Audit: Florida failed to complete gun background checks on more than 100,000 applicants

Audit: Florida failed to complete gun background checks on more than 100,000 applicants

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam listens to an update on the Greenway Fire at the command post on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, on Sabal Palm Road in eastern Collier County. TALLAHASSEE — For more than a year, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam’s office failed to conduct complete background checks on more than 100,000 people who sought concealed weapon permits, a state review found. The Office of Inspector General’s investigation found that an agency employee tasked with logging into an FBI crime database during the applicant vetting process stopped logging in in February 2016. She told investigators she did not follow up to resolve the issue, and her failure to check the database went unnoticed until March 2017. The FBI database is considered a "vital component" in the applicant review process that ensures those with disqualifying histories in other states — that include criminal convictions or a mental illness diagnosis — don’t get concealed gun permits. Employees in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services considered the National Instant Criminal Background Check System an important part of the licensing process and said failing to check the FBI database to check the backgrounds of applicants may have led to "potentially ineligible individuals" receiving a gun permit, according to the audit that was released last year. The audit’s findings were first reported Friday by the Tampa Bay Times . From July 2016 through June 2017, department data shows 186,182 permits were approved. It remains unclear how many of those did not […]

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