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Marion Hammer: Background Checks WERE Done on Applicants for Gun Licenses

June 11, 2018 - 6:00am
Marion Hammer
Marion Hammer

The media aren't getting it right and anti-gun Democrats don't want to get it right, Marion Hammer has said about claims that Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam's Division of Licensing left background checks on gun license applications undone.

"For some, it's all about attacking a candidate for political reasons," the National Rifle Association’s longtime lobbyist in Florida said in an "alert" sent Saturday to NRA members, "fellow sportsmen" and friends. "This issue is extremely important to all firearms owners and license holders. Truth and facts matter. ..."

Hammer continues to tell the story:

"The Division of Licensing under the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DOACS) did, in fact, do background checks on applicants for licenses to carry concealed weapons or firearms. 

"Background checks were done through FCIC (Florida Criminal Information Computer system) and NCIC (Nation Criminal Information Computer system -- the national FBI fingerprint data base) and they also did a NICS check (National Instant Check System), which is the name-based background check system.

"The NICS system is the same system used by retail firearms dealers to do background checks when a person buys a firearm," she said. 

Hammer said that during the time the employee failed to do her job, approximately 350,000 applicants for carry licenses were processed. Of those 350,000, 365 had a disqualifier based on the NICS background check.

The employee, she said, should have uploaded those 365 into the internal computer system to stop the processing of those applications. She did not. So those 365 applicants got their licenses anyhow.

"Although they got their licenses to CARRY firearms," Hammer explained, "they still would not have been allowed to purchase a firearm from a  firearms dealer because the same NICS background check would have been performed by a dealer and would have stopped them from purchasing a firearm."

Hammer, who has always been on record as supporting background checks, said, "A license to carry does not exempt a person from the background check required when you purchase a firearm. The license ONLY exempts a license holder from the 3-day waiting period."

When the Division discovered the problem, she said, the employee was let go. The Division then ran new background checks on all 365 applicants who initially had NICS name-based disqualifiers. Of those 365, 74 were cleared and 291 still had disqualifiers, so their licenses to carry firearms were immediately suspended.

"Those are the facts," Hammer stated. "The facts don't fit narrative being pushed by the anti-gun, political opponents of the commissioner of agriculture, Adam Putnam, who is a candidate for governor.

"Feel free to forward this Alert to family members, friends and fellow sportsmen and firearms owners," she urged.


This is a mouthpiece for the NRA. Hack job.

Yes , they were done, but the results were never accessed, nor reviewed prior to issuance of the licenses, so they might as well have never been done. They were not reviewed, nor considered, so the fact that they were done, but not used, is a complete non-issue to your argument...

Putnam did nothing... This only came to light after it was reported by the Feds and the IG investigated. An Office of Inspector General report from June 2017 --- obtained by the Times in a public records request --- said that between February 2016 and March 2017, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services didn’t access an FBI crime database called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System because an employee was unable to log into the system. 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.” The lack of background checks is an “example of gross neglect” and cited part of the Times story that said the now-fired employee had been promoted from the mailroom to be in charge of database checks. “Why only one mailroom employee would be left to handle a job that is critical to the safety of all citizens is jaw-dropping,” Yes, it is...

This is not consistent with what the Dept. of Agriculture has reported. They indicated that the employee could no longer gain access to NCIS during the time in question, so FCIS could be performed, but NCIS was not. Either way, 291 got licenses that should not have. There was no system of checks and balances at all. Literally, one employee, who previously worked in the mailroom was given this responsibility with absolutely no oversight. This was only discovered because the Feds recognized the number of denials had stopped. It was a flawed system that was set up and overseen by Putnam. That much is indisputable, and for that he should absolutely accept full responsibility. They/He set up a system that was doomed for failure from the start. Regardless of your positions on guns or the NRA, those are the facts...

Interesting expose on how Democrats use lies and 'fake news' to support their anti-gun agenda. It's not the 2nd Amendment, stupid. It's not the NRA, stupid. It's the mental health issue that no one cares to address. Until mental health 'professionals are held accountable to notifying authorities of those under their treatment who have emotional or coping issues, this will happen again and again. They are the ones who should be denied access to lethal weapons. Including those MSD students now being diagnosed with PTSD from the shootings. They should automatically be placed on a list not to be sold firearms until cured from this disorder to protect them, their families and the public at large. But not likely to happen so brace yourself for more carnage. Sad, very sad.

Do CWP holders in Florida still have a lower arrest rate than active and retired law enforcement combined? Asking for a friend

"You're doing a heck of a job Brownie!"

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