Commissioner Nikki Fried Doubles Down – Again Calls for Background Checks on Ammunition Purchases

“I’m a gun owner, and, . . . there are reasonable steps we can take that don’t infringe on Second Amendment rights – like expanding background checks and red-flag laws, closing loopholes, requiring background checks for ammunition purchases, banning large capacity magazines . . .”

In Orlando, July 31, 2022 . . . .

Tallahassee, Fla. — Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried, an independently-elected member of the Florida Cabinet, issued the following statement in response to the news of a mass shooting in downtown Orlando last night that injured seven people:

“My heart goes out to the Orlando community after last night’s mass shooting. The people of Orlando and of our state have been traumatized by gun violence and mass shootings for far too long. When will Republicans finally stand up and say that enough is enough? Our state needs to pass comprehensive gun safety measures so our communities no longer have to live in fear and terror.

“I’m a gun owner, and I know I’m not the only one who thinks there are reasonable steps we can take that don’t infringe on Second Amendment rights – like expanding background checks and red-flag laws, closing loopholes, requiring background checks for ammunition purchases, banning large capacity magazines, and keeping assault weapons off our streets. Taking steps to stop terrorism in our communities should not be controversial.”

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried

Florida Government Official Calls for Background Checks on All Ammunition Purchases

“If you shouldn’t get a gun, you shouldn’t get ammunition.”

The State’s government official responsible for processing and issuing Florida’s concealed carry weapons licenses is publicly calling for background checks on all ammunition purchases and transfers.

Recently, Florida Dept. of Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried criticized Governor DeSantis for vetoing her request for the hiring of 83 additional Dept. of Agriculture employees, for the processing of Florida concealed carry weapons license applications.

He just vetoed 83 positions I proposed for my department to thoroughly process concealed weapon licenses in a timely manner to keep Floridians safe.

Nikki Fried, Commissioner of Agriculture – June 13, 2022

Nikki Fried’s request for 83 additional employees for the processing of licenses appears odd, in so much as, the Dept. of Agriculture is processing and issuing concealed carry weapons licenses in the shortest turnaround time since 2018. Currently, the average application turnaround time is 2 weeks.

Commissioner Fried’s push for ammunition background checks is neither hers alone nor new. Two bills were submitted for action during the 2022 legislative session SB 334 and HB 181. Sen. Tina Polsky and Rep. Dan Daley are the bill sponsors. “If you shouldn’t get a gun, you shouldn’t get ammunition,” Polsky said. “It stops people from purchasing ammunition without a proper background check.”

Democratic leaders including Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried— a gubernatorial contender — rallied around the legislation Tuesday at a press event.

“We need change here in the state of Florida,” Fried said. “We are not asking for the world. We’re just asking for common-sense changes that are going to prevent future tragedies.”

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FLORIDA – State Official In Charge of Issuing Concealed Carry Weapons Licenses Calls For Gun Control

Commissioner Nikki Fried Calls on Legislature to Add Gun Violence Prevention Reform to Special Session Agenda

It should be kept in mind that this woman is running to be governor of the state of Florida.

May 24, 2022

Tallahassee, Fla. — Today, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried released the following statement on the news of another mass shooting in Texas today:

“I am completely heartbroken and sickened by the news of another horrific mass shooting today in Texas. While our country is still reeling from the racially motivated murders in Buffalo just ten days ago, this is yet another devastating tragedy that took the lives of innocent elementary school students. In Florida, we know all too well the pain and trauma that senseless mass shootings cause in our lives and our communities, and our hearts go out to the victims and everyone who has been hurt by gun violence.

“I want to be completely clear: offering ‘thoughts and prayers’ is not enough. It’s past time for us to take serious and meaningful action to prevent gun violence. The Legislature must add gun violence prevention reform to the current Special Session agenda. There cannot be any more children massacred or lives destroyed by mass shootings while our government sits idly by.”

Nikki Fried suspends concealed weapons permits of suspected Capitol rioters – Question ? ? ?

On June 2, 2021 Lake Wales, Florida city commissioner Kristen Fitzgerald was arrested for brandishing a firearm and threatening an 11-year old boy.

In that regard, two questions arise:

  • Did Commissioner Fitzgerald possess a Florida concealed carry weapons license?
  • If so, did Nikki Fried suspend Commissioner Firzgerald’s concealed carry weapons license?

Florida- FOX 13 News : 07-27-2021

https://www.fox13news.com/news/florida-ag-commissioner-nikki-fried-suspends-concealed-weapons-permits-of-22-suspected-capitol-rioters

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Hours after the first hearing investigating the US Capitol riot ended, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said she was suspending the concealed weapons permits of 22 Floridians involved in the insurrection.

