The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services didn’t perform any background checks for concealed-carry gun permits for nearly a year due to apparent employee negligence, The Tampa Bay Times reports citing the results of an investigation by the Office of Inspector General.
The problem only came to light in March 2017 when another employee became curious why the department stopped receiving notices of denials.
As the newspaper points out, it remains unclear why it took so long to discover that background checks weren’t being performed.
"As soon as we learned that one employee failed to review applicants' non-criminal disqualifying information, we immediately terminated the employee, thoroughly reviewed every application potentially impacted, and implemented safeguards to prevent this from happening again," department spokesman Aaron Keller said.
From July 2016 through June 2017, some 268,000 applications were approved and 6,470 were denied, The Tampa Bay Times adds, citing the state Agriculture Department's annual concealed weapons permit report.
Earlier in February, a lone gunman carried out a violent shooting spree at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people.
The tragedy prompted local activists and shooting survivors to push for stricter gun control.