REPORT: Adam Putnam’s Office Skipped Gun Background Checks For Over A Year, Putnam Responds
By Craig Patrick, Fox 13 // June 9, 2018
(FOX 13) – A new report shows state agriculture administrator Adam Putnam’s office didn’t do any background checks on concealed weapons permits for over a year because they had trouble logging on to a website.
The inspector general’s investigation found negligence and a serious breakdown in Putnam’s office, which is responsible for the background checks.
In short, FBI database. And instead of brining in IT support and figuring out how to do it, they just let it slip — for around 13 months — and admitted to dropping the ball.
The problem did not get fixed until a year passed and the passwords were reset.
As a result, as Florida saw a significant spike in applications for concealed weapons permits, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services processed those applications without doing the required criminal background checks.
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Putnam responded to the report.
“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,” Putnam said.
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