The following is a response from the office of Adam Putnam:
Today, the Tampa Bay Times published a report titled “Adam Putnam’s office stopped concealed weapons background checks for a year because it couldn’t log in.” The story was based on an Inspector General investigation launched by the department as soon as information indicated an employee failed to do her job completing background checks for concealed weapon licenses.
To be clear, 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.
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.
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 determined she failed to do her job.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To be clear, a criminal background investigation was completed on every single application. 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. The former employee was both deceitful and negligent, and we immediately launched an investigation and implemented safeguards to ensure this never happens again.
Commissioner Adam Putnam