Hundreds of concealed weapons licenses revoked in Fla. because of employee's negligence

Sergio Conner
June 11, 2018

During that time, which coincided with the June 12, 2016 shooting at Pulse nightclub that left 50 dead, the state saw an unprecedented spike in applications for concealed weapons permits.

"Democrats are having political seizures for the media again", Hammer said in an email to The News Service of Florida.

In a statement Friday night, Putnam, who is running for governor, said "a criminal background investigation was completed on every single application".

An investigation by the inspector general of the state's Agriculture Department, which issues such permits, found that it had stopped using an FBI crime database from February 2016 to March 2017 because an employee had forgotten a password needed to log into the system.

The employee failed to log on to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which had flagged 365 applicants as potentially ineligible for a concealed weapon license.

Putnam has pushed back on criticism of his stance on gun control, and he even tweeted a year ago about being a "proud NRA sellout"-a full month after an investigation exposed his office for failing to run background checks".

In March of 2017, another employee wondered why the department had not recently received any notices of denials, "which was unusual".

Last month, victims of the Parkland tragedy and activists conducted die-ins at Publix grocery stores and called for a boycott of the company after it was reported that the supermarket chain donated more money to Putnam than any candidate in history.

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McKinley Lewis, a spokesman for Republican Gov. Rick Scott, said the governor's office was never provided a copy of the inspector general's report.

Enter Hammer, who is now attempting to set the record straight.

"It's a lot of people that probably should not have been issued licenses", Fernandez said. "Truth and facts matter". "Putnam's gross mismanagement of the concealed carry system likely put guns into the hands of the wrong people and put the lives of thousands of Floridians at risk", said FDP chair Terrie Rizzo in a statement.

When determining eligibility for purchasing a firearm, applicants must undergo a background check known as the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which is administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

NICS became accessible in November 1998 and is used to check state records nationwide to see whether someone is eligible to buy a firearm.

And, as emphasis, Hammer proclaims - ALL THREE BACKGROUND CHECKS WERE DONE. "These applications did undergo the background review". "She did not. So those 365 applicants got their licenses anyhow". Florida does not allow the open carry of weapons, but more than 1.9 million have permits to carry guns and weapons in public if they are concealed. "I know I did that, I should have been doing it and I didn't". Their licenses to carry firearms were immediately suspended.

In July 2017, just a few months after the database login issue was reportedly fixed, Putnam tweeted in response to accusations that he was a pawn of the NRA, claiming he was "proud" of the hashtagged #NRASellout moniker and inviting his supporters to join him in labeling themselves as such.

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