Putnam Fast-Tracks Concealed Weapons Licenses For Military Members, Veterans

July 28, 2015

Florida, which already has the most concealed-weapon licenses in the nation, is now fast-tracking the process for active-duty military members and honorably discharged veterans.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam announced Monday that active and retired service members will immediately begin to get top priority when applying for the licenses.

The expedited process is part of the state’s reaction to a shooting rampage in Tennessee in which four Marines and a sailor were killed on July 16.

“The men and women who serve and have served our country deserve all of the support we can provide,” Putnam said in a prepared statement.

The announcement expands upon an executive order issued July 18 by Gov. Rick Scott. The executive order included a requirement that preference be given to members of the Florida National Guard when applying for concealed-weapon licenses.

The order also directed Adjutant Gen. Michael Calhoun to temporarily move National Guard members from six “storefront” recruitment centers to armories and to work with local law-enforcement agencies to arrange regular security checks of armories.

Putnam expanded the license fast-tracking to include all military members.

Active members of the military are advised to include copies of their Common Access Cards or other forms of official military identification with their applications. Veterans have to file copies of their DD 214 long forms with their applications to get fast-tracked.

The state agency hasn’t estimated how many members of the military and veterans will take advantage of the expedited process, said Putnam spokeswoman Jennifer Meale.

Currently, there are more than 1.41 million concealed-weapon licenses issued in Florida, according to the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which administers the program.

The state went over the 1 million mark in December 2012, becoming the first state in the nation to surpass that figure.

Pennsylvania, which does not post its concealed-weapon numbers, has reportedly joined Florida in surpassing the 1 million mark.

According to a 2014 study from the Pennsylvania-based Crime Prevention Research Center, Texas has issued the third most concealed-carry permits among the states.

There were 825,957 concealed-carry permits in Texas as of Dec. 31, 2014, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Meanwhile, Florida lawmakers in 2014 made it more convenient to apply for a concealed-carry licenses by allowing county tax collectors’ offices to accept applications.

So far, 13 offices — Brevard, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lee, Marion, Martin, Nassau, Okaloosa, Pasco, Pinellas, St. Johns and Walton — accept the applications.

by Jim Turner, The News Service of Florida


23 Responses to “Putnam Fast-Tracks Concealed Weapons Licenses For Military Members, Veterans”

  1. Kelle on January 13th, 2016 11:21 am

    Well having to wait two months to get an appointment in Pensacola Fl is just plain ridiculous for a normal nonmilitary law abiding citizen .
    I took the class passed it and now have to wait TWO MONTHS before i can even get an appointment. First appointment available March 9th!!
    That just isn’t right, maybe they need to hire more people? At $72.00 per license, you could add more processors.

  2. Really??? on July 29th, 2015 5:31 pm

    Very few LEO’s are subjected to the level of background investigations, mandatory random drug testing, psychological exams and physical training experienced by the military.

    Very few LEO’s receive the level and quality of weapons training that the majority of military receive. Military members are required to re-qualify on their assigned weapon(s) a minimum of every six months, most every three months in order to maintain their qual standards.

    Very few LEO’s have any “real world” experience dealing with combat situations where as a large majority of our military have vast experience in this area.

    Having served on the both sides of the fence, my military weapons training far exceeded any weapons training received as a LEO. Plus as a LEO, my paper targets have never shot back at me. Most LEO’s I know have never fired their weapon at a human target, whereas the majority of my military colleagues had to rely on their training to stay alive on a daily basis.

    So there is your short answer on why this the military are being “fast-tracked”, whereas non-veteran LEO’s are not.

