Bearing Arms previously noted that the National Rifle Association is fighting to move Florida’s concealed carry program out from under the commissioner of agriculture’s office. After all, the incoming commissioner isn’t exactly a fan of guns, which might have meant she planned to make Floridians’ ability to conceal carry as difficult as possible.
On the surface, it may look like the NRA was being a bit paranoid over the move. I mean, Fried hasn’t even taken office. Surely there was no reason to worry, right?
Florida’s newly elected agriculture commissioner is vowing to conduct a “deep dive” into the state’s concealed weapons permit program once she is sworn into office.
Nikki Fried, who appeared on south Florida news programs on Sunday, said she has already begun talking about possible changes to the program with employees in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Her push to revamp the program comes amid a likely legislative battle over whether the program should be moved to a different state agency.
Earlier this year it was revealed that there were lapses in the program that is currently under the control of outgoing Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. Fried, who is now the only statewide elected Democrat, will take office Jan. 8.
Fried, who says she has had a concealed weapons permit for five years, contends that gun rights groups such as the National Rifle Association have too much influence over the operation of the program.
Now, we can’t know what form of changes she’ll make when she takes office. Much of what makes Florida’s concealed carry program comes from the legislature. Fried likely can’t do too much.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t cause for concern.
Fried, who claims to have a concealed weapons permit, can still play merry hell with the permitting process, making it more difficult, time-consuming, or any number of other things. The question is, will she?
Or, will she fix the problems that existed under former Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam?
To her credit, Fried wants the permitting process out from under her office. The problem is that she wants to go to state law enforcement, which will put it under the purview of bureaucrats who are, basically, untouchable. It needs to remain under an elected official who is accountable to the voters of Florida.
After all, Putnam dropped the ball, and they punished him by not voting for him when he went for higher office. That’s how this is supposed to work.
It’s under Fried’s office currently so it could remain under an elected official, as it should.
It just seems clear that it doesn’t need to be under Fried. Right now, I’m not in a very trusting mood when it comes to Democrats and guns, for one thing. For another, anyone who touts their concealed carry permit to somehow prove they’re not an enemy to the Second Amendment raises red flags. If you’re not an enemy, then your actions will prove it.
Then again, she’s also a Democrat, so she has to do something to alleviate concerns in the short term.
Either way, we will see what happens when she takes office. If it’s just tightening up operations to make sure there aren’t any foul-ups going forward, so much the better. If it’s anything else, though, we have a problem.