TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried moved to suspend the concealed carry licenses of 22 Floridians charged in connection to the Jan. 6 Capitol Insurrection. Fried is the only Democratic statewide elected official.
July 27 was the first day of hearings for the U.S. House of Representative’s Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. Fried’s office issued the following statement from the Commissioner on the suspensions.
“The deeply disturbing events that occurred at our nation’s Capitol on January 6th were sedition, treason, and domestic terrorism – and those individuals involved in the insurrection must be held accountable for attempting to subvert our democratic process,” said Fried. “Since charges began being filed, we are using our lawful authority to immediately suspend the licenses of 22 individuals involved in the storming of the U.S. Capitol.”
The statement from Fried’s office said more suspensions and revocations may be on the table as charges and sentences continue following the Jan. 6 riots and further investigation by federal authorities.
On Twitter, Fried went further, saying that the 22 people whose licenses were suspended were involved in an incident “instigated by Donald Trump,” laying the blame directly on the former president.
Fried is currently one of several declared Democratic gubernatorial candidates for Florida governor, along with U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist of St. Petersburg. Current Gov. Ron DeSantis has not yet filed paperwork for a reelection campaign, and remains unlisted as a candidate.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is the state agency responsible for concealed weapons permitting through its Division of Licensing, and maintains a list of the number of concealed weapon or firearm license holders across the state.
The Licensing Division of FDACS is able to immediately suspend a concealed carry license when the licensee is charged with a felony or another disqualifying offense. If a judgment is rendered, the law says the permitholders’ licenses can be revoked.
By law, Florida agencies cannot keep a list of legally-owned firearms or produce or keep a registry of firearm owners. A permit is not required to own a gun in Florida. State statutes block FDACS from confirming if an individual has ever applied for a license for concealed carry.
Currently, 2,321,146 Floridians are licensed to carry a concealed weapon or firearm.
The FDACS did not specify which individuals charged in connection with the U.S. Capitol Insurrection had their licenses for concealed carry suspended, their identities are protected by law. Florida has the highest number of Jan. 6 riot arrests, with more than 60 from the state, including some from Tampa Bay.
According to the GW Program on extremism, the number of Florida residents arrested for participation in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol is 63.
After a busy legislative session, DeSantis signed HB 259, a law that lets concealed carry permit holders to have their guns with them at churches, synagogues, mosques, and other religious institutions, as well as property owned, leased, or rented by them.
Still, the national conversation on gun control continues to be complicated and stalled, even after President Joe Biden called for tighter control measures, and said the continuing gun violence across the U.S. is a public health crisis.