Adam Putnam: 1 Million Floridians Have Concealed Firearm Licenses

By: Eric Giunta | Posted: December 13, 2012 3:55 AM
Adam Putnam and Concealed Weapons Permit

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, left, concealed weapons permit application, right.

One million Floridians will be licensed to carry around concealed firearms in public, as the Sunshine State further secures its first-place status in the nation for the number of residents exercising the privilege.

Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam made the announcement at a press conference Wednesday afternoon, saying the milestone exemplified the state’s devotion to the Second Amendment and other constitutional liberties.

“[These figures] tell us that Floridians have a great respect and appreciation for their Second Amendment rights, and that firearm ownership, whether for personal protection or for sport, is popular,” Putnam told reporters.

While Florida requires no permit to purchase and own a gun, it is generally illegal for citizens to carry arms openly in public. Cities and counties regulated the issuance of licenses for concealed carry of personal firearms before 1987, when the Florida Legislature relegated that authority to the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

According to a press release issued after the conference, Florida’s Concealed Weapons and Firearms Program is made up of 997,066 active license holders. At the current rate of processing applications, the 1-millionth active license will be issued early next week.

Putnam explained that over the last 25 years his department has issued 2,342,640 applications, and approved 2,307,881 of them. He said that a 99 percent approval rate was to be expected.

“The [application] process in and of itself attracts people who have very little to worry about, and therefore are going to have a higher likelihood of acceptance,” he said, explaining that applicants need to jump through a number of hoops before receiving their licenses: be at least 21 years of age, undergo a background check, pay over $100 in fees, take a class, and get fingerprinted.

“If you know we're going to take your fingerprints, then if you have a long criminal history you’re probably not going to want to volunteer your address and fingerprints to the state,” he said.

Concealed weapons permits are automatically suspended when a holder is charged with a felony, and automatically revoked when he is convicted. Putnam told reporters that his department receives daily, weekly, and monthly updates from various law enforcement agencies on the eligibility of permit holders.

Next week will be the first time that 1 million people, about 90 percent of them Florida residents, will be in possession of active licenses. Florida has 19 million residents, 14 million of whom are over the age of 21. That means as of next week, about one in every 14, or 7 percent, of Florida adults will own a concealed carry license.

Because Florida shares reciprocity agreements with 35 other states, it is likely the total number of lawfully licensed concealed carriers living in the state is well more than 1 million.

While Florida’s privacy laws prohibit the state from maintaining a public registry of licensed carriers, Putnam did disclose statistics that profiled the average licensee.

Four out of every five licensees are male, but with a growing interest among females. Nearly one-third of licensees are between ages 51 and 65.

While more than 2.3 million licenses have been issued, only 7,244 licenses (0.3 percent) have been revoked due to crime, illegal prints, or legislative or clemency changes.

“As the statistics bear out, the responsible use of these licenses is overwhelmingly the rule,” Putnam said. “Clearly, Floridians who are obtaining these licenses are obtaining them for the right reasons and overwhelmingly using them in an appropriate way.”

Putnam also pointed to the exponential increase in applications for concealed weapon or firearm licenses over the last decade. Fiscal year 2009-2010 was a record year, with 167,240 applications received. Just 10 years prior, 28,618 applications were received during fiscal year 1999-2000.

Putnam initially declined to speculate as to what might have motivated the recent spike in applications, but then suggested it might be due to Floridians “becoming more comfortable with the [application] process.”

Putnam said that when he assumed office in 2011, his department’s Concealed Weapon and Firearm License Program had a backlog so severe that applicants were waiting between 12 and 15 weeks before having their permits issued. The waiting time has since been reduced to between 35 to 40 days, an accomplishment Putnam attributed to “additional staffing made possible by the Legislature.”

Reach Eric Giunta at egiunta@sunshinestatenews.com or at (954) 235-9116.