  3. Sedition on July 29th, 2015 10:21 am

    Sorry John Johnson, your logic is flawed as well. You claim that:
    ” They get more training, stay qualified at the range, are deep rooted with a very intense background investigation, complete psychological exams, polygraphs and drug tested.”
    I have a list of news articles and videos miles long showing these “vetted” individuals going nuts on civilians and abusing their authority. Why are these “loose cannons” not caught by your famed intensive background checks, complete psychological exams, polygraphs (which have no legal standing in court), and drug tests?
    In Georgia when I was a member of Georgia Packing, one of our members, a member of the Georgia government, showed data stating the FACT that CCW holders committed fewer crimes than law enforcement officers,
    LOEs used my tax dollars in Georgia to “constantly qualify”, yet I consistently out shot them even though I only got to the range on rare occasions. I grew up with a firearm in my hand and was taught firearm safety and responsibility before most of those cops were even born.
    So tell me again why LEOs deserve to be fast tracked and what makes them more worthy than an everyday citizen, or just admit that the “ruling class” thinks themselves above the law that the rest of us have to follow.

  4. john johnson on July 29th, 2015 8:42 am

    Sedition, you are wrong. Common sense should prevail and LEO’s should be fast tracked. They get more training, stay qualified at the range, are deep rooted with a very intense background investigation, complete psychological exams, polygraphs and drug tested. Who else applying for a CCP does all of these things? The only ones that that should be fast tracked ARE LEO’s! The only benefit for a cop to have a CCP is when buying a gun. He can carry anytime he chooses! It doesn’t make sense and you missed the premises, on this one.

  5. Jane on July 29th, 2015 5:34 am

    There seem to be plenty of bad guys carrying, and they don’t have a license to carry. Too bad none of this applies to them. They just do as they please.

  6. Sedition on July 28th, 2015 11:14 pm

    citizen said: Fine but anybody eligible should have applied years ago. I wonder if the folks complaining are even able to qualify.

    I knew more about the carry law than the NRA instructor did. I didn’t mean to embarrass him in class, but he gave out false information.

  7. Daniel on July 28th, 2015 5:43 pm

    So why should a law abiding citizen be required to have a permit to exercise their 2nd amendment right? And thank you Florida law makers for ALLOWING us to bear arms during a Hurricane or other disaster situation. I thought I had that right already, well I guess now I will be legal.
    The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
    – Thomas Jefferson, Commonplace Book (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria), 1774-1776

  8. BT on July 28th, 2015 5:34 pm

    How about not giving preferential treatment to anybody? How about you process everyone’s application in a timely manner?

  9. Avis on July 28th, 2015 5:19 pm

    IMHO Florida is excessively regulated. It’s to the point of comedy. And it ain’t just about guns.

  10. Facetious Bob on July 28th, 2015 4:51 pm

    Be careful out there boys and girls. The concealed weapons permit should not be as easy to obtain as a handicapped parking permit.

  11. citizen on July 28th, 2015 4:19 pm

    Fine but anybody eligible should have applied years ago. I wonder if the folks complaining are even able to qualify.

  12. Century resident on July 28th, 2015 4:06 pm

    We got our concealed carry in 2010. My husband is retired Army and we didn’t hesitate to get a permit nor to carry. We also will not hesitate to defend ourselves. It gives me peace of mind to know I have my small revolver when I’m around town, at a movie, restaurant, shopping, walking. I may look liken a sweet innocent lady but I am armed and ready.
    Fast track any all all who are eligible and deserving. I do not intend to be a victim nor want anyone else to be.

  13. cw on July 28th, 2015 3:14 pm

    @don, Shooting range on woodbind rd. charges $ 12.50 a day. Right on the highway, wristband allows you to leave and come back at no extra charge. It’s closed on Mondays. Maybe this helps you some.

  14. Oak Grove Bud on July 28th, 2015 1:32 pm

    I took my gun safety course info with me to the Dept. of Agriculture in Fort Walton Beach FL and did the on line info, was finger printed, got my CCP , which is good for seven years, all in one afternoon.

  15. molino jim on July 28th, 2015 11:53 am

    @ John J–What is worse is for retired LEO to have to re-qualify each year and only be allowed to carry the weapon they qualify with. I understand their department are responsible for their retired officers.

