The Office of Inspector General investigation for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said in a June 2017 report that in February 2016, the employee in charge of running concealed carry permit applicants through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System stopped doing so.
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 Federal Bureau of Investigation. Perhaps no better example of this fact is a recent report that shows the state of Florida stopped running non-criminal concealed carry background checks on hundreds of individuals because the employee in charge of this necessary precaution could not log in to the National Instant Criminal background Check System. "How many? One. So, you know, if [Putnam] wants to equivocate on numbers like that, that's not looking so good for him I think", said Holly Hill, a Winter Haven resident.
"There are now 1.8 million active hide weapon license holders in Florida, No. 1 in the nation, up from 800,000 before I came in (to the Agriculture Department)", he boasted.
Many on Twitter went after Putnam, mainly Democratic politicians and anti-gun activists.
Putnam recently proposed legislation that would require concealed carry permits to be approved in the case of inconclusive background checks that would otherwise put an application in limbo, but he dropped it after the Parkland shooting.
Department employees interviewed for the report called the NICS checks "extremely important".
But, the Department claimed that it had properly handled their employee's malfeasance upon learning of his failure. She reported her login problems to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on April 7, 2016, and never logged in again because the problems persisted.
He laid the blame exclusively on the employee who forgot the password had signaled the problem to another official but then failed to pursue the matter.
The report concluded Wilde as negligent in failing to send over these background checks.
"The former employee was both deceitful and negligent, and we immediately launched an investigation and implemented safeguards to ensure this never happens again", Putnam said in a statement.
Adam Putnam touts his efforts to expand concealed carry gun permits in Florida in a Facebook ad. [Facebook] But new details about his agency's lax oversight come after his campaign has weathered criticism of Putnam's full embrace of gun rights.
The followup investigation led the department to revoke 291 permits, Putnam said. "I initiated the inspector general and the review of processes and procedures upon learning of this breakdown".
The employee was terminated once her negligence was brought to light.
Meanwhile, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, another Democrat in the governor's race, labeled the report a sign of "dangerous incompetence" by Putnam.
"I didn't understand why I was put in charge of it".
The state used the national system to see if there were reasons such as mental illness or drug addictions that should prevent someone from being issued a concealed-weapons permit.