Comments (36)

11:14PM JUL 23RD 2013
What is going on in this country that more and more people have and own guns? This is NOT THE WILD WEST! We live or at least we hope to live in a civilized nation! This has to change or the dangers of being killed will just continue to escalate!
Rosemarie Sanchez
11:09PM JUL 23RD 2013
What is going on in this country that more and more people have and own guns? This is NOT THE WILD WEST! We live or at least we hope to live in a civilized nation! This has to change or the dangers of being killed will just continue to escalate!
Lawrence Richards
3:42PM DEC 16TH 2012
This is nothing to be proud of Florida.
D. Davis
5:20PM DEC 16TH 2012
Why not?
11:04PM DEC 15TH 2012
I anticipate the federal legislation, or executive order, will seek a lifetime prohibition of gun purchases/possession via these general criteria (regardless of the person's criminal background):
-Any history of mental illness, including depression; any visit to a mental health care giver for any reason; any history of "hate speech" as defined by the govenment
-Misdemeanors involving any type of violence; drug or alcohol abuse (DUI or possession of marijuana, for example); any tax trouble with the IRS or state revenue boards; late student loan payments; as many others that they can think of, etc
-Under 26 years of age
-No health care under Obamacare
-Establishment of a national gun registration database, as was tried, and failed, in Canada
-Any and all noncompliance with federal/state/municipal laws (i.e., traffic tickets, minor infractions)
Anyway, you get my drift. They will attempt to cast the net as wide as possible to prevent law abiding people from having firearms.

The big question is...what will the people do if this happens? Some courageous citizens will make attempts to resist the tyrant...not wise. This country has tipped, and the slight majority (and growing fast) have grown very comfortable in their dependence on sugar daddy government. The Sandy Hook shootings, to talk to Frank's comments, are a symptom of our moral decay and the decline of our society. A psychotic godless soul (any god, or no god), places no value on precious life. This is the fall of the USA, and we get to watch it on HDTV. We are rotting from the inside out.
William in Tampa
12:04PM DEC 14TH 2012
GREAT NEWS INDEED! This is genuine proof that GUNS don't cause crime per se. It shows that CRIMINALS COMMIT CRIMES!

I'd like to see more women take advantage of our 2nd Amendment right. Also, open carry should be permitted - I think this would reduce crime rate even further.


NOTE: Idiot FRANK below: You have NO PROOF of ANY SUCH STUDY! BTW, ALL ADULT SWISS are issued firearms and trained to use them - They have the LOWEST CRIME RATE IN THE WORLD!
3:46PM DEC 14TH 2012
Tell your shrill nonsense to the parents at Sandy Hook Elementary - - - -

Pathetic. . . . .

note 1: Switzerland has a relatively high death by firearm rate, slightly below that of the U.S. but above that of Argentina, Zimbabwe, Serbia, Israel, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, and many other countries. By the number of guns per capita, U.S. is #1, Switzerland #4.

note 2: you too, are too lazy to do a search by quote.
D. Davis
2:01PM DEC 16TH 2012
Really, Frank? Everyone who disagrees with you is "pathetic"? Who the heck is paying you to read this site and insult everyone who disagrees with you? Normal people don't do that of their own volition.

I'm just curious, Frank: from where exactly do you get the right to restrict property ownership of innocent people?
6:10PM DEC 16TH 2012
Interesting . . . . apparently another first time commentor using the SAME phrases as other pseudonyms and mafioso fictional names are using in comments . . . . makes one wonder who's actually behind them all . . . . must be getting on someone's nerves . . . . .

Ah yes, the "the right to restrict property ownership of innocent people" argument . . . . you mean like the Florida state law that says a private property owner MUST allow his employees to carry guns in their cars on his private property . . . . . yes, the far right wants to discuss "Property Rights" but only when it fits their argument . . . . sort of like the Tallahassee argument that they support increasing local government home rule, and then they turn around and prohibit all local gun laws tougher than the state's . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
D. Davis
9:18PM DEC 16TH 2012
"apparently another first time commentor"

Who said I was a first-time commenter?

"using the SAME phrases as other pseudonyms and mafioso fictional names are using in comments"

Not sure what you mean here; "D. Davis" is definitely a pserudonym, but I'm no mafiosi. "Frank" sounds a lot more mafiosi to me.

