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Florida Was Eyeing Fast-Tracking Concealed Weapon Licenses Without Background Checks

| February 15, 2018

florida guns

The joy of guns. (Steven Stehling)

A proposal that would allow some concealed-weapons license applications to be approved when background checks have not been completed was put on hold Thursday because of the deadly high-school shooting in Broward County.


The Senate Appropriations Committee had been scheduled to take up the proposal as part of a wide-ranging bill (SB 740) involving the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The bill was not immediately rescheduled. The 60-day legislative session ends March 9.

“This isn’t the day to have that conversation,” bill sponsor Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, said before the committee meeting. “Right now, our priority is to help the situation down there, helping law enforcement. Let’s look at the things at which we can have control, mental health, safety in our schools, that’s the more urgent things to discuss today.”

The overall bill deals with issue ranging from liquefied petroleum gas to oyster-harvesting licenses in Apalachicola Bay. A similar measure in the House (HB 553) awaits a floor hearing.

Kate Kile, the Tallahassee leader of the gun-violence prevention group Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America, said she wasn’t surprised by the postponement, noting the negative attention that could have come after a gunman killed 17 people Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

“It would be a pretty bad day to talk about some legislation we feel is very dangerous and not the direction we need to be headed,” Kile said.

Before the meeting, Kile’s group dropped off petitions with Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, urging lawmakers to start advancing a separate measure (SB 334) that would require county law-enforcement officials to be notified when someone fails a background check for a concealed-weapons license.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam requested the proposed licensing change in Stargel’s bill that had been slated to go before the Appropriations Committee. The proposed change would require concealed-weapons licenses to be issued if Putnam’s office is unable to complete criminal background checks within 90 days and if no other disqualifying information is found. Such situations could occur, for example, if the department receives incomplete criminal-history information.

Any permit issued after the 90-day period would be immediately suspended if the full background history arrives and contains disqualifying information, according to the proposal.

Currently, the department has 90 days to issue a license or deny the application, though the limit can be suspended if the agency receives criminal-history information that does not include the final disposition of a crime that could disqualify the applicant.

The department estimates the turnaround time for processing new concealed-weapon license applications is 50 to 55 days.

The department, which has issued nearly 1.85 million concealed-weapon or firearm licenses, has estimated about 1 percent of its applications are denied each year due to insufficient information.

Putnam sent out a statement Thursday before the Senate meeting that “out of respect for their families and those suffering as a result of this tragedy, I’m working with bill sponsors to postpone consideration of the legislative proposal related to the licensing process.”

“While the shooter would not have even been eligible for a concealed weapon license and clearly had a troubled past that indicated serious mental health issues, the focus now should be on mental health and how we protect our children,” Putnam added.

–Jim Turner, News Service of Florida

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22 Responses for “Florida Was Eyeing Fast-Tracking Concealed Weapon Licenses Without Background Checks”

  1. Ken Dodge says:

    The firearm in the photo above is an AK-47 rifle and would never qualify as a concealed weapon. Curious choice for a report on concealed weapon licenses

  2. tulip says:

    I have on thing to say. in regards to the gun issue. WTF!!!! Insane idea

  3. Steve Robinson says:

    More gun insanity. Wait until some time has passed and the nation has turned its attention to some other state’s mass shooting and then sneak this bill through. These people have no shame, no sense of decency, and no interest in making our country safe from the real “threat to the homeland,” which is this country’s sick love affair with guns.

  4. Really says:

    The evil will try to find the means to their end wether gun or otherwise

  5. Layla says:

    We are no longer enforcing laws in this country. That is going to be a disaster. Allowing a permit was intended to arm qualified citizens, not allow everyone to carry a gun.

  6. Layla says:

    A concealed carry permit was never intended to arm all the citizens, but those who passed tests. We need to enforce the laws already on the books. After each incident we find out there were advanced warnings and yet nothing has been done. No more laws until we can enforce the ones we already have.

  7. Stranger in a strange land says:

    “This isn’t the day to have that conversation,” bill sponsor Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, said before the committee meeting. “

    Of course not. The NRA supported legislators don’t want this bill brought up now. they will wait until there’s a gap in the carnage created by easy access to assault weapons (it’s easier and faster to get an assault weapon in Florida than a handgun) to sneak this measure in. They will wait until the numbness returns we have come to feel once a little time has passed after one of these horrific tragedies. They believe now is not the time to speak about guns because people might actually pay attention and push back. Don’t let the numbness return. Stay outraged. Email or call ALL your representatives and tell them that that selling assault weapons must stop now, Keep emailing weekly until the law changes or you can vote for a candidate that will make this change. Act and vote against senseless tragedies.

