When Democrat Nikki Fried won the Agriculture Commissioner election last November, a number of Republicans and other gun rights advocates voiced concerns that she might interfere with the processing of gun permits once she took over the office. These worries were not entirely far-fetched; there are a number of jurisdictions around the country where Democrats in power in various law enforcement and bureaucratic roles make it difficult, if not nearly impossible, for the average citizen to get a permit to carry a gun in a timely and inexpensive manner.

Now that Fried has been in office a few months, the facts are in: applications for concealed carry permits are not only continuing to be processed properly, they are being approved and returned about one-third quicker than under the previous administration of Republican Adam Putnam.

Speaking exclusively to The Capitolist, Fried said that the previous processing time had been right around the maximum allowed 90 days.

“We’re down to an average of 58 days and are handling everything in a more efficient manner,” said Fried.

Fried is aiming to improve that time even further, and hopes that the Florida Legislature will approve her request to reclassify 19 employee positions in that division from part-time to full-time. If approved, Fried estimates that could improve the processing time down to about 30 days.

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.