In what appears to be an about face from her prior public statements, Florida NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer comes out in support of keeping administration of the states’ concealed weapons permit process in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service.
First a bit of background and context.
In the two months preceding the Florida GOP Gubernatorial Primary the Tampa Bay Times published an article dated June 8, 2018 titled “Adam Putnam’s office stopped reviewing concealed weapons background checks for a year because it couldn’t log in”.
THAT story linked to a copy of a report marked “confidential” dated June 5, 2017 summarizing the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service, headed by Commissioner Putnam had:
“For more than a year, failed to conduct national background checks on tens of thousands of applications for concealed weapons permits, potentially allowing drug addicts or people with a mental illness to carry firearms in public”
Putnam would later lose the GOP primary for Governor to Ron Desantis and in the general election Republican Matt Caldwell would lose the race for Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service Commissioner to Democrat Nikki Fried.
On November 29, 2018 Florida State Senator Lauren Book filed SB 108 which would transfer the concealed weapons licensing program of the Division of Licensing of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).
The next day NewsDaytonaBeach would publish a story titled “Bill would move concealed weapons licenses to FDLE” in which they reported Florida NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer urged the Florida Legislature to still support moving the CWP issuance program OUT of the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services but instead of transferring the program to FDLE, support moving it to state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis’ office.
It seems however Ms. Hammer has experienced an about-face.
The Ammoland blog published an opinion piece on February 5, 2019 by Ms. Hammer titled “Over 1.9 Million Florida Concealed Weapon License Holders on Alert” where she retreats from her earlier reported stance on transferring the CWP licensing process to the CFO office to now believing “the program should stay where it is”.
Hmmm, she was right—-the CWP issuance program is not a political football—and this little blog believes Ms. Hammer was the one caught playing politics with it.