NRA Readies For Battle Over Florida Concealed Carry Permits

While the midterm elections were hardly the massive sweep of gun control the Left likes to pretend it was, there were a few cases where gun control appeared to gain a bit of an edge. Perhaps one of the more interesting is in the election of Democrat Nikki Fried to be Florida’s next Commissioner of Agriculture.


That’s the office that oversees the state’s concealed carry permits.

Now, the NRA is readying for a fight to move that from beneath Fried’s purview.

With a gun-control Democrat in line to oversee it, concealed weapons licensing in Florida looks likely to be relocated by the Republican-ruled Legislature.

But where?

The National Rifle Association is pushing to have the nation’s largest concealed weapons program moved under Republican Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, away from Agriculture Commissioner-elect Nikki Fried, who has campaigned for tougher gun laws.

Fried also supports moving the weapons office.

But she sides with a couple of Senate Democrats proposing to move licensing to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which already conducts background checks on applicants.

On the surface, this move might make a fair bit of sense.

However, activist Marion Hammer brings up a very good point about a potential move.

But NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer said it’s important for the program to fall under an elected official who is “accountable to the people.”

“You don’t want this in an agency where the people are beholden to somebody who is a political appointee,” Hammer said, adding, “Law enforcement agencies are the worst place for a program like this to be.”

She’s not wrong.

While the law is a guiding principle, at least in theory, having oversight in the hands of an elected official means that bureaucrats can’t play bureaucrat games. Putting it in the hands of someone who is answerable directly to the people impacted will circumvent much of this.


Of course, anti-gunners believe the move is really meant to allow the NRA to exert control over the process.

But [Democratic Sen. Linda] Stewart said the NRA may want permitting housed under an elected official who can be easily pressured by the powerful gun lobby to maintain ready access to weapons.

“Why else would you not want it under the agency that has access to the databases used to do background checks?” she said.

Hammer already answered that.

What Stewart wants is for it to be under a political appointee who she and her fellow Democrats can eventually hold sway over. It’s no secret that Democrats are convinced they’re gaining ground in the state. They know that while they might now have enough to control Florida, they may be able to pressure an appointed official behind the scenes. That way they can still pretend to be tolerant of guns while undermining the entire process.

At least, that’s my guess.

It’s at least as valid as assuming that an NRA supported official would need NRA pressure to act pro-gun.

In fact, it’s probably a lot more valid.

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