Thursday, January 16, 2014

Adam Putnam's Horrible Conceal Carry permit Legacy

Ana Marie Cox points out the stupidity of the way the Florida Department of Agriculture hands out concealed carry permits. There is no federal background check on the people applying for permits.

Curtis Reeves was a retired police officer, the very definition of a good guy. He may also prove to be unbalanced in a legally-applicable way, but that wouldn't have prevented him from getting a concealed carry permit in Florida. Since Florida grants concealed carry permits via its Department of Agriculture, rather than, say a criminal justice agency, the state cannot use the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to screen applicants. To put that another way, Florida simply doesn't have the federal background check required in every other state that grants concealed carry permits.

Indeed, even if Florida had a more stringent conceal carry screening process – or if it didn't have a concealed carry law at all – Reeves could have had his weapon on him. Retired law enforcement personnel are allowed by federal law to carry a concealed weapon in any jurisdiction except where it's explicitly banned by law or the property owner. This is a loophole that may seem natural (again: good guys!), but it's actually a reflection of just how deeply we've bought into the myth that guns aren't the problem and we only need worry about who has them. That's not true: we need to worry about guns, no matter who has them.

Adam Putnam publicly bragged about the Department of Agriculture handing out 1 million coneal carry permits. Putnam campaigned as a pro-gun Republican. Putnam isn't about to have gun lovers submit to more thorough background checks. Putnam wants to keep getting NRA endorsements.

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