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War On Terror Gets Uncomfortable For FDLE Chief

Florida Department of Law Enforcement chief Rick Swearingen got blindsided when pitching a new counter-terrorism task force to the Senate Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee.

Swearingen was describing why his department needs $6 million to hire 46 agents when Republican Dennis Baxley demanded to know if another answer to terrorism is a better-armed public.

“Do you not see a nexus between these events occurring routinely in gun-free zones? You mentioned the whole aspect, of, the public has to play a role.  You can’t be everywhere and detect everything that’s fixing to happen," Baxley said.

Swearingen said the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in Orlando might have turned out differently if a victim had been armed, but he avoided mentioning controversial bills expanding the right to carry firearms in public.