“The deeply disturbing events that occurred at our nation’s Capitol on January 6th were sedition, treason, and domestic terrorism – and those individuals involved in the insurrection must be held accountable for attempting to subvert our democratic process,” Fried said in a statement.

The Florida Department of Agriculture’s Division of Licensing administers the state’s concealed weapon licensing program.

Fried, Florida’s only Democrat elected statewide, said Tuesday the suspensions were effective immediately for anyone who participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection who is charged with a felony or certain other offenses.

“Since charges began being filed, we are using our lawful authority to immediately suspend the licenses of 22 individuals involved in the storming of the U.S. Capitol. This is an ongoing effort, and as charges and sentences continue in the wake of this despicable attack, we will further suspend and revoke any additional licenses granted to insurrectionists,” Fried said.

Fried’s office said it has the ability to immediately suspend a license if the licensee is charged with a felony or certain other disqualifying offenses. Once a judgment is rendered, if their sentence disqualifies the person from carrying a concealed weapon, the state will then revoke their license.

Fried said more suspensions could come in the future. Public disclosure by her agency of individual concealed weapons permits is prohibited by law.

The move comes as a select U.S. House committee began hearings into the Capitol riot with testimony from police officers who confronted and battled the mob that was supporting then-President Donald Trump’s false claims of widespread election fraud in 2020.

Fried is seeking the Democratic nomination for Florida governor, along with former governor and current U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and others. The winner would face Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in the 2022 election.

More than 500 people have been arrested since the U.S. Capitol was violently breached six months ago. Fifty-five of those arrested were from Florida and approximately a dozen called the Bay Area home.

The U.S. Capitol Police say the majority of threats come from California and Florida and that’s why it is opening two field offices – one in Tampa and one in San Francisco

Nikki Fried suspends concealed weapons permits of suspected Capitol rioters

Florida Ag. Commissioner Nikki Fried suspends concealed weapons permits of 22 suspected Capitol rioters

Florida- FOX 13 News : 07-27-2021

https://www.fox13news.com/news/florida-ag-commissioner-nikki-fried-suspends-concealed-weapons-permits-of-22-suspected-capitol-rioters

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Hours after the first hearing investigating the US Capitol riot ended, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said she was suspending the concealed weapons permits of 22 Floridians involved in the insurrection.

“The deeply disturbing events that occurred at our nation’s Capitol on January 6th were sedition, treason, and domestic terrorism – and those individuals involved in the insurrection must be held accountable for attempting to subvert our democratic process,” Fried said in a statement.

The Florida Department of Agriculture’s Division of Licensing administers the state’s concealed weapon licensing program.

Fried, Florida’s only Democrat elected statewide, said Tuesday the suspensions were effective immediately for anyone who participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection who is charged with a felony or certain other offenses.

“Since charges began being filed, we are using our lawful authority to immediately suspend the licenses of 22 individuals involved in the storming of the U.S. Capitol. This is an ongoing effort, and as charges and sentences continue in the wake of this despicable attack, we will further suspend and revoke any additional licenses granted to insurrectionists,” Fried said.

Fried’s office said it has the ability to immediately suspend a license if the licensee is charged with a felony or certain other disqualifying offenses. Once a judgment is rendered, if their sentence disqualifies the person from carrying a concealed weapon, the state will then revoke their license.

Fried said more suspensions could come in the future. Public disclosure by her agency of individual concealed weapons permits is prohibited by law.

The move comes as a select U.S. House committee began hearings into the Capitol riot with testimony from police officers who confronted and battled the mob that was supporting then-President Donald Trump’s false claims of widespread election fraud in 2020.

Fried is seeking the Democratic nomination for Florida governor, along with former governor and current U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and others. The winner would face Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in the 2022 election.

More than 500 people have been arrested since the U.S. Capitol was violently breached six months ago. Fifty-five of those arrested were from Florida and approximately a dozen called the Bay Area home.

The U.S. Capitol Police say the majority of threats come from California and Florida and that’s why it is opening two field offices – one in Tampa and one in San Francisco

WEAR ORANGE – ‘Gun Control Weekend’

Nikki Fried, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture: “I’m proud to work with Everytown for Gun Safety . . . “

The Florida Department of Agriculture has partnered with Everytown for Gun Safety.

Nikki Fried is ordering Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services buildings to light up orange this weekend to support gun violence awareness.

Wear Orange Weekend runs Saturday and Sunday. Friday was also National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

The department is illuminating the historic Mayo Building located across from the Florida Capitol, as well as the department’s Tallahassee Regional Licensing Office, where the department processes concealed weapons permit applications.

