While the provision doesn't forbid doctors from asking about guns, it prohibits health care workers from collecting that information, documenting it and using it for research.
A similar law in Florida went a step further and would actually penalize doctors if they ask their patients about whether they own a gun, in most cases. A federal judge overturned the law, but Gov. Rick Scott has vowed to appeal.
Gun-rights advocates, including the NRA, have raised concerns about tracking this data, including the possibility that acknowledging legal gun ownership could bring higher insurance premiums.
With these restrictions and the revived gun debate, doctors should become active participants in the discussion about gun violence and gun policy in this country, according to the American College of Physicians.
After all, the group said in a recent publication, physicians take a stand on other public health issues, such as smoking, air pollution, drunk driving and vaccinations.
Examining gun violence isn't a political issue to most physicians, one Florida doctor said.
"Physicians basically want two things: They want continued research so we can find out what is happening along the lines of firearms and health care," Dr. Carolyn McClanahan told CNN's Sanjay Gupta. "And the second thing, though, is we want to provide basic gun education. Studies have shown if you ask parents, especially pediatricians ask parents, 'Do you keep your gun locked, unloaded, keep the ammunition separate from the gun?' that decreases the chance of a death from a firearm."
Where things stand now
When Adam Lanza unleashed a hail of bullets inside an elementary school on December 14, ending the lives of 20 young children and six staff members, the debate over America's gun laws reopened.
Days later, Obama announced that a task force led by Vice President Joe Biden would create "real reforms right now."
That could include a revival of the assault weapons ban, something that Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, has said she plans to introduce. It could also result in executive orders that would bypass the legislative process, Biden said Wednesday.
The NRA will participate in the task force meetings this week, mostly to "hear what they have to say," Arulanandam said.
Whether the effort in Washington results in significant changes to America's gun laws isn't clear.
What is clear, according to Kellermann -- who led research with the now defunct CDC program -- is that the nation has lost valuable time.
"Democracy is not served by ignorance and by excluding certain topics," he said. "I think that's been the real loss in this case."