Florida approved pistol permits without full background checks

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At a news conference Saturday, Putnam said when his office learned of the problem, it reviewed 365 concealed weapons applications flagged through the NICS search.

'The former employee was both deceitful and negligent, and we immediately launched an investigation and implemented safeguards to ensure this never happens again, ' Putnam said in a statement on Friday. "I initiated the inspector general and the review of processes and procedures upon learning of this breakdown".

The news, which has sent shockwaves across Twitter, is now being leveraged by Democrats and anti-gun advocates against Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who is running for Governor.

Some pointed out that the negligence of one employee in Florida might have endangered lives in other states, as a concealed carry permit issued in Florida is also valid in 36 other states.

The non-criminal issues include being an undocumented immigrant, involuntarily committed or dishonorably discharged from the military, the Tampa Bay Times said.

According to Hammer, the Division of Licensing under DOACS did perform background checks on applicants for licenses to carry concealed weapons or firearms.

The employee first discovered she couldn't log on in February 2016, and it wasn't spotted until March 2017.

"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.

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Putnam said there were about 350,000 applicants during that time, all of which were initially approved for concealed carry permits. And Philip Levine, a former Miami Beach mayor, called for an investigation and said Putnam has forfeited "any moral right to lead".

A Putnam spokesman said Friday that the employee responsible for the problem had been fired.

The employee did not immediately respond to CNN's multiple requests for comment. They were a willful neglect of her very important duty to run background checks to ensure public safety. The employee wrote that she could not pull up the files she wanted. But the investigation said she didn't follow up after she continued to experience problems and never accessed the system again.

The employee told the Tampa Bay Times that her department was overwhelmed and she was under pressure to quickly approve applications.

"I didn't understand why I was put in charge of it", Wilde told the newspaper.

The June 5, 2017 report, obtained by the Tampa Bay Times in a records request, concluded that the employee in charge of background checks, Lisa Wilde, was negligent. While 54,045 new applications were filed in June and July a year before the massacre, that number rose by almost 24,000 for the same two months in 2016.

Applicants can appeal their denials.

"Career politicians like Mr. Putnam think this is just another bad day at the office - but when you hide a level of negligence that endangers every resident, and every child, in Florida, you forfeit any moral right to lead", said former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, one of the Democratic candidates running for governor.