Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Florida revoked 291 concealed weapons permits after Putnam's office failed to review background checks

Posted By on Mon, Jun 11, 2018 at 2:20 PM

Florida improperly licensed almost 300 concealed weapons permits after an employee working at Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam's office failed to review background checks and follow up with applicants deemed potentially ineligible.

Although Putnam called an earlier Tampa Bay Times report on the matter "flat wrong and misleading," the Republican candidate for governor did acknowledge that 291 people had their permits revoked because of the "negligent" employee.

Putnam clarified on Saturday that three different background checks were done on all 349,923 concealed weapon license application submitted from February 2016 to March 2017 – including the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NCIS). The FBI crime database lists people who may be disqualified from receiving firearms in other states, which may include convicts, drug users and people who've been involuntarily committed.

NCIS flagged 365 concealed weapons permit applications as potentially ineligible. But the employee who was supposed to review these flagged applications couldn't log into the system. An investigation by the Office of Inspector General found that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services didn't access the NCIS system for more than a year – from February 2016 to March 2017. The employee was eventually fired.

"Upon discovery of this former employee's negligence in not conducting the further review required on 365 applications, we immediately completed full background checks on those 365 applications, which resulted in 291 revocations," Putnam said in the statement to the News Service of Florida. "The former employee was both deceitful and negligent, and we immediately launched an investigation and implemented safeguards to ensure this never happens again."

The Agriculture Department also points out that a concealed weapon license doesn't authorize the purchase of a gun.

"Anyone seeking to purchase a gun must undergo a background check performed by FDLE at the time of purchase," the department's website says.

Putnam, who has called himself a "proud NRA sellout" in the past, has listed his expansion of concealed carry permits in Florida as an accomplishment during his run for governor.

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

Tags: , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 19, 2022

View more issues


© 2022 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation