Florida Could Issue Gun Permits with Incomplete Background Checks
Tallahassee, FL – Some Florida lawmakers want to rewrite the state’s concealed weapons law. They want people to get gun licenses even when their criminal background checks are incomplete. Supporters of gun restrictions are calling the potential change “dangerous and absurd.”
Florida lawmakers are considering a proposal that would let people buy guns without having a completed background check. Buried near the end of 114-page bill by Senator Kelly Stargel, a Lakeland Republican, is a provision that would give the Department of Agriculture 90 days after receiving a concealed-weapons application to issue a permit, even if the department has not acquired proof of restoration of the person’s civil and firearm rights.
The provision in Senate Bill 740 was requested by Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner and Republican candidate for governor, Adam Putnam. It’s also receiving praise by pro-gun groups as it appears to be advancing to final passage.
After a license is issued, the bill says it would be immediately suspended if disqualifying information is found later.
Putnam’s office said the provision would apply only to those applications that would otherwise be suspended because full documentation is not available. A House version of the bill is awaiting a floor vote, where it is also expected to pass.