  8. tulip says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised, and I hope they do, to see the teens and young generation start to protest this gun issue and keep pushing it. There is absolutely NO reason to allow people to buy automatic weapons and, even if they were banned today, there are so many of them out there in the hands of evil people that it wouldn’t make much difference and also the availability of these things to be bought online.

    I think the government and it’s politicians are hugely responsible for all these killings and should be held accountable somehow. However, they only care about votes and getting the NRA to contribute to their campaigns. Maybe they would feel differently if their kids or spouses were shot to death, and I’m not insinuating that’s what I want to happen at all, but something needs to make these people pay attention to this country’s people and what it all could lead to.

    The second amendment was written for a good reason a long time ago and, over the years it has been taken advantage of with nobody paying attention to what has been happening and now it’s too late.

    The USA seems to be the only country that enables most anyone to get a gun and go on shooting sprees if they choose to.

  9. Richard says:

    Back in 2015 nearly 74% of NRA members support performing background checks and if that poll was taken today I am positive that number would be higher.

    http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2015/mar/18/lena-taylor/most-nra-members-back-background-checks-all-gun-pu/

    Why on earth would Florida even consider fast tracking C&C weapons permits to some people without waiting for a FULL background check. These people need to find a different job, maybe at McDonalds where they can’t screw up the food even if they tried.

  10. Edith Campins says:

    How many more have to day before Republicans stop doing the bidding the NRA?

  11. Steve Robinson says:

    Pretty sick and tired of second-day stories on mass shootings praising the “acts of heroism” performed by students, teachers, coaches, etc. Our children and their educators should not have to perform acts of heroism in order to get through a day of school alive. If the focus is now on the courage of the innocent, let’s start also calling out the cowardice of our elected officials.

  12. Old School says:

    You are NOT going to “get rid” of guns in the United States of America (a nation founded upon the actions of armed revolutionists). Secure the schools. Put money into security systems (both active and passive), make students “wear” their IDs again (that’s right, the requirement went away) and ***BAN*** possession of cell phones by students on campus. Stop the nonsensical spending on laptops and go back to TEACHING. Do NOT tell me they NEED laptops. They do NOT. Do not force (Florida law) a child to attend a school and then disclaim responsibility for their mortal safety. Make, by law, school boards subject to personal liability claims filed against them for injury to or loss of life on their property. Ban, by law, all “gun free zones” (killing fields) unless the proprietor/owner/landlord installs a security screening process like we have at airports to insure that it REALLY is a gun free zone. We spend millions to prevent the tragic loss of 200 souls on a single airplane but we leave the doors WIDE OPEN to a school with 3000 students. It’s not the guns – it the money – just as it always is. How much is a life worth?

  13. gmath55 says:

    Build the wall around schools.

  14. kevin says:

    “Put on hold” for some time to pass in between the carnage which is the direct result of the NRA stonewalling common sense gun laws supported by the majority of their membership but not by the NRA leadership of Wayne LaPierre who is best viewed as the the grim reaper.

  15. snapperhead says:

    Hey… this is America…those with the gold will win….when political contributions coming from those for tighter gun controls exceeds what the NRA and their ilk contribute then you may see some movement….until then it’s business as usual. You can write, call, email etc your representatives tl the cows come home. Want their attention? Cut them a check…MAGA

  16. Sherry says:

    The Latest “Factual” News- “Russian Bots” Are Playing Up Pro Gun Propaganda, after our tragedy. The Russians have us killing one another. . . while they are happily watching our nation suffer and become weaker.

    Feeling manipulated yet? Or, are ya still just FOX Vombied? It’s about money for sure, but it is also about “Russian Propaganda”!

    The bottom line is that with our moral compass flushed down the toilet, we are doomed to be prey to those who lie, cheat and steal our power. . . as we just continue be led, by the ring in our noses, into fearing and hating everyone, including ourselves.

    Time to find your brains, your soul, your morals and your courage! Rise up and remember who you really are! Stand up for what’s “factual” and what’s “right” for you AND your fellow humans! Vote Out those who do not represent the “BEST” of who we are!

