Florida authorities approved concealed-carry pistol permits for more than a year without conducting complete background checks.
An inspector general’s report says the state Division of Licensing failed to consult the National Instant Background Check System between between Feb. 26, 2016, and late March 2017, when an official noticed the agency hadn’t heard recently from anyone whose application for a carry permit was denied.
The NICS flags people who shouldn’t have access to firearms for reasons including criminal convictions, drug use, mental illness and domestic violence.
The investigation found that the Division of Licensing’s operations consultant manager “had a login issue with the NICS checks and never followed up to resolve the issue.”
A spokesman for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which oversees the Division of Licensing, said that that NICS was only consulted for “non-criminal disqualifying offenses” and that the department conducted criminal background checks using two other databases maintained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI.
“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,” spokesman Aaron Keller told the Tampa Bay Times.