In Florida, things can get real weird. There’s a reason “only in Florida” is a standard line.
However, not even Florida deserves the bad rap this insanely lazy government employee foisted on it.
In February 2016, a Florida employee failed to use the FBI crime database NICS — and just kept doing so for over a year, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The reason? He or she couldn’t log into the system, and just didn’t tell anybody.
That means hundreds of thousands of applicants weren’t properly screened.
According to the Tampa Bay Times:
A previously unreported Office of Inspector General investigation found that in February 2016 the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services stopped using a FBI crime database called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System that ensures applicants who want to carry a gun do not have a disqualifying history in other states.
The employee in charge of the background checks could not log into the system, the investigator learned. The problem went unresolved until discovered by another worker in March 2017 — meaning that for more than a year applications got approved without the required background check.
During that time, which coincided with the June 12, 2016 shooting at Pulse nightclub that left 50 dead, the state saw an unprecedented spike in applications for concealed weapons permits. There were 134,000 requests for permits in the fiscal year ending in June 2015. The next 12 months broke a record, 245,000 applications, which was topped again in 2017 when the department received 275,000 applications.
Obviously, the scramble to save the state’s collective rear end was frantic. The Tampa Bay Times reports the employee was immediately fired, which almost goes without saying.
“The integrity of our department’s licensing program is our highest priority,” Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services spokesman Aaron Keller said according to the Tampa Bay Times.
“As soon as we learned that one employee failed to review applicants’ non-criminal disqualifying information, we immediately terminated the employee, thoroughly reviewed every application potentially impacted, and implemented safeguards to prevent this from happening again.”
Afterwards, the department had to go through and examine the mess. They had to revoke 291 concealed weapons permits, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
According to Fox News, 1.9 million people are permitted to carry concealed weapons in the state — that’s almost 10 percent of the population, and a whole lot of people let down.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why you communicate with your bosses, coworkers, and employers.
It’s also why you look at people like they’re crazy when they say we should trust the government and “common sense” gun control.
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