Florida Stops Acceptance of New Concealed Weapons License Applications

Concealed Weapons Licenses in Florida are on pause. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Commissioner Nikki Fried — the only statewide elected official in Florida who is a Democrat — has stopped her agency’s processing of Concealed Weapons and Firearms Licenses applications temporarily, in the midst of Florida’s COVID-19 scare.

Florida Agencies Closed for 30-Days

FDACS will be closed to the public until April 19th, 2020. This means they’ll be unable to collect the fingerprints required for Florida Concealed Weapons and Firearm License applications.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ordered state agencies to close to the public for 30-days, from March 19th to April 19th.

Florida requires fingerprints in order to process CWFL applications. As the issuing agency (FDACS) will be closed to the public, these fingerprints cannot be collected. Therefore, no CWFL applications can be processed.

Existing CWFL holders are given an automatic 30-day extension of their license.

Official Statement

FDACS Issued the following press release:

Mar 20, 2020

Tallahassee, Fla. – To minimize exposure to COVID-19 and help protect visitors and employees, the Governor has recommended state offices be temporarily closed to the public from Thursday, March 19th through Sunday, April 19th. As a result, FDACS Division of Licensing regional office personnel will not be available to fingerprint license applicants. 

Local law enforcement agencies and tax collector offices across Florida have likewise begun to temporarily suspend fingerprinting services. Therefore, first-time concealed weapons license (CWL) applicants will be unable to obtain electronic or hard card fingerprinting services from any of the means authorized by section 790.06(5)(c), Florida Statutes. As a reminder, fingerprints submitted from any source other than official law enforcement, tax collector offices, or FDACS Division of Licensing offices cannot be accepted under 790.06(5)(c), Florida Statutes.

To prevent unnecessary financial burdens and frustration to CWL applicants who would be unable to be approved due to the unavailability of fingerprinting services, acceptance of online or in-person initial CWL applications beginning Monday, March 23, 2020 will be delayed. Per Commissioner Nikki Fried’s emergency order 2020-004, expiring concealed weapons licenses and security officer licenses will be automatically extended an additional thirty (30) days at this time.

Renewals/Security Officers: The Division of Licensing will continue accepting online and mailed CWL renewal applications and all Chapter 493 security officer applications as usual.

If applicants have questions, they may contact the FDACS Division of Licensing at (850) 245-5691 or [email protected]. Division of Licensing personnel will remain available to answer questions by telephone or email.


Not a Friend of The Second Amendment

Since taking office, Nikki Fried has taken steps to make access to a CWFL more difficult. She has also sought to make the license itself valid for shorter periods. Fried’s department has also been criticized for serious errors and inefficiencies.

Fried has been criticized by the NRA as being ‘The Most Anti-Gun Agriculture Commissioner in over 40 years — Maybe Ever’.

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