"you mean like the Florida state law that says a private property owner MUST allow his employees to carry guns in their cars on his private property"

I don't support such laws, though I am in favor of boycotting employers who enact such silly policies. A person should be able to do whatever the heck he wants on his property.

You do realize, don't you Frank, that you have not offered an intelligent response to my question? They must not be teaching you kids logic in school, You must be public-educated.
1:03PM DEC 18TH 2012
(1) If you're not a first time commentor, then list the name of the articles on SSN you've previously commented on under "D. Davis" . . . . what, none? . . . then must be first time commentor . . . Oh, and I've checked several different ways, so if you CREATE one retroactively, I'll know . . . .

(2) Your boycott threat is meaningless as state law says otherwise

(3) I'll match my graduate logic courses, public and private schools and mensa IQ with your lack anyday . . . .especially since your same unique phrases seem strangely to be used by "others" on SSN . . . . obviously, pure coincidence . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
D. Davis
2:27PM DEC 18TH 2012
1) So, unless I've commented before under the handle "D. Davis," I must be a first-time commenter? Not the shiniest plate in the china cabinet, are we?

2) You missed the point -- as usual. You accused me of supporting a policy that I in fact don't. Freedom is an absolute human right, so long as you don't use your freedom to violate the freedom of others. I oppose state laws that force employers to allow their employees to carry guns on their (i.e., employers') property, for the same reason I oppose gun control laws. Both violate human rights.

3) I have no way of verifying your supposed credentials as a "smart person"; I can only go by the logic of your argumentation. Or lack thereof.

Don't know what you mean by "unique phrases."
12:41AM DEC 19TH 2012
So, virtually admitting to commenting under multiple names . . . hmm . . . . wonder who that could be . . . . .

Yes, we should all be able to carry our fully automatic AR-16's into elementary schools . . or our atomic suitcase . . . or have open carry onboard airplanes . . . .no controls what-so-ever. . . . controls would violate human rights . . . . Righttttt!

True, I don't know how many names you're already commenting under (but of course, that just makes my point that supposed "first-time" commenters using the same phrases aren't really first-time commenters after all, just showing up under different names as if they're trying to prop up the number of comments or hide that this is all just one person - who shall remain nameless - but it is strange how these are mainly just showing up on Eric's commentary site . . . must be all his friends) . . . .
11:10AM DEC 13TH 2012
Great news! Almost a million people in the State of FL have chosen NOT to be a victim! FL needs to go Open Carry.
12:00PM DEC 13TH 2012
2nd time today you've repeated your identical comment . . . . I'd get that problem checked out before it gets critical . . . . maybe it's damage from just too much gun smoke inhalation . . . .
11:10AM DEC 13TH 2012
Great news! Almost a million people in the State of FL have chosen NOT to be a victim! FL needs to go Open Carry.
11:58AM DEC 13TH 2012
Yes, you must be right . . . . . guess that's why a national study found the following correlation: "Firearm deaths are significantly lower in states with stricter gun control legislation" . . . . . yes, your truthiness must be right . . . . . except when considering actual facts and analysis . . .

Pathetic . . . .
2:30PM DEC 13TH 2012
Not sure what "National Study" you refer to, but the two states with the strictest gun control legislation are New York and Chicago...oops, Illinois. Yet both have the highest deaths attributed to guns and gangs - RE: drive by shootings. Washington, DC has the highest.

But you quote " . . . except when considering actual facts and analysis . . ." Care to ste those actual facts and analysis?.....

Who's more pathetic....RTG or you liberals?
7:28PM DEC 13TH 2012
What, you're too lazy to word search a quote . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
Don Fanucci
12:45PM DEC 13TH 2012
Stupid, pathetic leftist: *Of course* freer societies will have more "firearm deaths" the state fascistically assumes a monopoly on the ownership of firearms. You do realize, don't you, you freaking moron, that "firearm deaths" includes criminals killed in self-defense?

Self-defense is a human right. Those who violate such rights deserve to be locked in a cage or exterminated like the filthy swine they are.
1:18PM DEC 13TH 2012
Yes, "exterminated like the filthy swine they are" . . . . neo-nazi talk . . .

