs vs. Glocks, it passed 2 years ago but is locked up in court over doctors' First Amendment rights.

Putnam says his bill is meant to ensure physicians won't one day be required to turn over patient information that would be put into a kind of a federal gun owner database.

"I would say that is totally ludicrous. I do not document in my chart the number of guns in a household. I don't really care. I do mark that I counseled a family on firearm safety," said Dr. Greenhouse.

Putnam's bill would allow doctors to discuss guns if the patient were being treated for mental health purposes was in an abusive situation or if they'd already been shot.

Greenhouse says it's a slippery slope.

"Today it's Mr. Putnam saying I can't talk about gun safety. Tomorrow, it could be someone from big tobacco saying I can't talk about smoking cessation," said Dr. Greenhouse.

Putnam says he's fine with doctors handing out pamphlets on gun safety, but that in the exam room, doctors should focus only on the medicine.