Florida Commissioner Sued for Closing CCW Online Application

Florida Ag Commissioner Nikki Fried shut down online CCW applications. (Photo: Nikki Fried Facebook)

A state-level commissioner in Florida is being sued after her department unilaterally closed online applications for concealed carry permits.

Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried shut down the state’s application process last month “due to coronavirus precautions.” But President of Young Americans for Liberty Cliff Maloney argues in a new lawsuit that Fried has no legitimate reason to close the online form.

“It’s truly sad to see Nikki Fried exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to further her anti-Second Amendment agenda,” Maloney told The Washington Times. “She can host an online fundraiser for Joe Biden, but she can’t accept online applications for concealed weapons licenses? Commissioner Fried needs to stop infringing on the constitutional right of Floridians to protect themselves and their families.”

The Agriculture Department argues that it paused online applications to prevent people from losing their application fee after submitting incomplete applications, according to WEAR TV. Since many police stations are closed due to the COVID-19 crisis, department officials worry that applicants will submit their forms without the necessary fingerprints.

This is the message that displays on Florida’s application website.

SEE ALSO: Florida Inmate with Mile-Long Rap Sheet Accused of Murder After Being Released Due to COVID-19 Fears

They also argue that they’re still accepting paper applications and have completed 54,000 since March 1.

But Florida Attorney General Ashely Moody noted in a letter to Fried that their concerns about fingerprinting would still apply to those who submit paper applications.

“I understand that it is likely more difficult for Floridians to obtain fingerprints. But, those difficulties would equally exist for mailed in applications, which your agency purports to still be accepting,” Moody said.

Maloney has also pointed out that the Department of Agriculture is still accepting hemp cultivation applications online, which require fingerprints.

“We are just trying to make sure that every single person in the State of Florida has the right to defend themselves and has the right to defend their family, something Nikki Fried does not have the right to dictate,” Maloney told WEAR TV.

A spokesperson from the Department of Agriculture issued a statement to WEAR TV arguing that their actions are in the best interest of Floridians.

“This action is consistent with state law and is in the interest of Floridians seeking concealed weapons licenses — anyone who wants to apply can submit applications with fingerprint cards from a law enforcement agency by mail or through tax collector offices, as normal,” the department said.

SEE ALSO: A Single Florida County Seized 412 Guns Last Year Under the State’s Red Flag Law

Fried is Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat, and she hasn’t been shy about her anti-gun stance since she gained the seat. In December of last year, she filed a brief backing the ability of cities and counties to issue their own gun control regulations.

“The out-of-touch NRA simply can’t handle that they’ve lost control, they’ve lost in court, and they’ve lost revenue made at the expense of communities demanding common-sense gun safety,” she said at the time. “Despite the improved efficiency and accountability we’ve brought to concealed weapons licensing — including up to a 98 percent cut in review times — the NRA can attack me all they want. They can’t stop me from fighting to keep Florida’s families safe from gun violence.”

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

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  • Stan d. Upnow May 17, 2020, 9:35 am

    Lived in FL most of my life, but recently left the state after that corrupt Progressive-Socialist, Andrew Gillum, came within a whisker of becoming governor. Nikki Fried is a prime example of what’s on the Progressive-Socialists’ plate. STOP electing these subversives thinking they’re going to be beneficial to you and the country!
    You’re lucky Ron DeSantis got elected. I’ve met him and he’s one of the good ones; all too rare.

  • Mo May 15, 2020, 11:57 am

    If you dont have the resources to process requests then how can you?

    But simultaneously she should have worked with DeSantis to EO to allow permitless CCW while under state of emergency or work with the FL congress to pass emergency legislation saying such just as Florida has allowed permentless carry during state of emergency under mandatory evacuation orders.

    I dont agree with it, but Florida does not prohibit your right to bear arms. You can carry a loaded firearm in your vehicle so long as it is in a container out of immediate reach (unlocked glovebox for instance) or conceal/open carry at home or open carry at work without permit. So it’s not like you are truly unarmed is ordered to shelter in place or only be between home and work.

    I still dont agree with the infringement but our gun stores remained open and selling.

    • Give Me Liberty May 16, 2020, 1:23 am

      Yes Florida does infringe on the right to keep and bear arms. In Florida a law enforcement officer can request for Florida authorities to take away a Florida State resident’s private firearms. If the authorities agree the police can show up and take away the citizen’s private property without them even getting their day in court to defend themselves.

      With the private guns confiscated you are also put on the restricted no buy gun list. The right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense is gone in Florida. It is gone at least for the 2nd Amendment. I read they have already seized 2,500 people’s private property as of the end of 2019.

      How many of these people do you think will ever get their guns or 2nd Amendment rights back?

  • SuperG May 15, 2020, 10:07 am

    So if I have the virus and do not know it, it is much safer for all involved if I fill out a form by hand, put it in a envelope, and mail it, than filling out a form online? I guess when they were handing out common sense, she was shopping for makeup at Nordy’s.

    • Mike May 15, 2020, 12:15 pm

      Well, she does have her priorities…even if they don’t align with most Floridians.

  • John Parrish May 15, 2020, 9:21 am

    Nikki Fried is a liberal self righteous anti-gun one and done Commissioner of Agriculture. The worst choices for Florida’s Department of Agriculture in at least 6 decades. If or when the suit is settled she should be made personally responsible for any financial compensation by the plaintiff’s, as she was personally responsible for the decision.

  • Doug Felton May 15, 2020, 9:04 am

    She’s gone in the next election. I’m trying to figure out how she ever got in, this is Florida, not New Jersey!

    • Roger May 15, 2020, 1:41 pm

      She overcame a 50,000 vote deficit overnight. This was the dry run for stealing the election in Nov. Unfortunately she got away with it.

  • Alex May 15, 2020, 1:21 am

    Corona testing is a great opportunity for the government to collect your DNA samples for database.

    • John Rogers May 15, 2020, 9:03 am

      So, don’t leave your DNA anywhere it doesn’t belong. Problem solved.

  • Dr Motown May 14, 2020, 7:23 am

    Sounds like our Democrats in Michigan, who kept the population stoned (pot shops making record sales, $40,000/day) but shut down other services to a crawl…..

  • Bobs your uncle May 13, 2020, 4:41 pm

    you can still apply for a hemp license, so whats the problem? Your tax dollars at work, except the tax dollars from the evil CCW dollars. They don’t want their money? gotta be a Government first, turning down money.

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