*Of course* freer societies will have more "firearm deaths" - I think they call that anarchy . . . . .

Pathetic . . . . . .and quite sick. . . . . . even for a pretend "mafioso"
4:13PM DEC 13TH 2012
"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let's not have any native militia or native police. German troops alone will bear the sole responsibility for the maintenance of law and order throughout the occupied Russian territories, and a system of military strong-points must be evolved to cover the entire occupied country." --Adolf Hitler, dinner talk on April 11, 1942, quoted in Hitler's Table Talk 1941-44: His Private Conversations, Second Edition (1973), Pg. 425-426. Translated by Norman Cameron and R. H. Stevens. Introduced and with a new preface by H. R. Trevor-Roper. The original German papers were known as Bormann-Vermerke.
7:49PM DEC 13TH 2012
Even Judge Scalia has discussed the acceptability of gun control under the Constitution.

Why are you guys so hung-up on, and quoting, Nazis and Neo-Nazis? Reading their literature a little too often?
William in Tampa
12:10PM DEC 14TH 2012
Frank - Chairman Mao - Stalin - ALL loved gun control. You're so F**CKING STUPID you refuse to believe that it's not about GUNS - it's about CONTROL.
3:28PM DEC 14TH 2012
Yes, as I've already said once to you - Tell your shrill nonsense to the parents at Sandy Hook Elementary - - - - you make these stupid comments while this tragedy is ongoing . . . . .quite a 2nd amendment hero . . . . .

Pathetic. . . . .
Don Fanucci
3:08PM DEC 13TH 2012
And BTW, the Nazis were radical leftists who *also* advocated and imposed strict gun control laws. Only tyrants advocate for giving the government a monopoly or near-monopoly on the ownership of arms.

Rotten, filthy leftists.
7:52PM DEC 13TH 2012
Of course, you must be right . . . . . all them scholars out there believe Nazism was a radical leftist movement . . . . . sure . . . .

Pathetic . . . . . showing off your fictional intellect again . . . .
Don Fanucci
1:50PM DEC 13TH 2012
Exterminating aggressors is not neo-Nazi; it's self-defense.

Do you even know what anarchy is, you culturally illiterate savage? You have no right to live in civilized society; you belong in a cage, or doing hard labor in a camp on behalf of the civilized who respect human rights.
7:25PM DEC 13TH 2012
Your words speak in infamy for themselves . . . .

Sad, and pathetic . . . .
9:32AM DEC 13TH 2012
Count me among them....and by the way, there is a two week wait to get your appointment with the department of agriculture to obtain the permit.
Chris Shalosky
8:57AM DEC 13TH 2012
I'm sorry, did you say "privilege" to carry? No, it is a RIGHT. It would be nice if more people would read the Constitution. It says "keep and bear arms." If the 2d Amendment only pertained to the right to have guns in your house, it would say, "keep" arms. Since the amendment also say we have a right to "bear" arms, that means we have a right to carry. So, you see it is not a privilege, sir. It is a right.
12:02PM DEC 13TH 2012
Then you won't mind when I carry my fully loaded automatic M16 onboard your next airline flight, or into your kid's middle school, now will you . . . . .and you'll defend to your death my right to carry it, correct . . . . .after all, it's my right, right . . . . .

Pathetic . . . . .
4:12PM DEC 13TH 2012
Its illegal to carry/buy fully automatic weapons. Your comments just prove how little you really know.
7:21PM DEC 13TH 2012
What it proves is that it's not an absolute right . . . . that there can be these legal restrictions called gun control . . . . .but you knew that . . . you're just in denial . . . .

Pathetic . . .
John Paul Jones
3:08PM DEC 13TH 2012
We have to check your criminal history first. I don't think you will qualify. But don't worry, I'll be carrying everywhere you go!
7:55PM DEC 13TH 2012
Go ahead, follow me on that airplane carrying your piece . . . just like carry everywhere Repubtallygirl . . . . . .

Pathetic . . . . .

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