Florida Failed To Run FBI Background Checks On Gun Owners Due To Forgotten Password

For over a year, the state of Florida did not run FBI background checks on tens of thousands of residents applying for concealed weapons permits starting in February 2016 - because an employee forgot the password to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), reports the Tampa Bay Times

The screwup by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services was discovered by the Office of Inspector General, and meant that anyone from felons to people with mental illness may have been granted the right to carry a firearm in public. 

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. -Tampa Bay Times

The report found that there were 134,000 requests for permits in the fiscal year ending in June 2015, and 245,000 applicants over the next 12 months. 2017 applications topped both, at 275,000 applications. 

After the screwup was discovered, officials scrambled to run background checks - flagging 365 applications which required further review, and 291 revocations. The employee who forgot the password, Lisa Wiolde, has been fired for negligence. 

"Upon discovery of this former employee's negligence in not conducting the further review required on 365 applications, we immediately completed full background checks on those 365 applications, which resulted in 291 revocations," Putnam said in the statement. "The former employee was both deceitful and negligent, and we immediately launched an investigation and implemented safeguards to ensure this never happens again." -Tampa Bay Times

Employees interviewed for the IG report said that the NICS background checks are "extremely important," and confirmed that concealed weapons licenses "may have been issued to potentially inelligible individuals." The employee said that if the checks weren't done, it could cause "an embarassment to the agency."

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has made it a priority to speed up the issuing of concealed weapons permits since he was elected in 2010. In 2012, he held a news conference to celebrate the state's one millionth concealed weapons permit, noting the time it took to process an application fell from 12 weeks to 35 days on his watch. There are now 1.8 million concealed weapon permit holders in Florida. -Tampa Bay Times

Putnam, now a Florida gubernatorial candidate on the GOP ticket, touts the expansion of concealed carry permits as one of his hallmark accomplishments. Now, especially in the wake of the Parkland High School shooting which left 17 dead, Putnam's reputation is sure to take a hit. 

"The integrity of our department's licensing program is our highest priority," said Aaron Keller, a department spokesman, when contacted Friday by the 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."

 

Comments

ravolla johnQpublic Tue, 06/12/2018 - 23:27 Permalink

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In reply to by johnQpublic

Tarzan beemasters Tue, 06/12/2018 - 19:22 Permalink

Stop issuing permits?  Bull Shit! 

If they want to issue a permit when we buy a gun, they better get their damn act together, or get the hell out of the way! 

It's far more important that citizens have the right, AND THE MEANS, to protect themselves from the State, then it is for us to help the State create a list, of who's guns they intend to confiscated first!

In reply to by beemasters

Cloud9.5 booboo Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:22 Permalink

Florida Gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham said if elected she would issue an assault weapons ban by executive order here in Florida.  If Caribbean South Florida elects this idiot I’m going to strip my lowers and turn them in crushed.  I’ll not turn a functioning rifle over to the Jüdischer Ordnungsdienst.

In reply to by booboo

Yog Soggoth homiegot Tue, 06/12/2018 - 19:50 Permalink

Local government.  Wiolde does not sound familiar as a last name for a Florida Cracker or a Florida Blackneck in that respect. Who is this rogue transgressor of laws? Alachua, Hampton(In November 2013, the city's mayor was arrested for selling Oxycodone.) ,Bradford, and Putnam had it's own scandals, so why would a man with that last name be trying to run a big city? Waldo? 

Officer Brandon Roberts

Officer Brandon Roberts told council members that officers were required to write 12 tickets per 12-hour shift, and if they did not, they would face disciplinary action. Roberts also provided e-mails as evidence.

Roberts also said that Chief Szabo kept a cooler in his office filled with drugs that had been seized instead of keeping them properly locked away in evidence. “Anyone could have access to the cooler, even the cleaning crew,” Roberts said.

In reply to by homiegot

Able Ape Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:11 Permalink

Yeah, Lisa, the government employee who wore pink fuzzy slippers to work every day... It wouldn't have made any difference since the guy at the National Instant Criminal Background Check System surfs porn sites all day and JUST approves the requests...

Roger Ramjet Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:11 Permalink

The employee should be held fully accountable for any crime that was committed as a result of a failed background check.  At the minimum, the employee should be fired!

Consuelo Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:13 Permalink

"For over a year, the state of Florida did not run FBI background checks on tens of thousands of residents applying for concealed weapons permits starting in February 2016"

 

I don't see a problem here.   

 

 

surf@jm Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:13 Permalink

And anybody shot by someone who wasn,t properly vetted by miss password forgetter, and happened to survive just won the lottery.....

Bring in the clowns......

I mean lawyers.....

Florida will have to implement an income tax to cover this one......Lol!....

shovelhead Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:13 Permalink

Concealed carry permit won't do you much good if you can't pass a pistol permit check. Unless the FBI doesn't bother either, which, apparently, is not unheard of .

Dangerous felons are not big on open carry anyway.

"LaShawn buddy, your in big trouble now. After shooting DeWight in the head, your concealed carry permit is hereby revoked."

Upland27 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:16 Permalink

doesn't seem like a big deal to me. A: restrictions on carrying are unconstitutional. B: People that actually apply for CCW are some of the most law abiding citizens around anyway. 

GotGalt Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:17 Permalink

LOL @ Lisa Wiolde.  Forgotten password led to all that?  What insanity is that?  And hey, I thought ignorance/stupidity was rewarded in government, not punished.  She should be heading up the entire group with an effort like that!