Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, a Republican running for governor who has touted his efforts to make it easier for people to obtain concealed-weapons permits, said the state did conduct its own criminal background checks on those applying for permits during that time period. The state saw a spike of applications at the time.
Wilde, who was found to be "negligent" by the investigators, admitted her fault, telling The Times that she was pressured into processing applications as fast as possible and "dropped the ball" on her other duties.
"Career politicians like Mr. Putnam think this is just another bad day at the office - but when you hide a level of negligence that endangers every resident, and every child, in Florida, you forfeit any moral right to lead", said former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, one of the Democratic candidates running for governor. But the Florida Democratic party is accusing Putnam of "gross mismanagement" that likely "put the lives of thousands of Floridians at risk", quotes the Orlando Weekly.
He said multiple entities, including the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, provide background check information to his office, which then reviews the information and decides whether to approve or deny a particular applicant.
Upon discovery of this former employee's negligence in March of 2017, the department immediately launched an audit of the 365 applications she failed to review.
But, the Department claimed that it had properly handled their employee's malfeasance upon learning of his failure.
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The investigation found that the Division of Licensing's operations consultant manager, Lisa Wilde, "had a login issue with the NICS checks and never followed up to resolve the issue".
According to the investigation, in February 2016, the employee couldn't log in to the database. "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".
Many pointed out that Putnam tweeted he was a "proud NRA sellout" a month after the investigation was concluded and submitted to his office.
When the department completed the full background checks with information from the NICS system on the 365 applications she failed to review, 291 licenses were ultimately revoked.
Statistics compiled by the department show that from the summer of 2015 to the summer of 2017, the number of new applications for concealed-weapon permits jumped dramatically, to its highest level in 25 years.
The number of concealed carry permit applications surged in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting, which left 49 people dead and 53 injured after gunman Omar Mateen opened fire on revelers on June 12, 2016.