Adam Putnam, Florida’s agriculture commissioner and a leading candidate for the Republican nomination for the state’s governorship, declared his candidacy on May 10, 2017, from the steps of a courthouse in his hometown outside of Tampa.
“People want leadership that’s conservative,” he said at the time. “They’re tired of people misleading them about the scope of the problem or the difficulty of the solutions.”
That same day, an investigator for the Office of Inspector General submitted a report that found that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which processes concealed weapons permits in the state, neglected to do federal background checks on tens of thousands of people who had applied for concealed weapons permits for about a year.
Though it is more than a year old, the report was published Friday after the Tampa Bay Times obtained it through a records request.
Putnam has been a large booster of guns in the state, the Times pointed out, touting the increases in speed in processing the permits, celebrating when the state issued its millionth permit and, perhaps most famously, calling himself a “proud NRA sellout!” on Twitter. He has also proposed legislation “that would require permits to be approved in cases when an application is in limbo because background checks are inconclusive,” the Times wrote, though the legislation was scrapped after the shooting in Parkland, Fla.