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Florida concealed weapons permits soon to reach 1 million milestone

by Dara Kam | December 12th, 2012

Florida is on track to hit the one million mark for active concealed weapons permits – more than any other state in the nation – according to Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Adam Putnam.

Putnam, whose office issues and oversees the permits, told reporters Wednesday that there are currently about 993,000 permits in the state. At the rate the concealed weapons permits are being issued, Putnam said he expects Florida to hit the 1 million mark – the highest in the nation – sometime next week.

Nearly one in 14 Floridians over the age of 21 have the permits, according to Putnam’s data. Permits are restricted to those over the age of 21 unless they are in the military and to those who have not been a convicted felon or have had their gun rights restored.

The number of permits has steadily risen since the state first began issuing the permits 25 years ago.

Last year, 151,883 permits were issued, second only to the 167,240 permits issued in 2010. About 80 percent of the current permit-holders are men, and nearly than one-third are between the ages of 51 and 65, according to Putnam’s department. The vast majority of permit holders are white or Hispanic, Putnam said.

Nearly one in 14 Floridians over the age of 21 have the permits, which are restricted to people over the age of 21 unless they are in the military and to those who have not been a convicted felon or have had their gun rights restored. About 90 percent of the permit holders are Florida residents, Putnam said.

Only about .3 percent of the 2 million licenses issued over the life of the program have been revoked, Putnam said. Licenses can be revoked when someone is found guilty of committing a felony or been deemed to be mentally incompetent by a court.

Florida’s concealed weapons permits came under scrutiny in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. Zimmerman, who has a concealed weapons permit, claimed he shot and killed the unarmed teenager in self-defense under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Zimmerman was later charged with second-degree murder.

Putnam said he held the press conference to announce the milestone because he’s asked about the concealed weapons permits more than any other topic. And he said the low revocation rate proves the system is working.

“So clearly, Floridians who are obtaining these licenses are obtaining them for the right reasons and overwhelmingly using them in an appropriate way,” Putnam, who said he has a concealed weapons permit, said.

Putnam gave a National Rifle Association-ready response to a question about what the milestone means about Florida and its culture.

“I think that surpassing the one million active license tells us that Floridians have a great respect and appreciation for their Second Amendment rights and that firearm ownership whether for personal protection, for sport or for collections is a popular thing,” he said.

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9 Responses to “Florida concealed weapons permits soon to reach 1 million milestone”

  1. rebar Says:

    Did you notice how the story below this one on the front page was about a guy who shot his roommate.

    That says it all. More guns DO NOT make a society safer. The statistics prove it: societies with higher guns per capita are more violent.

  2. total Says:

    Yeah baby!!!

  3. just to let you know Says:

    In Palm Beach County…

    1 out of every 3 people has a arrest record in PBC…

    there is 1 lawyer for every 168 county residents……

    PBC has the highest AIDS infection among people over 65 years in age…..

    Belle Glade is the AIDS capital of the USA……

    There are more GED graduates than college graduates on the PBSO.

  4. D Nile Says:

    Another skewed article by this liberal rag! Whenever anything positive comes out regarding gun ownership this liberal rag has to interject its spin on the topic. In no way did this news need to have teenage thug Travon Martin mentioned in it, nor did Putnam’s response need to be referred to as “NRA-ready”. The fact is people are buying guns in record numbers and legally obtaining permits to protect themselves from an increasingly violent society. Legal law abiding citizens are not shooting people and the statistics prove it. This fact alone is driving the liberals into a fevered frenzy.

  5. One of the 47% Says:

    It says 1 in 14 Floridians are not felons and can pass the requirements to conceal a weapon. That’s not too shabby. And if you eliminate the ones that don’t apply that are also law abiding citizens the rate goes down.

    So its still the 20% of people that commit 80% of the crimes.

  6. @Just to let you know. Says:

    Prove your statement about PBSO because according to their human resourced dept that is blatantly not true so how is it you know more then they do? Where do you get your information? Btw having a college education doesn’t mean you’re smarter then anyone else, it just means you’re capable if being an educated moron. Fact: 63% of sworn PBSO deputies have college degrees. Fact: 72%who join without degrees get one within their first 8 years of employment in order to advance up the ranks or work certain assignments. Fact: 85-90% of sworn personnel are military veterans. THOSE ATE FACTS MY FRIEND.
    Its public information. request it yourself.

  7. stop crying like a child Says:

    If you don’t like the post then don’t read it. Simple for the simpletons. Instead you idiots read it constantly and complain it’s liberal constantly. You rethugs are as dump as you are losers. Thank god your going the way of the dinosaurs and cavemen…extinct.

  8. More The Merrier Says:

    Good for those people sick and tired of thugs pulling guns on everyone. Their will be a time when these pieces of crap go to rob a store or bank and find several legal guns pulled on them.
    To those whiners like No 1, stay misinformed and hide, their will be folks to stand up for you. Maybe I’ll be there for you.

  9. Wayne J. Barricklow Says:

    “Did you notice how the story below this one on the front page was about a guy who shot his roommate.”

    That is an anecdote, not a statistic. This does not say it all.

    “That says it all. More guns DO NOT make a society safer. The statistics prove it: societies with higher guns per capita are more violent.”

    If you’ve actually looked at the statistics on European nations (I assume you’re referencing the UK) you’ll see the number of firearms per capita has little correlation to the rate of violent crime. Yeah, there are places like the UK with heavy restrictions on firearms ownership and a low violent crime rate. But look at nations like Finland and Switzerland. Both have low rates of violent crime and high rates of gun ownership. Look at Russia- very heavily restricted, more so than the UK, but with 5 times the murder rate of the US.

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