Florida Stops Gun Permit Checks for Over a Year

Gun control measures are practically worthless if state employees fail to do their jobs. On June 8, 2018, an employee of Florida’s Division of Licensing discovered a lapse of over one year in which the state failed to conduct national background checks on tens of thousands of applicants requesting concealed carry permits. The gap took place during a surge in applications to carry concealed weapons. While the state does not allow anyone to carry guns and weapons in public, they may do so with a concealed carry permit so long as the weapons are out of sight.

Failed Background Checks lead to Revoked Licenses

In the state where both the Pulse massacre and the Parkland school shooting took place, it is particularly troubling to learn that potentially thousands of people could have obtained licenses to carry concealed weapons who would not have passed a national background check. To date, over 1.9 million residents have a concealed weapons permit, and the number is quickly rising.

Upon the discovery of the lapse in background checks, the state ultimately revoked 291 permits and fired the employee responsible. An investigation found that the employee responsible for running background checks could not log into the database. Nobody took action until over a year later, when yet another worker discovered the lapse, which ran from February 2016 through March 2017.

In Which States Does the Department of Agriculture Review Gun Applications? Florida

Florida is an oddball state in many ways, but perhaps one of the most troubling is the fact that it is the only state in which the Division of Licensing falls under the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, meaning that the responsibility for running background checks falls in Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam’s court.

Most other states put police, courts or clerks in the position to handle weapons permits. Florida is different, however, in that the gun lobby has a strong influence in state politics. According to a Tampa Bay Times report, lawmakers moved the Division of licensing from the Florida Department of State to the Department of Agriculture in 2002 so that it would lie in the hands of an elected official.

Although Florida’s system for running background checks for hopeful gun owners may seem spotty, an influx of new gun control measures stands to make it more difficult for law-abiding residents to obtain firearms. If you have had your application for a concealed carry permit denied or have been denied the sale of a gun in Orlando, you may seek representation from a gun rights lawyer.

At the Umansky Law Firm, we firmly believe in protecting the Second Amendment during these uncertain times. Call 407-228-3838 or contact us online for a free consultation.