A Tampa, Fl., pizza deliveryman kept his license to carry a gun for four years even though he was wanted by police for shooting and killing a teenage boy over a stolen order of chicken wings, says the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Another man kept his license to carry a gun even though he pleaded no contest to shooting from his kitchen door into a backyard tree. Florida does not suspend or revoke licenses of fugitives or people convicted of “non-violent” misdemeanors. More than 410,000 people are licensed to carry hidden guns in public for self-protection. It is up to four government attorneys to suspend or revoke the licenses whenever any of the 410,000 is accused of a serious offense.
The Sun-Sentinel obtained a database of the state’s concealed weapon holders before a new privacy law took effect, making the names of people licensed to carry guns secret. The newspaper found that the state had not suspended or revoked the licenses of 216 people with active warrants, 128 people with domestic violence restraining orders, nine people charged with felonies or violent or reckless misdemeanors, and at least one prison inmate. Dennis Henigan of the Washington-based Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence calls the Sun-Sentinel’s findings “really shocking,” given that the state has been giving out concealed weapon licenses since 1987. “That’s almost 20 years. And yet this kind of sloppiness and negligence still pervades the licensing of concealed weapon holders in Florida.”