Dr. Murthy is the 36-year-old president and co-founder of Doctors for America, a group that advocates for Obamacare and gun control laws.
The group calls gun violence “a public health crisis.” It pushes for Congress to ban “assault weapons” and “high-capacity” magazines and calls for spending tax dollars for more gun-control research.
The organization also lobbies for doctors to be allowed to ask patients, including minors, whether they have legal guns in the home. If the patient admits to having guns, Dr. Murthy wants doctors to “counsel them appropriately about safety measures.”
Gun rights advocates and many families view this policy as a violation of privacy.
At a hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee last week, Sen. Lamar Alexander asked Dr. Murthy about public comments on firearms, such as a tweet from before the 2012 president election that said, “Tired of politicians playing politics w/ guns, putting lives at risk b/c they’re scared of NRA. Guns are a health care issue.”
Mr. Alexander, the ranking Republican on the committee, told Dr. Murthy that “Americans have a First Amendment right to advocate the Second Amendment — or any other amendment. And the Second Amendment is not a special interest group, it’s part of our Constitution.”
The Tennessee senator added that, “If your goal is to make guns the bully pulpit of your advocacy in the surgeon general’s office, that would concern me.”
Dr. Murthy sidestepped the questions about his gun-control agenda from committee members throughout the hearing.