Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Concealed Weapon and Firearm License Program is One Million Strong
~ Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam Recognizes Milestone; Highlights History, Privacy Protections and Success of Program ~
December 12, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced today the Florida Concealed Weapon and Firearm License Program at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will issue its one millionth valid concealed weapon and firearm license next week.
“In 1987, Florida issued its first statewide concealed weapon license after the Florida Legislature established standardized and uniform requirements for the issuance of a concealed weapon license,” said Commissoner Putnam. “Twenty-five years later, the state of Florida has issued nearly one million valid concealed weapon and firearm licenses.”
According to Commissioner Putnam, as of today, Florida’s Concealed Weapon and Firearm Program is made up of 997,066 valid license holders. At the current rate of processing applications, the department is expected to issue the one millionth valid license early next week.
The identity of the individual who will be issued the one millionth license will not be revealed as a result of action by the Florida Legislature in 2006 to exempt applicants and licensees from the disclosure provisions of Florida’s public records law.
“It is our responsibilty to protect the identity of any individual who applies for a concealed weapon and firearm license. We have a strong record in protecting the privacy of licensees and I intend to uphold this reputation.”
Commissioner Putnam did, however, reveal statistics that indicate who the average license holder is. Four out of every five licensees are male, but with a growing interest among females. Nearly one-third of licensees are between ages 51 and 65.
The licensee population holds a responsible record over the 25-year history of the Florida Concealed Weapon and Firearm Program. While more than 2.3 million licenses have been issued, only 7,244 licenses (0.3%) have been revoked due to crime, illegal prints or legislative or clemency changes.
Commissioner Putnam pointed to the exponential increase in applications for concealed weapon or firearm licenses over the last decade. Fiscal Year 2009-2010 was a record year, with 167,240 applications received. Just ten years prior, 28,618 applications were received during Fiscal Year 1999-2000.
To meet the growing demand for licenses, the Florida Concealed Weapon and Firearm License Program has worked to simplify the application process and increase efficiencies in processing of applications. Upgrading technology in 1995, 1998 and 2004, improved the processing procedures. In 2002, the program provided fingerprint scanning devices to sheriffs’ offices to enable applicants to meet the requirements.
In 2009, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services introduced the “Fast Track” service, an opportunity for applicants to complete applications in person at one of eight regional offices throughout Florida. This year, the department extended the “Fast Track” service to renewal applicants. More than 60% of applicants take advantage of this easy and convenient application option.
The Florida Concealed Weapon and Firearm Program is operated at no cost to Florida taxpayers. The program is funded by fees for concealed weapon and firearm licenses.
The program was created by the Florida Legislature in 1987 and is defined by Florida Statutes.
Additional Resources (Attached):
FACT SHEET: Valid Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm Licenses
FACT SHEET: Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License Applications
FACT SHEET: History of the Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License Program
FACT SHEET: Profile of Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm Licensees
For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com.