Fallout of concealed carry background checks continues

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - More than a year after an internal investigation found a mid-level employee of the Department of Agriculture failed to do her job processing rejected concealed carry applications, the story was leaked to the media.

But it was the agency that found the problem.

Initial reports suggested 349,000 concealed carry applicants didn’t get proper background checks. Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam says it isn’t true.

“Background checks did not cease for a year in the Department of Agriculture," he said.

What is true is that one employee did not follow up on 365 applications that a database kicked back for review.

“None of those 365 could have purchased a firearm,” said Putnam.

The NRA has been concerned the reports cast doubt on the 1.8 million Floridians who do have concealed carry permits.

“The agency should be applauded, rather than kicked in the teeth,” said Marion Hammer, a former NRA president.

A new poll by the Florida Chamber shows Putnam leading in the GOP Primary for Governor by 17 points, and this week he reported $30 million in the bank.

Governor Rick Scott has called the lapse "disturbing."

Governor Scott has supported President Trump, who has tacitly endorsed Putman’s primary opponent, Ron DeSantis.

Democrats have called for everything from a resignation to an investigation.

We asked Hammer if she's comfortable that the program is working as it should.

“I am absolutely comfortable that the program is working as it should," she said.

Florida is one of just a handful of states that does not have a law enforcement agency issuing concealed carry permits. The permits are checked against law enforcement databases.