Putnam’s office failed to do background checks for a year

Florida didn't conduct gun background checks for an entire year because an official couldn't log in

In all that time, though, tens of thousands of concealed permit applications were being approved. "Putnam's failure to fulfill the basic duties of his office raise serious questions about his ability to lead Florida". The background-check bungle coincided with the Pulse nightclub shooting, which took 50 lives, and a historic uptick in Florida concealed-weapons applications.

The fiscal year ending in 2017 saw 275,000 applications.

"Career politicians like Mr. Putnam think this is just another bad day at the office - but when you hide a level of negligence that endangers every resident, and every child, in Florida, you forfeit any moral right to lead", said former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, one of the Democratic candidates running for governor. "The former employee was both deceitful and negligent, and we immediately launched an investigation and implemented safeguards to ensure this never happens again".

A spokesman for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which oversees the Division of Licensing, said that that NICS was only consulted for "non-criminal disqualifying offenses" and that the department conducted criminal background checks using two other databases maintained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

As noted by newspaper, NICS "will flag applicants who have served time in prison for more than a year, are convicted of drug use in the past year, are undocumented immigrants or were involuntarily committed or deemed to have a "mental defect" by a court or dishonorably discharged from the military".

As Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam expanded the state's concealed weapon license program so it is now the largest in the country. And when the Office of Inspector General provided the results of its investigation to the Department, his office immediately backtracked and reviewed the 365 applications.

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Wilde was chastised as negligent in the inspector general's report.

According to the inspector general's report, NICS checks are considered "extremely important" and the lack of such checks for over a year may have resulted in concealed weapons permits being "issued to potentially ineligible individuals".

A Putnam spokesman said Friday that the employee responsible for the problem had been fired. 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.

"I also want to know why, if this report was done a year ago, why are we just now finding out about this?"

Statistics compiled by the department show that from the summer of 2015 to the summer of 2017, the number of new applications for concealed-weapon permits jumped dramatically, to its highest level in 25 years. Florida Democrats say the "damning and disturbing" report from the Times should disqualify the Republican from being governor.

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