During the year-long period surveyed, 65 license holders had their concealed weapons licenses revoked for crimes they had committed before having received the license. The Florida Division of Licensing was unable, however, to ascertain their criminal history before the license was issued. The Florida Division of Licensing offers no information on the nature of these crimes (e.g. whether they involved a firearm or were a crime of violence). Once again, it is important to note that these 65 cases represent only those that the Florida Division of Licensing is aware of. The state can offer no assurances that there are not additional license holders with undetected criminal histories that have been granted concealed weapons licenses.
Of the 65 cases detailed during the survey period, the Violence Policy Center was, however, able to obtain the records for 24 individuals who requested public hearings to dispute the revocations. Once again, it is important to remember that these 24 cases are only a sampling of the 65 revocations and because of the license holders’ willingness to challenge the revocation at a public hearing, may well represent the least severe of the crimes committed.
Of the 24 crime-related public hearing files received by the VPC: three were firearm-related crimes; four were drug-related crimes; four were non-firearm crimes of violence; and 13 were non-violent crimes. The Violence Policy Center also received records for an additional case where the license was revoked for non-criminal reasons. Under Florida law in five of the 24 cases the license holder will eventually be able to legally reapply for a concealed weapons license without further review.
With respect to the crimes committed by license holders, there is a wide range in the severity of the crimes as well as the length of time since they were committed. They are, however, are a clear indication of the limitations of the Florida Division of Licensing’s ability to ensure that those with criminal histories or other disqualifying attributes will not be issued licenses. The following section details the cases of those whose licenses were revoked because of prior firearm crimes as well as samples from the remaining crime categories. The section also details the one case where the license was revoked as the result of the license holder being committed to a mental institution.
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