Putnam addresses lack of conceal carry background checks

In a news conference Saturday afternoon Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam addressed reports his office failed to conduct national background checks on thousands of applications for concealed weapons permits.

"Floridians safety is my highest priority," Putnam said.

The Office of Inspector General revealed the state failed to do background checks on concealed weapons permits for a little more than a year.  An employee stopped doing the checks because she could not log into the database. She’s since been fired.

"When the department completed those full background checks with the information from the NICS database system 291 licenses were ultimately revoked," Putnam said. 

WPTV visited Palm Beach Shooting Organization in Boynton Beach to learn a little more about the process. 

"We're certified firearms instructors and we can give a class where you can get documentation that says you're capable of concealing a firearm," James Thomas said. "We can't issue it here you still have to go through the department of agriculture for that."

The process usually takes between five to six weeks for approval. Thomas, the owner says even then he still uses caution before selling a customer one of his guns.

"We have to have special licenses to sell these firearms," he said. "We have to have an FFL license which is a federal firearms license basically once our name is attached to that we're responsible for every single gun in this store and how it gets out of here."

Putnam who is running for Governor added his office put in place additional safeguards to make sure that this does not happen again, but would not elaborate on those "safeguards."