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Adam Putnam: No more lapses in background checks

10 June 2018

Wilde did report the log-in failure, investigators say, but failed to follow up.

While there are no statistics as to exactly how many applications went unchecked during that time, it may be well over 260,000, as within the fiscal year from July 2016 to June 2017, a total of 268,000 applications were approved, while 6,470 were denied. And Philip Levine, a former Miami Beach mayor, called for an investigation and said Putnam has forfeited "any moral right to lead".

"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.

The lapse, revealed in an internal report that was not widely known about until Friday, occurred during a time period when there was a significant surge in the number of people seeking permission to legally carry a concealed weapon. There are now 1.8 million concealed weapon permit holders in Florida. But the Florida Democratic party is accusing Putnam of "gross mismanagement" that likely "put the lives of thousands of Floridians at risk", quotes the Orlando Weekly.

We responded to the email from Putnam's office, asking why the commissioner didn't immediately publicly address the investigation after it was finished a year ago.

Last month, victims of the Parkland tragedy and activists conducted die-ins at Publix grocery stores and called for a boycott of the company after it was reported that the supermarket chain donated more money to Putnam than any candidate in history.

"The integrity of our department's licensing program is our highest priority", said Aaron Keller, a department spokesman, when contacted Friday.

"To be clear, a criminal background investigation was completed on every single application". "The former employee was both deceitful and negligent, and we immediately launched an investigation and implemented safeguards to ensure this never happens again".

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"The employee in charge of the background checks could not log into the system", the Times' report noted based on the IG report. This FBI crime database lists people who may be disqualified from receiving firearms in other states. But, any law is useless if it is not enforced. It wasn't until March of the next year another employee noticed a problem. But the report indicated that the department may not have a backup system to ensure the task was completed. The report was issued in June of 2017.

In the year since, there were fewer applications, about 200,000, but 2,000 more denials than the previous year when the federal background check system wasn't accessed. Someone from his office responded by re-copying and pasting the statement from Friday night, with an attached copy of the investigation report. She has since been fired and a review of her applications was initiated, resulting in at least 291 revocations.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System was created in 1993 by the FBI and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The NCIS is used to screen for "non-criminal disqualifying offenses".

The state of Florida gave out concealed weapons licenses to almost 300 people who never should've gotten them. He believes if you carried a gun in Iraq, you should be able to own one at home. He celebrated the state's millionth concealed weapon permit in 2012 and bragged that the length of the process went down from 35 days to a mere 12 days during his tenure. This has caused issues before.

Putnam's office told the Times that the employee was "immediately terminated" after another employee discovered the situation and that every application potentially impacted was "thoroughly reviewed".

That's particularly damning since Putnam, in effect Florida's gun czar, campaigned on a determination to speed up concealed carry applications. "I should have been doing it and I didn't", she said. Furthermore, where were her superiors with this lack of oversight?

Adam Putnam: No more lapses in background checks