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Florida government too incompetent to run concealed carry background checks, so they quietly stopped using it for a year

The gun-hating Left believes that more “sensible” gun laws are needed to curb firearms-related murders and other armed criminal actions.

Americans who are pro-Second Amendment have always argued that there are plenty of guns laws already on the books, and that additional laws aren’t going to curb all gun-related crimes.

There’s a third angle to this debate that doesn’t get the attention it deserves and that’s this: In order for gun laws to be effective they have to be enforced.

That seems like one of the most common-sense positions anyone on either side of the debate can take, and yet so often gun-related crimes occur because gun laws have not been enforced. 

Take the case of Florida, where one of the worst school shootings occurred earlier this year. As reported by The Daily Caller, the state discontinued its background checks for citizens applying to carry concealed weapons for more than a year because of what officials said were “administrative issues” with logging into the system.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of permits were nevertheless granted.

The news site noted further:

An investigation found that from February 2016 until March 2017 Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services did not run applicants through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), according to a report from the state’s Office of Inspector General. The crime database is the national system used to determine if applicants are legally qualified to purchase firearms or explosives.

The OIG report noted further that by failing to vet applicants via the FBI’s system, those who were prohibited from possessing a gun, let alone a concealed carry permit, such as drug addicts and the mentally ill could have “legally” obtained one so that they could carry a gun in public.

So far, officials have not determined how many people were approved for a concealed carry permit who were never supposed to have one, The Daily Caller reported.

It gets worse. 

During that period, the Tampa Bay Times reports — which included the June 12, 2016 Pulse nightclub terrorist attack in which 50 were killed — Florida experienced “an unprecedented spike” in concealed carry applications. 

Hundreds of thousands of applications approved

During the fiscal year ending in June 2015, Florida received about 134,000 requests for concealed permits. But over the next 12 month-period, the state saw record-breaking requests, spiking to some 245,000. 

The 2016 figure was topped again in fiscal year 2017, as officials processed about 275,000 applications. (Related: Second Amendment alive and well as gun sales set a NEW record in May.)

Concealed carry requests are processed through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The employee who was responsible for processing applications was unable to log-in to the NICS system according to the OIG.

“The integrity of our department’s licensing program is our highest priority,” said Aaron Keller, a department spokesman, told The Times. “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.”

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, a Republican and NRA supporter who is running for governor, said that as soon as it was discovered that the employee could not log into the system, he ordered full reviews on 365 applications that were not fully vetted.

Of those, he said, 291 permits were revoked. And the employee was fired.

Laws are only as good as those who enforce them. The cannot and do not work if they are not universally applied.

Liberals are rightfully angry at Putnam for his department’s failure to fully adhere to all gun laws. If only they were as upset about their city leaders blocking the enforcement of all immigration laws by providing “sanctuary” for criminal aliens.

Read more gun-related news at

J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for and, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.

Sources include:

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