Putnam's office responds to Tampa Bay Times report

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For more than a year, Florida failed to do national background checks that could have disqualified people from gaining a permit to carry a concealed weapon, according to a June 2017 Inspector General report.

From July 2016 through June 2017, which covers most of the period when the system wasn't accessed, 268,000 applications were approved and 6,470 were denied for reasons like an incomplete application or the state discovered they were ineligible, according to the state Agriculture Department's annual concealed weapons permit report.

"Career politicians like Mr. Putnam think this is just another bad day at the office - but when you hide a level of negligence that endangers every resident, and every child, in Florida, you forfeit any moral right to lead", said former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, one of the Democratic candidates running for governor. Many are calling for him to step down, saying that he can no longer be trusted. At a campaign rally in Sun City Center, Putnam energized a crowd of supporters with his conservative platform and folksy charm, dropping references to Interstate 75 traffic and SEC football rivalries.

"I'm here to solve problems", Putnam said. She reached out to FDLE in April for help, but nothing got fixed and she never followed up after that.

"Something fell through the cracks, and perhaps some tending to the shop is required", said Jorge Fernandez, Florida Gun Shows manager. But the Florida Democratic party is accusing Putnam of "gross mismanagement" that likely "put the lives of thousands of Floridians at risk", quotes the Orlando Weekly.

"It's a lot of people that probably should not have been issued licenses", Fernandez said.

The newspaper report touched off a political outcry Friday from Democrats. Some called for his resignation, including Florida Sen.

The employee in charge, Lisa Wilde, told the Tampa Bay Times that she "dropped the ball" and added, "I know I did that.I should have been doing it and I didn't". He also said that during the gap period the Department continued use of two other background check tools: the Florida Crime Information Center database and the National Crime Information Center database.

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The fiscal year ending in 2017 saw 275,000 applications.

"Upon discovery of this former employee's negligence in not conducting the further review required on 365 applications, we immediately completed full background checks on those 365 applications, which resulted in 291 revocations", Putnam said.

Responding to the criticism, Putnam's office said that the agency promptly took measures to rectify the error, "immediately" reviewing 365 applications, and 291 permits were annulled as a result.

In a Friday interview with the Times, Wilde said the licensing department was overwhelmed with the number of applications and she was under pressure from supervisors to quickly approve applications.

"I think they're tidying up shop as we speak and I think the department of agriculture's gonna do the best that they can to make sure that this never occurs again", Fernandez said.

Many pointed out that Putnam tweeted he was a "proud NRA sellout" a month after the investigation was concluded and submitted to his office.

Watch: Adam Putnam answers reporters' questions about the investigation and reports.

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