Gun group fires lawsuit at Nikki Fried over concealed permits
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried slammed HB 1 Friday.

Agriculture Commissioner called Young Americans for Liberty 'obscure right-wing fringe'

The gun-rights group Young Americans for Liberty sued Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried claiming she’s depriving Floridians of their rights. The suit aims to lift a suspension of online concealed weapons permit applications.

“Nikki Fried thinks that your right to self-defense is negotiable. She’s wrong,” said Cliff Maloney, YAL President. “This is a blatant disregard for the rule of law, and I will not idly sit by while Nikki Fried uses this crisis to enact her gun-grabbing agenda. I encourage all Americans to join this fight for our rights. We either believe in liberty in times of crisis or we do not believe in liberty at all.”

Fried has defended her move vigorously, repeatedly noting permits continue to be processed, but the online mechanism cannot be used right now because of issues such as fingerprint collection during a pandemic.

“Commissioner Fried has not restricted processing of concealed weapons license applications; on the contrary, our department has processed more than 54,000 concealed weapons license applications since March 1, with an average review time of just 1 to 2 days,” said Franco Ripple, Fried’s Communications Director.

“Despite misinformation from special interest groups, we are continuing to process both new applications and renewals timely, and Commissioner Fried has also issued emergency orders extending expiring licenses by 90 days.”

Maloney’s group threatened litigation over the issue last month, saying the lone Democrat on Florida’s Cabinet was stalling with applications. The activist criticized her then for finding time to hold fundraisers but not to find a workaround on the fingerprint issue with online users.

Fried has since cited the potential lawsuit in a mass email to supporters. She suggested at the time she was simply following procedures that fell by the wayside with past Agriculture Commissioners. Former Commissioner Adam Putnam’s office notoriously stopped conducting proper background checks on such permits for a year because of a technical issue.

“They can’t handle that we’ve brought full accountability and background checks to Florida’s 2 million concealed weapons licenses while making the program more efficient,” Fried said in an email blast. Officials made clear the email included no fundraising appeals.

That message, which the National Rifle Association dismissed as a “whine,” also appeared to allude to YAL as an “an obscure right-wing fringe group.”

Maloney cited the slight in his own news release announcing the lawsuit.

The Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence came to Fried’s defense this week.

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]


  • gary

    May 8, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    Complete nonsense! Our rights have been completely trampled on so far this year! We need an uprising of patriots to bring back order!

  • Amy Roberts

    May 8, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    Stand tall and firm Ms. Fried, you have the support of the majority of law abiding citizens.

    • morstar

      May 8, 2020 at 6:04 pm

      Amy, by that comment you made, do you consider persons who have legal permits to carry are not law abiding citizens?

      • Amy Roberts

        May 8, 2020 at 6:08 pm

        No, By law abiding I mean folks that do not try to circumvent the process and make it into something it’s not.

        • jon

          May 8, 2020 at 7:22 pm

          She is the one circumventing the rights of Americans to get a permit the bill of rights do not even require! Democrats are idiots!

    • Tom

      May 8, 2020 at 6:45 pm

      Lol, not even close to true.

    • derf

      May 13, 2020 at 9:21 am

      ya right those law abiding people your referring to are on the other side of the issue, follow the 2nd amendment.

  • Ron

    May 9, 2020 at 8:25 am

    Regardless of how “obscure” or “right wing” or “fringe” is the group, its members are citizens with rights, citizens Nikki Fried works for–whether she wants to consider them citizens of her little puppy paradise or not.

  • Bee

    May 9, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    Gun rights groups are comprised of the dumbest dumbasses of Americans. “Depriving us of our right to defend ourselves”. Laughable and laughed at by most of the World. When was the last time they had to use their toys to defend themselves? More like a phallic piece they stroke. Most times it is only brandished/fired by accident, suicide, or when they use it to threaten/abuse a family member. Many, many times they end up in the hands of children or are left in cars to be stolen and placed directly into the hands of criminals. Florida last year, over 10,000 weapons stolen out of unlocked vehicles.

    • Peter

      May 9, 2020 at 4:40 pm

      lol Cite data to corroborate your claims. When you don’t, because you can’t, you might get a clue why people laugh at you.

  • David

    May 14, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    Why are all you people, who rightly support the Constitution, engaging in debate with know-nothing, brainless fools?
    A well-known man* once said, “Never argue with ignorance: Outsiders can’t tell the difference”. He was very right.
    When you engage with idiots, you end up making yourself look idiotic!

    *The man was Robert A. Heinlein, well-known author & sometime liberal realist.

Comments are closed.


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