TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Cap News) – A controversy is brewing in Tallahassee over concealed weapons permits in the State of Florida.
The Department of Agriculture stopped accepting new applications for concealed carry permits on March 23.
The coronavirus pandemic closed tax collectors and state offices to the public, and law enforcement has stopped fingerprint services because it requires close contact. The issue is they’re the only authorized sources for submitting fingerprints.
Now Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning her fellow Florida Cabinet member, Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, that she might be facing a lawsuit.
“It concerned our office that these applications for concealed weapons licenses would be delayed,” Attorney General Ashley Moody said in a letter to the Agriculture Commissioner.
A similar suit was filed in Georgia.
“If Nikki Fried can read, she needs to read the law,” NRA spokesperson Marion Hammer said.
The NRA sent out an alert to its members, citing a specific Florida statute which does not give Fried the authority to suspend accepting applications or renewals.
“They need to call the governor, email the governor and ask the governor to make Nikki Fried quit violating their rights,” said Hammer.
In her own letter to the Attorney General, Fried is pushing back and arguing her offices have processed thousands of applications since March.
Commissioner Fried told Attorney General Moody that if she was concerned about applications, she should focus her attention on the unemployment situation.
We asked the Attorney General if Fried should be forced to reopen her nine regional offices.
“It’s their responsibility. And it’s within their purview and they need to complete that function and that responsibility, especially during this time of emergency,” said Moody.
It is unclear whether Fried, through her own executive order, has the authority to extend existing licenses for 90 days, which she did.