Gun group claims victory after Nikki Fried reopens online applications for concealed weapons permits

The online application system had been closed since March 23.

The Young Americans for Liberty declared victory over Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried on Monday after Fried reopened the Florida’s online application process for concealed weapons licenses.

“Nikki Fried tried to use COVID-19 as an opportunity to advance her authoritarian, gun-grabbing agenda,” said YAL President Cliff Maloney. “She lost and the people of Florida won. Let this victory serve as a reminder that our right to self-defense is nonnegotiable and that millions of law abiding gun-owners will not sit idly by while tyrants attempt to silence us.”

Fried took fire in late March when she halted the online application process for concealed weapons licenses.

Fried said the decision was made after the statewide closures of offices and law enforcement agencies prevented applicants from being fingerprinted and utilizing the online platform.

Conservative groups including YAF, however, alleged Fried placed her own agenda ahead of constitutional rights.

The dispute prompted Maloney to file a lawsuit against Fried, the state’s top Democrat.

“Nikki Fried thinks that your right to self-defense is negotiable. She’s wrong,” Maloney said. “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.”

At a press conference Thursday, Fried said her office has processed over 100,579 applications since March 1 and described the group’s claims as “misinformation.”

She also said the lawsuit played no part in her decision to reopen a Division of Licensing office in Tallahassee, the first in the state.

“It has absolutely no impact on our operations, it has no impact on our decision to open up,” Fried said. “I certainly, as an attorney, do not follow the whims of a frivolous lawsuit on our decisions and policy making. We will vigorously defend our actions.”

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capital for Florida Politics. After a stint with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studied American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. Throw him a line at [email protected] or on Twitter at @JasonDelgadoFL.


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