(From AP News)
For more than a year, Florida failed to do national background checks that could have disqualified people from gaining a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
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. Florida does not allow the open carry of weapons, but more than 1.9 million have permits to carry guns and weapons in public if they are concealed.
The state ultimately revoked 291 permits and fired an employee blamed for the lapse after an inspector general’s report detailing the problem was sent in June 2017 to top officials in the department who oversee the program. The Tampa Bay Times was the first to publish information about the report, which pointed out that the state failed to check the National Instant Criminal Background Check System from February 2016 to March 2017.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, a Republican running for governor who has touted his efforts to make it easier for people to obtain concealed-weapons permits, said the state did conduct its own criminal background checks on those applying for permits during that time period.
Putnam blamed the problem on the negligence of a department employee.