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Florida auditors are reviewing the operations of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam's agency, including the office responsible for issuing permits for concealed weapons.

State Sen. Denise Grimsley would immediately order a “full audit” of Florida’s concealed-weapons licensing process, as well as examine the management structure of the program, if she is elected agriculture commissioner.

A 2012 internal investigation found that 48 Florida state employees made mistakes in issuing permits for concealed weapons, security guards and other similar licenses — in some cases not even looking at applications, according to records released this week to The Associated Press.

Putnam Says Public Safety ‘Not At Risk’ In License Snafu

Jun 14, 2018

Although his department issued concealed-weapons licenses to 291 applicants who should have been disqualified, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Wednesday the breakdown has been corrected and there was no threat to the public.

Democrats and gun-control advocates took aim Friday at Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam after the Tampa Bay Times reported that a former employee of Putnam’s agency failed for more than a year to conduct national background checks on applications for concealed weapons licenses.

A proposal that would allow some concealed-weapons license applications to be approved when background checks have not been completed was put on hold Thursday because of the deadly high-school shooting in Broward County.

Florida lawmakers want to cut penalties for people who accidentally show their concealed weapons. The bill is ready for a floor vote in the House. But gun control advocates are worried the plan is a step towards open carry. 

Church Gun Bills Teed Up In House, Senate

Feb 2, 2018

Measures that would help clear the way for people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry guns at churches and other religious institutions are ready to go to the House and Senate floors.

While several gun bills appeared stalled in the Florida Senate, a couple recently passed the House. One gives places of worship attached to a school the authority to allow guns on the property.

Gun Bills Could Again Struggle In Senate

Mar 8, 2017

A proposal that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to store firearms with security officers at courthouses narrowly advanced Tuesday through the Senate Judiciary Committee — a panel where high-profile Second Amendment measures stalled last year.

Senate Ready To Consider Gun Bills

Mar 1, 2017

Floridians with concealed-weapons licenses would be able to carry firearms into areas now deemed "gun-free" under an array of measures that will be championed by Republican lawmakers during the first legislative session since mass killings at an Orlando nightclub and a Fort Lauderdale airport.

Baxley Challenges Gun-Free Zones in Proposal

Feb 15, 2017

Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, has filed a bill which would allow more guns in public places. The measure is part of a broader push by Republican legislators to expand gun rights.

Florida House Minority Leader Janet Cruz says Democrats are working on different ways to help the state’s law enforcement and corrections officers. The House Democratic Leader from Tampa says that includes a pair of bills by Rep. Robert Asencio (D-Miami).

Senator Plans To Break Up Major Gun Bill

Jan 25, 2017

The author of a controversial proposal that would broadly expand how and where people can carry guns said Tuesday he is breaking up the measure.

  

Two much-talked-about bills in the Senate are moving forward, but may be threatened in the House. 

A bill to allow concealed carry permit holders to bring guns into an airport terminal passed the Senate Criminal Justice Committee Tuesday morning. The concealed carry bill, sponsored by Sen. Wilton Simpson, R- New Port Richey, would only apply to the non-secure side of the airport. It would not allow those planning to get on a flight to carry a weapon.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

State lawmakers in Tallahassee indicated late last week that a pair of bills that would allow concealed guns on college campuses may not come up for a vote this year.

There are few issues that find more support among the Republican Party than guns, and Florida’s GOP dominated statehouse is no exception.  When lawmakers return to Tallahassee for the 2016 regular session, they’ll be coming back loaded for bear.

AP Photo

Concealed handgun permits held by residents of Florida and 24 other states will no longer be valid in the state of Virginia, prompting criticism from GOP lawmakers, including Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

Two bills that will allow concealed weapons throughout Florida’s public school system are headed for the House floor.  But Nick Evans reports their prospects for final passage are very different.  

AP

Florida is one of 20 states that specifically bans firearms on college campuses, but the Florida Legislature is moving toward allowing guns on campuses.

A group that advocates for concealed carry of firearms on campuses recently told lawmakers that alligator attacks are more common than "attacks" by those with a gun permit.

Despite broad opposition on Florida’s campuses, state lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to allow guns at universities.  Three months ago today, there was a shooting at Florida State University, and this week the controversial measure began its path through the Senate.

A controversial measure to allow concealed weapons on university campuses passed on a close party-line vote in a senate committee Monday. 

Concealed carry licenses in Florida are limited.  Places like bars, courtrooms—even career centers are set aside as gun-free zones.  But Sen. Greg Evers (R-Baker) is taking aim at a different area: public universities. 

Evers invited Rep. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) to introduce the bill, and during his presentation Evers holds up a sheet of paper for Steube to see.

Florida lawmakers are considering whether to allow people to carry guns on public college and university campuses.

The bill comes in the wake of a November shooting at Florida State University, which injured three people—one critically—and left the gunman dead. During a committee hearing on the proposal, Eric Friday general counsel for the pro-gun lobby group Florida Carry, backed thebill.

The two criminal justice panels of the Florida Legislature are slated to meet Tuesday to take up a number of issues from the state’s troubled prison agency to a gun bill allowing guns on campus.

Newly appointed Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julies Jones is expected to brief the Senate Criminal Justice Committee members about areas where the department is lacking and trying to improve.

Recent shootings around the country have left many reexamining police departments and policies. But they've also led to a renewed focus on personal protection with increased gun sales and a legislative proposal to allow guns on college campuses.

Florida State University President John Thrasher says his position has not changed since the recent filing of a bill allowing people to open carry on public college and university campuses. It’s the same bill Thrasher helped defeat in 2011 when he was a state senator.

In 2011, the testimony of Dr. Robert Cowie, a friend of Thrasher, also helped derail the bill. Just weeks before, Cowie’s daughter, FSU Student Ashley, had been accidentally shot by a rifle and killed at a frat house.

Last year, there were more than two-dozen shootings on or near college campuses in the United States. This past Tuesday, that number went up, with the fatal shooting of a student at Purdue University. Then Friday, a fatal shooting at South Carolina State University. It will, of course, tick up again.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

The debate over allowing concealed weapons on college campuses is heating up at USF's Tampa campus this week.  We visited the Bull Market, where opponents to the ban set up shop... but they weren't alone.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

There's an unusual sight on USF's Tampa and Sarasota-Manatee campuses this week: a number of students are wearing empty gun holsters over their clothes to protest Florida's ban on concealed weapons on campus.

It's part of a nationwide protest organized by the group Students for Concealed Carry, which is encouraging members to wear empty gun holsters on college campuses this week to start a conversation about schools' bans on concealed weapons.

Although USF doesn't have a chapter, a number of other student groups are joining together in the effort, led by the USF College Republicans.