Putnam: Orlando Shooter Licensed In Florida Since 2007

Jun 13, 2016

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says his agency isn’t releasing the gun permit application of the man who massacred people at an Orlando area gay nightclub. But he says the gunman was first licensed in 2007 and renewed in 2015.

Putnam says the man who killed 49 people at Pulse nightclub early Sunday morning was a licensed gun owner in the state and had been for eight years. During that time the gunman was twice interviewed by the FBI and placed on a watch list, but he was removed after nothing came of the investigation.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam (2015).
Credit Sascha Cordner / WFSU News

“He was fingerprinted, successfully completed the application," Putnam said. "There’s nothing in the record that would have disqualified this individual who was a U.S. citizen, who had a clean criminal record, who underwent a background check and mental screening, from receiving those licenses.”

Putnam says the gunman had both a class D and class G gun license, which means he had to complete 28 hours of firearm training and an additional four hours each year to retain the permit.

Putnam oversees Florida’s gun permitting program, and he calls the mass shooting in Orlando a tragedy. But while speaking to reporters Monday, he refused to say whether the shooter should have been kept from purchasing a gun in the state. Instead, Putnam says the arguments gun-control supporters usually make in the wake of mass shootings, don’t apply in the Orlando case.

“There was a background check. There was a further background check that allowed him to become an armed security guard. You had a U.S. Citizen. You have a U.S. Citizen with no criminal record, no prior mental health issues, who waited the three days, and then went through another background check at the point of purchase," he said, "and so it does not appear that the typical legislative reactions would have had an impact on this particular individual’s ability to purchase a firearm.”  

The gunman worked as an armed security guard, and he purchased the weapons used in the nightclub attack a week ago.

The agriculture commissioner says he won't be releasing the gunman's application permit due to the shooting being considered an active investigation. Putnam says he's working with the FBI to coordinate a timeline to release the documents.