Nikki Fried is bathing her office building orange to raise awareness of gun violence.

“With so many lives lost to gun violence in the Sunshine State and around the nation, it’s important to send a message: we remain determined to see common-sense gun violence prevention reforms enacted to protect our communities,” Fried said. “As the lives of children, parents, friends, loved ones and fellow Floridians have been cut short by firearms, we will stand strong to demand change that honors their memory.”

“I’m proud to work with Everytown for Gun Safety to mark this occasion, which I hope will lead to reflection, persistence, and long-overdue action on gun violence.”

Fried proclaimed Friday, June 4, as Gun Violence Awareness Day in Florida in a proclamation on behalf of the Florida Cabinet.

The key department buildings are lit orange in a partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety, America’s largest gun violence prevention organization.

Florida Legislature Targets The Closing of Concealed Carry License Application Offices

The Florida Dept. of Agriculture closed its concealed carry permit application portal at the start of the pandemic.

Republicans want to keep concealed carry permits open after Nikki Fried closed them

FDACS closed its concealed carry permit application portal at the start of the pandemic. (Editorial comment: In Florida, it is a license not a permit.)

March 17, 2021 

A bill to force the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to keep a concealed carry permit application available online is on its way through the committee process after passing its first House panel Wednesday.

That’s in response to when the department, under Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, took down its concealed carry permit application portal on March 23, soon after the COVID-19 pandemic reached Florida. That portal remained closed for nearly three months while the Agriculture Department faced lawsuits from gun rights groups over the closures.

The move came after Gov. Ron DeSantis recommended state offices temporarily close to the public beginning March 19.

Local law enforcement agencies and tax collector offices throughout the state largely suspended fingerprint services. Halting those services left first-time concealed weapons permit applicants unable to obtain fingerprints from those providers, according to the Agriculture Department. That would have forced the department to issue refunds, which it legally cannot do.

The House Civil Justice and Property Rights Subcommittee voted 10-6, along party lines, to advance the bill.

Bill sponsor Rep. Blaise Ingoglia did not mention Fried, the lone Democrat elected to a statewide office in Florida, while outlining his bill (HB 1343). But he confirmed the effort was in direct response to the closures.

“The reasoning for [the department] closing down the portal was saying that you could not get fingerprints at the time, which was absolutely not true. You could have gotten it at any sheriff’s office,” Ingoglia said.

“By showing that you could do this same thing online as you could do by paper shows that they took it down arbitrarily,” he told the committee. “That’s what we’re trying to stop. We’re saying you have to keep going continually.”

The right to bear arms is a constitutional right, stressed Ingoglia, a Spring Hill Republican. Yet other portals remained open during the concealed carry permit stoppage.

Democratic Rep. Mike Gottlieb, a criminal defense lawyer from Davie, said he saw the justice system come to a halt at the beginning of the pandemic. Sheriff’s offices and local police departments were not allowing face-to-face contact, preventing fingerprinting, he insisted.

He said he didn’t believe the bill was unnecessary, noting he has a concealed carry permit himself. However, he considered the effort an overreach and “much ado about nothing.”

“This was a very trying time for everybody in society, and to speculate that they took it down for a nefarious reason to deny people their opportunity to have a concealed carry permit is really, I don’t think, our mission here,” Gottlieb said.

In a statement to Florida Politics, Fried called the bill “overreaching, unnecessary and as wasteful as the failed lawsuit filed by fringe activists.” She also highlighted the “record-high” 400,000 licenses issued or renewed last year despite the pandemic.

“State law doesn’t allow us to refund applicants who don’t complete the process, including their fingerprints,” Fried said. “Because fingerprinting was largely unavailable during the pandemic, including from local law enforcement and tax collector offices, we made the responsible decision to temporarily suspend the online portal to prevent frustration from applicants.”

Fried added that the department never stopped processing applications it did receive.

“If Rep. Ingoglia really wants to help improve concealed weapons licensing, he could start with legislation to help us refund applicant fees, instead of politically-motivated bills that are a non-solution in search of a non-existent problem.”

It’s not the first attack the Republican-controlled Legislature has launched against FDACS since Fried took control. Last year, the House voted to strip the department of the Office of Energy and to move it back to the Department of Environmental protection, where it rested until 2011. Fried called that effort, backed by DeSantis, a “partisan power grab.”

Ingoglia’s bill next heads to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee. Estero Republican Sen. Ray Rodrigues‘ identical version (SB 1882), filed late last month, awaits its first hearing. The legislation would take effect in July.

Florida Concealed Carry Weapons License Class