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Everytown, Moms Demand Action Respond to News That Adam Putnam’s Florida Department of Agriculture Failed to Conduct Federal Background Checks for Concealed Weapons Permit Applications for a Year

Lapse in Background Checks Covered a Period That Included the Biggest Spike in Permit Applications in Florida History

NEW YORK – Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statements in response to news that the state of Florida, under Adam Putnam’s Department of Agriculture, failed to conduct federal background checks on tens of thousands of applications for concealed weapons permits, because the office claimed it could not log in to the FBI’s background check system.

During that period, which coincided with the June 12, 2016 shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub that left 49 dead and 53 injured, Florida saw a spike in applications for concealed weapons permits. Florida also issues concealed weapon permits to non-residents, meaning that people from any state in the US may have applied for and received a permit to carry hidden loaded guns in public without a federal background check. For applicants from states that offer reciprocity to Florida permits, this means they would legally be allowed to carry hidden loaded guns in their state, even though Florida never conducted the required background check before issuing the permit.

Putnam, who is now running for Florida governor as a Republican, previously touted his expansion of concealed carry permits as one of his greatest achievements as Agriculture Commissioner and says he is running on a public safety platform.

STATEMENT FROM JOHN FEINBLATT, PRESIDENT OF EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY:

“This is a stunning and inexcusable lapse in public safety – Florida stopped conducting federal background checks for concealed carry permit applications, all because Adam Putnam’s office couldn’t be bothered to get help logging in. Putnam should resign, and he certainly doesn’t deserve to be governor. Floridians deserve a leader who takes protecting the public seriously, not one who courts the NRA and falls down on the job.”

STATEMENT FROM SHANNON WATTS, FOUNDER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:

“Adam Putnam is running on a ‘law and order platform,’ and yet his agriculture department issued concealed carry permits to tens of thousands of Americans without even conducting a background check. This is an egregious error that should end his political career.”