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

The lapse, revealed in an internal report that was not widely known about until Friday, occurred during a time period when there was a significant surge in the number of people seeking permission to legally carry a concealed weapon.

The full statement from his office, as well as a full statement from Putnam, can be seen below. 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.

That bloodbath spurred a historic spike in applications for carry permits, according to the Tampa Bay Times, which obtained a copy of the June 2017 inspector general's report through an open-records request.

The report, published by the Tampa Bay Times, details an Office of Inspector General investigation into the Department of Agriculture that found the Department did not use the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, for a period lasting February 2016 through March 2017.

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".

The Department, meanwhile, said that it "immediately" fired the employee after becoming aware of her non-compliance with the procedure, and it "thoroughly reviewed every application potentially impacted". Of those, 291 were eventually revoked because, the report said, that employee was negligent.

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As Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam expanded the state's concealed weapon license program so it is now the largest in the country. The Times reports that Wilde could not log in to the federal check system and ultimately stopped using it. Keller told the Times that Wilde was sacked immediately after the Inspector General's Office concluded she had been negligent.

"I was discouraged that Adam Putnam chose to throw his employees under the bus rather than taking some ownership over the fact that there wasn't adequate oversight and adequate redundancy over something that is so important to public safety", he said.

Putnam is running for governor and has pushed to make it easier for people to get a concealed weapons permit. "I should have been doing it and I didn't", she said.

The commissioner pointed out, having a concealed carry permit in the state of Florida does not mean an individual can buy a gun.

But, the Department claimed that it had properly handled their employee's malfeasance upon learning of his failure. Florida Democrats say the "damning and disturbing" report from the Times should disqualify the Republican from being governor.

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