Nikki Fried hasn’t even taken the helm of the Florida Agriculture Commission yet, but she’s already saying she plans to do a “deep dive” evaluation of the state’s concealed-carry program once she is on post. She aired her goals during the weekend’s news talk shows.
Fried, who says she holds a carry permit, said the reason for examining the system is that there have been lapses. Among the changes she is championing, Fried said she wants to require that all permit background checks be done by full-time employees.
Of course, whether she’ll be able to do anything remains to be seen. A move is afoot to transfer responsibility of running the concealed carry program to the purview of another entity—the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Chief Financial Officer have been cited as possibly assuming the duty.
Regardless of how much power she actually has to change the permitting process, she can surely make it more the application protocol more difficult.
One thing to keep in mind is that the job was given to the Agriculture Commission because people realized the importance of having someone who is accountable to the voters in charge of the program. If it is handed off to the Department of Law Enforcement, the decision-makers won’t be responsive to demands from the citizenry.