Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried boasted on Tuesday that she has used her powers to suspend the legal concealed carry permits of 22 Florida citizens who attended the Trump rally and protested for election integrity at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Some Florida residents were confused as how an Ag Commissioner has the authority to revoke concealed carry permits in the first place. Ironically, the loophole that allows Fried to curtail gun rights was lobbied for and pushed through the state legislature by the National Rifle association.
“I just suspended the concealed weapons permits of 22 people involved in the insurrection against the United States of America instigated by Donald Trump on January 6, 2021,” Fried, who is running as a far-left Democrat against incumbent Republican governor Ron DeSantis, proclaimed on Twitter.
I just suspended the concealed weapons permits of 22 people involved in the insurrection against the United States of America instigated by Donald Trump on January 6, 2021.
— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) July 27, 2021
Fried, 43, has the legal power to revoke Second Amendment rights because of a loophole that transferred firearms licensing powers from the Florida Department of State to the Florida Department of Agriculture in 2002. The move was heavily lobbied for by the NRA. NRA lobbyist and former organization president Marion Hammer stated in 2018 that “What we did is we helped write the bill and then amended it onto somebody else’s bill. It was just me. Just NRA. Just gun owners wanting to be sure the program was protected.”
“The idea was that there were a number of people who wanted the oversight of concealed weapons permits to be under an elected statewide official,” former Florida Ag Commissioner Charles Bronson said according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Hammer told the Tampa Bay Times, “You should never want a program that impacts Second Amendment (constitutional) rights so profoundly to be under an agency led by an official who is not directly answerable to the people at the ballot box. It is most inappropriate for (the Florida Department of Law Enforcement) or any other law enforcement agency to handle a licensing program, especially one that licenses firearms owners to carry firearms.”
Republican lawmakers reportedly considered several departments for a new home for the Division of Licensing, and settled on Bronson’s Department of Agriculture. After Bronson agreed to the change, it was signed into law by then-Governor Jeb Bush, failed 2016 presidential candidate and brother of former President George Bush.
Fried, a far-left career lawyer, narrowly won the race for Ag Commissioner in 2018 by less than 7,000 votes. Since assuming her position, she has worked to restrict gun rights, crafted anti-concealed carry legislation, and worked with radical anti-Second Amendment group Everytown for Gun Safety to make June 4 “Gun Violence Awareness Day in the State of Florida.”
“With so many lives lost to gun violence in the Sunshine State and around the nation, it’s important to send a message: we remain determined to see common-sense gun violence prevention reforms enacted to protect our communities,” Fried proclaimed in June 2021. “As the lives of children, parents, friends, loved ones, and fellow Floridians have been cut short by firearms, we will stand strong to demand change that honors their memory. I’m proud to work with Everytown for Gun Safety to mark this occasion, which I hope will lead to reflection, persistence, and long-overdue action on gun violence.”
The NRA has provided little, if any, public commentary on the fact that Fried is in a position to restrict Florida citizen’s Constitutional Second Amendment rights because of the Division of Licensing transfer that the NRA solely and successfully lobbied for in 2002.
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Author: Gabriel Keane
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