Skip to comments.Concealed Weapon Permits To Hit 1 Million Next Week In Florida
Posted on 12/13/2012 7:05:25 AM PST by Iron Munro
Sometime next week in Florida, somebody will become the state's 1 millionth holder of a concealed weapons permit, solidifying the state's No. 1 standing in the nation in that category.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam deemed that was worthy of a news conference Wednesday, flanked by U.S. and state flags.
"I've been asked about our licensing responsibilities as much as any other topic," Putnam said when asked why he touted the 1 million mark.
No doubt, it proves the popularity of a program begun in 1987 at the urging of the NRA, when Florida became the first state to adopt a permit process that at the time was very lenient.
No longer did applicants need to belong to certain professions to own a concealed handgun permit. They had to meet a few requirements, such as being at least 21, a U.S. citizen not to have committed a felony.
Under the leadership of its longtime Florida lobbyist, Marion Hammer, who got the first permit, the NRA has pushed to remove obstacles in getting them. In 1992, for instance, lawmakers removed a requirement that permit holders had to live in Florida.
The easing of barriers didn't come only through legislation. Policies in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which began oversight of the program in 2003, have made it easier and faster.
Putnam said it takes applicants about 35 days to get approved now. Before he took office in 2011, it took about 12 weeks.
Since the program was created 25 years ago, only 34,759 applications have been rejected, a rate of 0.015 percent. Voters casting their ballots by absentee or provisional ballots got rejected at a higher rate.
Putnam called the low rejection rate proof of a sound application process, which he said is so rigorous that it discourages those who wouldn't be eligible.
But earlier this year, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that for people whose fingerprints were illegible, the agency did not complete background checks (now it does).
And because the state agriculture office is not a law enforcement agency, it lacks access to the FBI crime database. That means the state approves applications despite not reviewing data on drug addicts, people with mental health issues, military personnel with dishonorable discharges and undocumented workers.
Putnam said "we have closed the gap" when asked if the department was now reviewing the FBI data.
Grea Bevis, the department's director of licensing, said after the news conference that the agency still does not have access to the FBI information.
"The gap is not completely shut yet," Bevis said.
He said the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is allowed to look at the data and will work with Putnam's agency to make sure that happens early next year.
FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey said his agency processed more background checks for firearms on the Black Friday shopping day after Thanksgiving than on any single day in the agency's history.
Putnam did not mention permit holders such as George Zimmerman, who was arrested in the Feb. 26 shooting of Trayvon Martin, or Michael Dunn, who was arrested for the Nov. 23 shooting of Jordan Davis, a Jacksonville teen. He stressed the state's low revocation rate of 0.3 percent and defended a 2006 law that keeps secret the names of permit holders.
"The Legislature made the decision to protect gun owners and we should respect that," Putnam said.
One person who cheered the upcoming milestone was the NRA's Hammer.
"It's great news," she said. "When the number of license holders increase, crime decreases. We have a record number of license holders now, and crime is the lowest it's been in 40 years."
Gun control groups said there's nothing to celebrate.
"Florida's concealed weapons permitting allowed George Zimmerman to carry a concealed weapon in public, and he had a history of violence," said Brian Malte, a spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "If more guns made us a safer society, then we'd be the safest society on earth. We're not. We're the most lethal."
Licenses per county: The top 10
1. Miami-Dade: 87,959
2. Broward: 77,155
3. Palm Beach: 62,460
4. Hillsborough: 49,582
5. Orange: 45,910
6. Duval: 45,288
7. Pinellas: 39,422
8. Lee: 32,990
9. Brevard: 31,695
10. Volusia: 27,442
"When the number of license holders increase, crime decreases. We have a record number of license holders now, and crime is the lowest it's been in 40 years."
It is also a pity that this bureaucrap isn't a bit more social-network-savvy. He should have put this on Facebook and Twitter, where the young "gangstas" apparently cannot wait to post their pictures and boasts after every outrage.
This is great news! All states should encourage citizens to own guns, and learn how to use them in accordance with the law.
They probably already know it if you go to a range to shoot.
Do you only use cash when purchasing your firearms and accessories?
Face it, if they wanted to, they can find out. Take solace knowing that you are in great company in FL.
Oh, and I couldn’t get through two sentences of this article, with its typical Tampa Bay Slimes anti-gun tilt.
I’m in the middle of teaching a series of NRA instructor courses to a group of law enforcement educators, and happened to flip on the TV just in time to see Commissioner Putnam’s press conference.
He was articulate and presented his case well, despite the efforts the handful of attending goofy-a$$ed, slouching, ill-informed “journalists” trying to trip him up.
He was missing a real opportunity, though. The only one clearly heard was the Commissioner; the questions from the floor were almost unintelligible. He could have had an aide with a microphone wandering through them, and asked them to identify themselves and their employer before they asked a question.
BTW - from the Brady Bunch: “If more guns made us a safer society ... blah blah blah ... We’re not. We’re the most lethal.” A quick check of the NRA magazine’s Armed Citizen column might tell them to whom the lethality is directed.
>> I hate the idea of [the Gummn’t] knowing ... I’m pro-gun, I have guns, and I probably have one on me at any given time.
Both the internet and Google were first financed by the CIA and NSA - and you are wondering if they know? They know. Lots.
All it takes is for "them" to spend a little time data mining and putting the pieces together. Lots of things are already in place, which is why when you look at products on the internet or purchase with your credit card at a store, you receive advertisements of like products in the mail and on your computer screen.
Not sure if you've ever used Quicken, but some do in order to budget money/track expenses. Lets say you go to Walmart and spend $300 and buy something from every aisle and then pay with your credit/debit card. If you have Quicken, you can log in as soon as you get home and it will show you to the penny what categories you spent money on: health/beauty, entertainment, food, clothes, etc. Imagine what the government and large corporations doing R&D for advertising has.............especially if you are linked into social media like FaceBook, MySpace, Tritter, etc.
Point being, if they want to know they will.
Their knowledge can’t stop a lead projectile traveling at over 1000 fps.
Man, all those dims in Blowhard County have permits!
I’m hoping and waiting for Virginia to get concealed carry w/o license. They’ve already got open-carry. It would be great if you could just carry with maybe a flannel shirt or jacket on.
I had the opportunity to see Adam Putnam in person introducing Mitt Romney at a rally here in Tampa a couple weeks before the election. He’s fantastic, articulate, smart, and young. I definitely think he’ll be going places in the RPOF, and maybe beyond.
We outnumber the anti 2A groups and the govt. By a lot. Have no fear, get your permit and be proud of it.Let the govt.know that you are another freedom loving citizen that wishes to take care of himself.Gun rights have taken big steps forward in recent years.Those who are afraid of the govt. knowing who they are will also be afraid to use their weapon if they need to.
There is much truth to the saying, When it is time to bury ‘em, it will also be time to dig them up.
You’re right. I’m getting it.
By posting this on freerepublic, you have already “outed” yourself far more than getting a CCW would.
Unless extreme measures are taken, you do not have any privacy anymore. Florida does not require any information about gun models or serial numbers. *Those* are what you should worry about giving out.
In your faces, gun-grabbers. One million. Choke on that.
In your faces, gun-grabbers. One million. Choke on that.