  16. Sedition on July 28th, 2015 11:23 am

    No disrespect to any service member or good cop out there, but there should be no fast tracking for anyone. Rule of Law should cover everyone equally.
    You may say that there have been threats against our military members and family, or cops due to racial riots. True, but there have been a small handful if incidence as compared to violent crimes committed against us peons.
    We are seen as the easy targets for theft, rape, home invasion, car jacking…when’s the last time you heard of a precinct being home invasion?
    Yes, military and LOEs tend to go towards the danger. They knew this before ever taking the job.
    Regular citizens face similar dangers just with the simple act of walking out of our door every day. Hell, you don’t even have to leave your house or car…the bad guy will kick your doors in or drag you out of your car at a gas station or grocery store.
    How about a fast track for all of us since the Second Amendment should be our carry permit?

  17. Don on July 28th, 2015 11:00 am

    I had my permit within 2 weeks,it was a tad expensive with the course,the fees and so forth but now I can’t afford to practice anywhere it’s crazy priced everywhere! I hope I never need to use it but feel safer knowing I have one.I wish I could find a range in MY price range and not down 2 miles of muddy bad road or a pawn shop.

  18. Bob C. on July 28th, 2015 7:38 am

    Went online with the Okaloosa Co. Tax Collector’s Office in Crestview and made a required appointment to apply for the Fla Concealed Weapon License.
    Pensacola to Crestview for appointment and very efficient and friendly staff:
    Florida Driver License.
    Proof of Residence.
    Completed an on-line application.
    Fingerprints taken electronically and processing fee = $42
    Initial license fee = $70
    Tax Collector Processing Fee = $22
    Total fees = $134
    Then WAIT for 90 days, to the day….
    Permit approved after 90 days then WAIT again for license to arrive in mail

    Fla Dept of Agriculture is overwhelmed with applications, why not process them locally in each county?.

    Hopefully, a rumor is true that the Escambia County Tax Collector Office will begin to process the Florida Concealed Weapon License.
    At least it is closer than Crestview.

    BEST would be go to Esc Co Tax Office with all needed info and a short time later walk out with the License….

  19. John Johnson on July 28th, 2015 7:35 am

    Now how about fast track the requirements for law enforcement officers. It’s absurd that a police officer has to qualify for one. They get more firearms training, as well as other defensive training, than anyone else. If a LEO goes to buy a gun, he has to wait for the three day “cooling off” period and pay for a background, as well as finger prints. These are things that they have already done, in order to be police officers. The background is extensive and takes weeks to do and then there is the psychological, a polygraph and drug screening. A typical applicant does not do these things. The cooling off period for LEO’s is moot. LEO’s can carry anytime, or anywhere (other than a Federal building) and usually does. He’s more than likely carrying when he goes to buy a gun.

    But, leave it to some knucklehead politician who doesn’t get it, or didn’t ask questions before they voted for it.

  20. Tom on July 28th, 2015 7:13 am

    Don’t mess with FLORIDA!

  21. Jon on July 28th, 2015 6:30 am


    Remember that in FL you license is good for 7 years on that $75 application fee. In AL it’s $25 per year. (At least it was last I looked). So it’s actually cheaper in FL. And a military person only needs to show their DD 214 for qualified training. If you go to one of the regional offices to get the finger printing and applications done, it takes a lot less time than mailing the application in. Just FYI.

  22. Sam on July 28th, 2015 5:52 am

    If you are a veteran you don’t take the coarse. The wait is long, going to the sheriffs office, getting finger printed, and a mug shot is an inconvenience. But thats florida. I used to go to the sheriffs office in brewton when i lived in alabama. All it took was showing my drivers license and 25 bucks and walked out with my permit.

  23. charles walsingham on July 28th, 2015 4:28 am

    Someone explain to me why it takes, Gun safety coarse- $75,00, $112.22 when your paper work is turned in, then
    a (3) three month wait while the “state” sits around and does what?