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ibusinesslines.com October 18, 2018


Florida didn't conduct gun background checks for year

10 June 2018, 03:28 | Erica Roy

Florida didn't conduct gun background checks for year

Florida didn't conduct gun background checks for year

The Tampa Bay Times reports that checks via the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) began to be omitted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in February 2016, and it was March 2017 before anyone in the department noticed.

An inspector general's report says the state Division of Licensing failed to consult the National Instant Background Check System between between February 26, 2016, and late March 2017, when an official noticed the agency hadn't heard recently from anyone whose application for a carry permit was denied. All of them were run through three different background check systems - two criminal databases that use a fingerprint check and the NICS system, which uses personal identifying information to determine if someone is ineligible due to a drug use conviction, if they are an undocumented immigrant, they were involuntarily committed or were dishonorably discharged from the military.

Putnam said there were about 350,000 applicants during that time, all of which were initially approved for concealed carry permits.

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.

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.

In 2012, Putnam held a press conference to celebrate Florida's one millionth issued concealed weapons permit. Yet, they were still issued concealed carry permits.

In a statement, Putnam said the "former employee was both deceitful and negligent, and we immediately launched an investigation and implemented safeguards to ensure this never happens again".


The June 5, 2017 report, obtained by the Tampa Bay Times in a records request, concluded that the employee in charge of background checks, Lisa Wilde, was negligent.

Employees in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services stopped using the database for more than a year, an investigation found.

Of those, Putnam's office conducted a further review on 365 applicants and then revoked 291 of their concealed carry permits.

The lapse, revealed in an internal report that was not widely known about until Friday, occurred during a time period when there was a significant surge in the number of people seeking permission to legally carry a concealed weapon. He said a total of 365 applications were reviewed after the problem was discovered. His office oversees the concealed weapons licensing program. However, no one seemed to be bothered with the drop in denials for over a year, until the Bureau of License Issuance (BLI) chief sounded the alarm over the lack of any recent requests in late March 2017.

Department employees interviewed for the report called the NICS checks "extremely important".

Watch: Adam Putnam answers reporters' questions about the investigation and reports. It said an employee stopped doing the checks because she couldn't log into the database.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - For more than a year, Florida failed to do national background checks on people applying for concealed weapons permits.



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