firearms background-check failures

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Steve Contorno discusses FL background check failures in the pages of the Tampa Bay Times:

For more than a year, the state of Florida failed to review national background checks on tens of thousands of applications for concealed weapons permits, potentially allowing drug addicts or people with a mental illness to carry firearms in public.

A previously unreported Office of Inspector General investigation found that in February 2016 the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services stopped using the results from an FBI crime database called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System that ensures applicants who want to carry a gun do not have a disqualifying history in other states.

The employee in charge of the background checks could not log into the system, the investigator learned. The problem went unresolved until discovered by another worker in March 2017 -- meaning that for more than a year applications got approved without the required background check.

As if that weren't bad enough, "Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has made it a priority to speed up the issuing of concealed weapons permits since he was elected in 2010:"

In 2012, he held a news conference to celebrate the state's one millionth concealed weapons permit, noting the time it took to process an application fell from 12 weeks to 35 days on his watch. There are now 1.8 million concealed weapon permit holders in Florida. [...] Now running for Florida governor as a Republican, Putnam's campaign touts his expansion of concealed carry permits as one of his top accomplishments.

"Hours after the Times story published," the article continues, "Putnam's office said upon learning of the lapse in 2017, it 'immediately' reviewed 365 applications and revoked 291 concealed weapons permits." That's an 80% revocation rate! TPM quotes Democratic gubernatorial candidate Philip Levine as saying:

"Career politicians like Mr. Putnam think this is just another bad day at the office -- but when you conceal a level of negligence that endangers every resident, and every child, in Florida, you forfeit any moral right to lead."

Politico remarked that "This is the second high-profile background check issue Florida officials have encountered recently:"

At one point, nearly 20 percent of mental health records were entered late into a background check database, a long-running problem that state law enforcement officials acknowledged could have led to someone with a known mental illness buying a gun.

"The risk of late reporting of mental health records is that an individual who is prohibited from purchasing or possession [of] a firearm may be approved at the time of the background check if the disqualifying mental health record is not available," according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

A lot more should get revoked than just a few hundred concealed-carry permits.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on June 10, 2018 4:47 PM.

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