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Florida stopped doing gun permit checks for more than a year

11 June, 2018, 02:53 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • ADAM PUTNAM | IMAGE VIA FRESH FROM FLORIDA

The final report issued in June 2017 states that an employee in the Division of Licensing did not run applications through the national system because she couldn't log into the database. "The problem went unresolved until discovered by another worker in March 2017 - meaning that for more than a year applications got approved without the required background check". She has since been fired and a review of her applications was initiated, resulting in at least 291 revocations. There were 134,000 requests for permits in the fiscal year ending in June 2015.

The problem, Putnam said, occurred when the employee failed to "follow up" on 365 applications from February 2016 to March 2017 that were flagged through the NICS search.

As Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam expanded the state's concealed weapon license program so it is now the largest in the country.

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

About 350,000 people applied for a concealed weapon license during the period in question, the department said.

As of May 31, there were more than 1.9 million concealed-weapons licenses issued by the state.

The candidate in question: Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who is now running for Governor and proclaimed past year to be a "proud NRA sellout".

The time period during which the background checks weren't performed overlapped the deadly shootings of 49 victims at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016.

Several state leaders have called for his resignation. "As soon as we learned that one employee failed to review applicants' non-criminal disqualifying information, we immediately terminated the employee, thoroughly reviewed every application potentially impacted, and implemented safeguards to prevent this from happening again".

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Putnam provided a statement to the Times, saying that a criminal background investigation had been completed "on every single application".

Responding to the criticism, Putnam's office said that the agency promptly took measures to rectify the error, "immediately" reviewing 365 applications, and 291 permits were annulled as a result.

Putnam blamed the lapse on a negligent and "deceitful" employee.

"Background checks were done through FCIC (Florida Criminal Information Computer system) and NCIC (National Criminal Information Computer system - the national Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint database) and they also did a NICS check, which is the name-based background check system", she says.

The only other employee who regularly accessed the database was a mailroom supervisor who was barely trained in the system, the report stated.

"Wilde characterized her failure as negligent, and agreed it could cause an embarrassment to the agency", the report says. While she initially contacted the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) in an attempt to resolve the issue, this effort was short-lived, as she never made a follow-up call after a brief email exchange.

He laid the blame exclusively on the employee who forgot the password had signaled the problem to another official but then failed to pursue the matter.

Applicants can appeal their denials.

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