Before the first week of hearings into the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 were completed, the Florida Department of Agriculture Commissioner and the only Democrat on the Florida Cabinet, Nikki Fried, had determined those events were “sedition, treason, and domestic terrorism” and had turned a routine procedure into political theater.
Fried, who is running for Florida Governor against the incumbent, Ron DeSantis, offered her judgement of the event as the reasoning behind the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Division of Licensing’s highly publicized suspension of 22 concealed carry licenses held by Floridians involved in “subverting the democratic process” in Washington D.C. In fact, the suspension of the licenses was just routine.
“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,” said Fried. “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.”
But the truth is, despite her press release and formal announcement of the suspension of the licenses, this is not a decision left to her discretion.
Under Florida statute, anytime anyone is arrested for or formally charged with certain crimes, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Division of Licensing must suspend their concealed carry license.
The FDACS Division of Licensing administers Florida’s concealed weapon licensing program and oversees Florida’s private investigative, private security and recovery services industries. The division’s oversight includes licensing, enforcing compliance standards, and ensuring public protection from unethical business practices and unlicensed activity.
According to Florida Statute Section 790.06(3), “The department shall, upon notification by a law enforcement agency, a court, or the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and subsequent written verification, suspend a license or the processing of an application for a license if the licensee or applicant is arrested or formally charged with a crime that would disqualify such person from having a license under this section, until final disposition of the case.”
Also pursuant to current law FDACS Division of Licensing is prevented from confirming nor denying whether an individual has ever applied for or received a concealed weapon or firearm license, as this information is exempt from disclosure as a public record, and therefore will not be stating which of the more than 50 arrested in Florida for the events on Jan. 6 had concealed carry permits.