Putnam: Criminal Background Checks Conducted on Every Concealed Weapon Application

11 June, 2018, 02:52 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Inside the annual

Florida's agriculture commissioner promises his office will never again fail to do follow-up on certain national background checks that could disqualify people from gaining permits to carry concealed weapons.

A spokesman for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which oversees the Division of Licensing, said that that NICS was only consulted for "non-criminal disqualifying offenses" and that the department conducted criminal background checks using two other databases maintained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Today, the Tampa Bay Times published a report titled "Adam Putnam's office stopped concealed weapons background checks for a year because it couldn't log in".

"A license to carry does not exempt a person from the background check required when you purchase a firearm", she says.

"There are now 1.8 million active hide weapon license holders in Florida, No. 1 in the nation, up from 800,000 before I came in (to the Agriculture Department)", he boasted.

Democratic gubernatorial candidates rushed Friday to condemn Putnam, with Chris King and Jeff Greene, for example, calling for the agriculture commissioner to resign.

Any of those searches might find information that would disqualify a person from receiving a concealed weapons permit, Putnam said.

The Times cited a report from the inspector general that uncovered the problem.

Putnam said the employee no longer works for his department.

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The ensuing recognition as a "normal country" could then allow sanctions relief, and later global aid and investment. Australia can play an important role in achieving peace on the Korean Peninsula, he added .

Putnam's office told the Times that the employee was "immediately terminated" after another employee discovered the situation and that every application potentially impacted was "thoroughly reviewed".

Adam Putnam touts his efforts to expand concealed carry gun permits in Florida in a Facebook ad. [Facebook] But new details about his agency's lax oversight come after his campaign has weathered criticism of Putnam's full embrace of gun rights.

Background checks on permits were still carried out through two other databases, the Florida Crime Information Center database and the National Crime Information Center database.

It was the responsibility of this employee to review the 365 applications that did not pass the NICS system and the Inspector General's investigation determined she failed to do her job. It wasn't until March of the next year another employee noticed a problem.

Upon discovery of this former employee's negligence in March of 2017, the department immediately launched an audit of the 365 applications she failed to review.

Spectrum Bay News 9 asked why nothing was done to correct the login issue in the first place, as the investigation revealed that the employee had emailed IT about it in 2016. The Division of Licensing is housed under the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service. Egregiously, of those 365, 291 individuals had their gun license revoked once a proper background check was completed.

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.

The NICS flags people who shouldn't have access to firearms for reasons including criminal convictions, drug use, mental illness and domestic violence.

"I didn't understand why I was put in charge of it".

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