With so much shut down due to COVID-19, there are issues regarding carry permits in many states. In Georgia, you pretty much can’t get one right now, though if you have one expiring, that’s covered. If you don’t have a valid one, tough luck, but there are workarounds in place for that as well. Other states have other challenges.
Down in Florida, though, there’s a bit of a fight brewing over the matter.
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried returned fire on a demand by Attorney General Ashley Moody that the Commissioner reopen online concealed carry permit applications.
The Attorney General fears Florida residents may sue the state over the delay during the COVID-19 pandemic. But Fried puts it plainly in a letter being delivered to Moody later Thursday morning:
“I regret to inform you that your understanding regarding the processing of concealed weapons license applications is incorrect.”
After Gov. Ron DeSantis recommended state offices limit their operations and close doors to the public, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Licensing stopped taking fingerprints necessary for a permit. On March 23, the division made that move to suspend online applications to save applicants the headache of the division not being able to issue a refund when applications would be inevitably denied.
Fried says the department will still accept new applications with fingerprints from a law enforcement agency or tax collectors’ office, the two other approved sites to get fingerprinted.
The problem, of course, is that pretty much every other office that can do fingerprinting is also closed due to COVDI-19 concerns.
Still, the question is whether this all resides on Fried or not.
Of course, part of the problem is that Fried is an avowed anti-gunner who is now in charge of issuing gun permits. This doesn’t sit well with a lot of folks for obvious reasons. The fact that she’s also refusing to have her office do any fingerprinting is obviously not going to play well, especially since you kind of have to believe her anti-gun bias is likely playing something of a factor.
On the other hand, though, she’s right. Her office isn’t the only place one can get fingerprinted for the purposes of a carry permit. It’s not her fault that they’re all closed as well and she shouldn’t be held accountable for things that are beyond her control.
Then again, no one is holding her responsible for what other agencies are doing. They’re holding her responsible for her decision and how that impacts people getting their permits. She might not be responsible for the process being completely shut down, but she’s in a unique position to fix it if she so desired.
It’s just too bad that we all know damn good and well that Fried has absolutely zero interest in doing any such thing. It’s just part of her job and all that, but it involves guns which Fried clearly isn’t a fan of.
Her personal feelings, however, are irrelevant. This is about her doing her job. The question is, will she step up and do what’s right? I wouldn’t hold your breath.