  17. Steve Robinson says:

    To “Old School”:Talk about blaming the victim! We do nothing to keep guns out of lunatics’ hands, and your solution is to sue the schools!?! The purpose of schools is to educate our young people; the purpose of government is to safeguard the health and welfare of its citizens. My solution? Acknowledge, as most sane Americans do, that there is no plausible reason for a civilian to own a semiautomatic weapon, handgun or long gun. Make it a Federal crime to own, borrow, sell, transfer or advertise for sale a semiautomatic weapon. Authorize a 30-day grace period during which anyone possessing these weapons can turn them in and receive fair value for them. After the 30-day period, you get caught with a semiautomatic weapon, and you’re not either a cop or on active-duty in the military, and you get 30 years in a Federal prison. Of course, the NRA, which is a lobby for gun manufacturers, not gun owners, will lament all those jobs lost in firearms factories. I have a solution to that too: They can be put to work building new prisons for firearm felons. Email your elected representative!

  18. Kevin says:

    The idea of fortifying the schools into fortresses and providing every teacher and administrator will simply move the carnage to outside the school or to the school bus or to the playground or the fast food joint, etc, etc… The ONLY solution is limiting the capacity of the killer combined with strict background checks. If we are going to keep the second amendment it must be viewed just as any other of our rights, you can lose it if you don’t adhere to the moral codes of society. So if you are a looney-tune threatening violence you lose your right to bear arms, period. We have free speech but not to yell fire in a theater, we have gun rights, limited as well. No weaponry for domestic abusers, convicted criminals, felons, clinically or legally diagnosed mentally ill (although Trump and the Republicans rolled that protection back one year to the day of this tragedy…President Obama had issued an Executive Order that 75,000 Americans claiming Social Security Disability Benefits for Mental Illness would be on a federal watch list preventing gun purchases but this Liar-in-Chief, this Russian anointed fraud of a President and his lapdog Republican treasonous supporters ended that common sense ruling).

  19. Old School says:

    To “Steve Robinson”,

    We do nothing to keep alcohol and car keys out of lunatics hands. An estimated 88,000 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading ****preventable**** cause of death in the United States. … In 2016, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 10,497 fatalities deaths https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/usdot-releases-2016-fatal-traffic-crash-data. I seem to recall reading that in excess of 4,000 of those killed were children. Check me on that please.

    We do nothing to keep opioids out of lunatics hands. Drug overdoses killed roughly 64,000 people in the United States last year, according to the first governmental account of nationwide drug deaths to cover all of 2016. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/09/02/upshot/fentanyl-drug-overdose-deaths.html

    We do nothing to keep knives, clubs, hammers, etc. out of the hands of lunatics. Between 2009 and 2013 over 11,000 people were killed by lunatics using knife violence, club violence and hammer violence. https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded-homicide/expanded_homicide_data_table_8_murder_victims_by_weapon_2009-2013.xls

    Schools are “the government” so you and I are in full agreement that the purpose of government is to safeguard the health and welfare of its citizens.

    As for your gun control plan, I would ask, what part of the phrase “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” do you not understand? Perhaps you’re not well acquainted with the process required to achieve your goal of amending the Constitution of the United States of America. The Constitution provides that an amendment may be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures. . . . . A proposed amendment becomes part of the Constitution as soon as it is ratified by three-fourths of the States (38 of 50 States). https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/constitution.

    So again I assert that you are NOT going to “get rid” of guns in the United States of America (a nation founded upon the actions of armed revolutionists).

    Secure the schools.

    I CHALLENGE YOU, to personally work to end firearm related deaths (38,000 gun-related deaths in the U.S. in 2016 according to the new CDC report on preliminary mortality data shows. . . which shows. . . most gun-related deaths — about two-thirds —in America are suicides), alcohol related deaths, drug related deaths and death by knives or blunt objects.

  20. MannyHMo says:

    Peter Wang, a Junior ROTC cadet is one of the casualties. He died helping others escape this mass murderer. Think about this very seriously and imagine yourself being there as a potential casualty. Would you prefer that Peter Wang be armed or not armed ? It’s a no brainer ! The number of casualties would have been much less.

  21. MannyHMo says:

    LOL I fully concur.

  22. smarterthanmost says:

    @ tulip: “There is absolutely NO reason to allow people to buy automatic weapons”. Automatic weapons are not readily available for purchase, you need a federal permit to buy an automatic weapon.

    @sherry: “…but it is also about “Russian Propaganda”!. “The Latest “Factual” News- “Russian Bots” Are Playing Up Pro Gun Propaganda, after our tragedy. The Russians have us killing one another. . .”
    Then the answer is simple, outlaw Russians. It’s what liberals seem to think is the only answer to everything, more laws you can’t enforce.

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