Putnam's office responds to Tampa Bay Times report

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Florida gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam oversaw an office that failed to run required background checks on people applying for a concealed weapons permit for over a year because the worker in charge was unable to log in to the system, according to a new report from the Tampa Bay Times. The Times reports that Wilde could not log in to the federal check system and ultimately stopped using it. Keller told the Times that Wilde was sacked immediately after the Inspector General's Office concluded she had been negligent.

The Department, meanwhile, said that it "immediately" fired the employee after becoming aware of her non-compliance with the procedure, and it "thoroughly reviewed every application potentially impacted".

But he acknowledged that an employee in his office failed to review the results of those background checks, which led to 291 people receiving permits who were not supposed to have them. Perhaps no better example of this fact is a recent report that shows the state of Florida stopped running non-criminal concealed carry background checks on hundreds of individuals because the employee in charge of this necessary precaution could not log in to the National Instant Criminal background Check System.

It said it did three different background checks on all the applicants.

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Investigators are unsure of how many applicants received a permit when they should have been denied, but the conspicuous lack of denials and appeals during that year is reportedly what finally tipped officials off that something was going wrong in the applications process. "The former employee was both deceitful and negligent, and we immediately launched an investigation and implemented safeguards to ensure this never happens again". She reported her login problems to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on April 7, 2016, and never logged in again because the problems persisted.

Putnam is now in the running to be Florida's next governor.

In a Friday interview with the Times, Wilde said the licensing department was overwhelmed with the number of applications and she was under pressure from supervisors to quickly approve applications. The problem wasn't fixed until March 2017.

Watch: Adam Putnam answers reporters' questions about the investigation and reports.

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Putnam said there were about 350,000 applicants during that time, all of which were initially approved for concealed carry permits.

The state used the national system to see if there were reasons such as mental illness or drug addictions that should prevent someone from being issued a concealed-weapons permit.

As Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam expanded the state's concealed weapon license program so it is now the largest in the country.

"I know I did that", Wilde said. But in March 2017 an investigation was triggered after a state employee noted that the state was not getting any correspondence from people whose applications had been rejected because of information gleaned from the national database. He also said that during the gap period the Department continued use of two other background check tools: the Florida Crime Information Center database and the National Crime Information Center database. "I should have been doing it and I didn't".

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