The state of Florida reportedly halted background checks on concealed carry permit applicants for over a year because they had trouble logging in.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that checks via the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) began to be omitted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in February 2016, and it was March 2017 before anyone in the department noticed. That time frame witnessed a surge in concealed carry applications, which included 245,000 applications in the fiscal year ending in 2016 alone.
The fiscal year ending in 2017 saw 275,000 applications.
The Times reports that the problem was traced back to a single employee who was tasked with logging in to the NICS background check system. She reported her login problems to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on April 7, 2016, and never logged in again because the problems persisted. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Commerce Services had already gone 40 days without running a NICS check by the time that employee contacted the Department of Law Enforcement.
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services spokesman Adam Keller spoke to the Tampa Bay Times Friday, saying, “The integrity of our department’s licensing program is our highest priority. 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.”