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

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

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

The Tampa Bay Times reported Friday that a report from the Florida inspector general found that the office of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam - a self-described "Proud NRA sellout" - did not conduct the background checks from February 2016 to March 2017.

Florida revoked nearly 300 concealed weapons permits after discovering that a state employee failed to review criminal background checks on applicants because she couldn't log into the system, according to a report by state officials.

"I am extremely alarmed at the failure by Commissioner Putnam to disclose that his agency had failed to conduct these critical background checks - allowing possibly mentally disturbed individuals and others who should be disqualified, to be legally armed in Florida", Stewart said.

Fernandez said that he was surprised that hours after the Tampa Bay Times ran the story Friday, Putnam admitted that 291 of 365 concealed carry permits under Wilde's review had to be revoked.

Several state leaders have called for his resignation.

Putnam recently proposed legislation that would require concealed carry permits to be approved in the case of inconclusive background checks that would otherwise put an application in limbo, but he dropped it after the Parkland shooting.

In March 2017 - over a year later - an employee with the Bureau of Licensing realized the NICS records were not being reviewed.

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The report, which was forwarded to Putnam, recommends that the department "identify any NICS ineligible applicants that may have been erroneously issued". While she initially contacted the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) in an attempt to resolve the issue, this effort was short-lived, as she never made a follow-up call after a brief email exchange. "As soon as we learned that one employee failed to review applicants' non-criminal disqualifying information, we immediately terminated the employee, thoroughly reviewed every application potentially impacted, and implemented safeguards to prevent this from happening again".

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. His campaign issued a statement saying some background checks were completed later, after officials found out about the lapse.

"It's inconceivable Putnam's office could be so negligent, especially because the Pulse massacre in Orlando occurred during the same timeframe", Jason Lindsay, executive director of the Pride Fund, said in a statement.

Wilde was chastised as negligent in the inspector general's report. Ultimately, permits were revoked for 291 people.

Meanwhile, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, another Democrat in the governor's race, labeled the report a sign of "dangerous incompetence" by Putnam.

The NICS flags people who shouldn't have access to firearms for reasons including criminal convictions, drug use, mental illness and domestic violence.

"I didn't understand why I was put in charge of it", she told the Tampa Bay Times. The Division of Licensing is housed under the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service.

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