Florida Secretary of Agriculture Nikki Fried is the highest Democrat elected official in the state of Florida. Oddly, though, that puts her ultimately in charge of the concealed carry permits for the state. Of course, Florida is a “shall issue” state, so it’s not like Fried can really do all that much to inhibit people from getting permits.
Unless, of course, there’s a pandemic. Then she can shut down key points in the process, which she has.
Now, she’s facing a lawsuit over her decisions.
The gun-rights group Young Americans for Liberty sued Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried claiming she’s depriving Floridians of their rights. The suit aims to lift a suspensionof online concealed weapons permit applications.
“Nikki Fried thinks that your right to self-defense is negotiable. She’s wrong,” said Cliff Maloney, YAL President. “This is a blatant disregard for the rule of law, and I will not idly sit by while Nikki Fried uses this crisis to enact her gun-grabbing agenda. I encourage all Americans to join this fight for our rights. We either believe in liberty in times of crisis or we do not believe in liberty at all.”
Fried has defended her move vigorously, repeatedly noting permits continue to be processed, but the online mechanism cannot be used right now because of issues such as fingerprint collection during a pandemic.
“Commissioner Fried has not restricted processing of concealed weapons license applications; on the contrary, our department has processed more than 54,000 concealed weapons license applications since March 1, with an average review time of just 1 to 2 days,” said Franco Ripple, Fried’s Communications Director.
The problem is that Fried has shut down the fingerprint locations answerable to her while she’s responsible for issuing permits. That means if someone’s local police station or sheriff’s department is shut down, they can’t get fingerprints.
Now, them being shutdown isn’t Fried’s responsibility. However, her office is responsible for the issuance of permits. That means it’s her responsibility to facilitate those permits.
The fact that she’s not lies in the fact that she doesn’t believe people should get permits, so she’s not really interested in helping anyone get one. While some have been able to sidestep the problem, that doesn’t mean she should be considered as being in the clear on this. The fact that anyone can’t get a permit because of the decisions her office has made is a major problem.
Of course, I expect Fried to pretend that she’s as pure as snow and that none of this is anything but a calm and rational response to the situation and that any problems is really someone else’s fault. After all, that’s what gun grabbers do, now isn’t it?
The real question is whether the lawsuit will move through the system fast enough to have any real impact or whether the state will open back up before it sees its day in court. The truth is, no one can really tell at this point, though my hope is that people can get their permits taken care of quick, fast, and in a hurry regardless of why it happens.
On the flip side, Nikki Friend needs to remember that stuff like this is how you become a one-term official. Just because the state reeled a bit after Parkland doesn’t mean they forgot they were pro-gun.