Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam today held a media availability to correct widespread misinformation regarding the concealed weapon license program.
EXCERPTS FROM COMMISSIONER ADAM PUTNAM’S REMARKS:
- “The news reporting on the incident related to the gun background checks is flat wrong and misleading.”
- “Background checks through three different databases never stopped. A criminal background investigation was completed on every single one of the 349,923 concealed weapon license applications that were submitted between February of 2016 and March of 2017.”
“The negligent and deceptive employee failed to follow-up on the results of non-criminal background check disqualifying information on those CWLs.”
- “I called for this investigation. This was a very serious issue. We took immediate action and implemented the Inspector General investigation. I didn’t wait on a news story to take action.”
- “The headlines and the stories that say that there were no background checks for a year are inaccurate.”
- “It was upon discovery of the former employee’s negligence in not conducting the follow-up review on the 365 applications that had been flagged in that database process that resulted in the revocation of 291 licenses.”
- FACT: A criminal background investigation was completed on every single one of the 349,923 concealed weapon license application submitted from February 2016 to March 2017.
- FACT: All applicants for a Florida concealed weapon license submit fingerprints that are checked against the Florida Crime Information Center database (FCIC), National Crime Information Center database (NCIC) and National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for disqualifying offenses.
- FACT: 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, which the department initiated, determined she failed to do her job.
- FACT: 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.
- FACT: When the department completed the full background checks with information from the NICS system on the 365 applications she failed to review, 291 licenses were ultimately revoked.
- FACT: While the Office of Inspector General’s investigation was ongoing, the department adopted safeguards into the application review process to ensure this never happens again.
- FACT: A concealed weapon license does not authorize the purchase of a firearm. Anyone seeking to purchase a gun must undergo a background check performed by FDLE at the time of purchase.