Gun rights group threatens Nikki Fried with lawsuit over concealed carry applications

Stand your ground
Fried stopped processing online applications in March.

A gun rights group threatened to sue Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried for suspending online applications for concealed weapons permits.

Young Americans for Liberty sent a letter demanding Fried stop “infringing” on the rights of Floridians.

“This is a politically motivated attempt by Commissioner Fried to exploit the COVID-19 crisis and restrict the rights of Floridians,” said YAL President Cliff Maloney.

Fried announced on March 20 the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Licensing would delay concealed weapons license applications because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Fried has said it’s impossible to properly process certain parts of applications like fingerprints.

But more than a month later, Maloney said, it’s clear Fried, Florida’s only Democrat holding statewide office, is taking advantage of the situation.

“She found the time to host a fundraiser with Joe Biden but refuses to do her job and accept the online applications of law-abiding Floridians?” Maloney said.

“More than ever, Floridians need their rights protected so they can defend themselves and their families. I’m demanding Commissioner Fried reopen and approve online concealed weapons license applications immediately, or she can expect a lawsuit on her hands.”

The gun group isn’t the first to question Fried’s actions on concealed weapons permits. Attorney General Ashley Moody sent Fried a letter last week pointing to a lawsuit in Georgia and asserting Fried cannot suspend applications indefinitely.

“I understand that it is likely more difficult for Floridians to obtain fingerprints,” Moody wrote. “But those difficulties would equally exist for mailed-in applications, which your agency purports to still be accepting.”

Fried fired back at Moody that she was misinformed about the process.

“Contrary to the misinformation you may have seen, there is no delay in processing applications,” Fried wrote. “In fact, throughout these unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19, our devoted Division of Licensing staff has processed 29,048 new applications and 25,742 renewal applications since March 1, with an average review time of 1 to 2 days.”

Maloney, though, said there’s no excuse for Fried’s office maintaining a moratorium on online applications. If that direction isn’t immediately revoked, he said his group will sue.

“Floridians do not need you to subjectively decide what will make us ‘frustrated’ and then arbitrarily eliminate a convenient and safe way to apply for a concealed weapons license,” Maloney wrote.

“Although you have closed all of your offices to the public, thus impeding the ability to obtain necessary fingerprinting directly from the Department, there are many local law enforcement agencies, including my own in Okaloosa County, which still continue to provide fingerprinting services to the public for the purpose of obtaining a concealed weapons license.”

“These local law enforcement agencies are ensuring the constitutional rights of Floridians are not infringed, while at the same time taking all necessary public health precautions.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Larry Gillis, Libertarian

    April 30, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    ” … THREATEN … ” ?

    Your choice of verb in the headline here is concerning, particularly with a close-up color photograph of some guy’s concealed-carry weapon in his pants.

    With your law degree, you are certainly no slouch in the linguistic arts, so you know exactly the subliminal message you’re conveying here.

    Please stop. Just report the story, without the comic-book graphics.

    Thanks. Keep reporting these interesting stories.

    Larry Gillis, Cape Coral

    • Larry Gillis, Libertarian

      April 30, 2020 at 6:29 pm

      CORRECTION: I confabulated Jacob with some other writer for FP, the one with the law degree. Sorry, Jake.

      You’ve been accused of many things, I’m sure, but being a lawyer is not one of them.

      • John

        May 1, 2020 at 8:52 am

        Karen (aka Larry Gillis), threaten is what they have done. Conceal carry of weapons is the topic. Hence the word and photo!

        If you are seriously that fragile, move to London and find a tusk to use as a defense utensil (I didn’t want to use the word ‘weapon’ out of fear of scaring you).

    • guns

      May 4, 2020 at 3:33 pm

      STOP being a dick about the real stuff. Your guns are safe. STOP spreading FAKE NEWS…..

    • Daniel Thomas, CSM, PMP

      May 5, 2020 at 6:58 am

      Mr. Gillis
      In case you don’t remember children were killed. In light of you comment; you must support this activity. Unless you have comments of support for Larry Gillis, stop your critique; I for one believe you are not a Libertarian but rather one of Trump supporters. Try to do something positive about the collapse that this country is fast tracking to collapse; and then you can critique. Do something positive and then talk about it.

  • Anne

    May 1, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    I am a Tax Collector who offers fingerprinting in my offices. Unfortunately, most of our offices are not open to the public. And my employees are questioning the lunacy of getting close to a person they do not know and are asked to touch to do the fingerprinting. Yes, they can wear gloves and have a mask on but really we are asking our employees to potentially put their life at risk. I would like to offer Mr. Mahoney a job doing fingerprinting in my offices.

    • Richard Nascak

      May 1, 2020 at 8:04 pm

      If the state and counties are unable to fulfill their statutory obligation to provide fingerprints for permitting, then it’s time to either legalize unlicensed open carry or do away with the permitting process altogether.

      • Dan Lanske

        May 2, 2020 at 7:47 pm


  • Abel Rod

    May 4, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    I have just visited Nikki’s website, she claims these allegations are false. Please stop pandering to the NRA. I believe in gun owners rights but question the NRA’s ulterior motives.

  • morstar

    May 7, 2020 at 11:11 pm

    What’s interesting about this issue is that these are the same folks who would not support Republican Matt Caldwell, for Ag Commissioner because they felt he wasn’t strong enough on Second Amendment issues. They were going to teach him a lesson.

    Now, they have reaped what they have sown. How’s that for a lesson?

Comments are closed.


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