In the midst of heavy demand for concealed carry permits, the state of Florida has been fast-tracking permit applications for active-duty military and honorably discharged veterans. In the last two years, the state has provided over 82,000 permits to current and former members of the military.
The focus to push through these permits came as a reaction to the attack on a Chattanooga military base two years ago. The attack resulted in the deaths of a Navy sailor and four Marines, as well as the gunman.
The attack, which took place on July 16, 2015, motivated Florida to change the rules for military personnel seeking a permit. National guard and other members of the military can receive their permit prior to the age of 21, unlike civilians applicants.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam cites the extensive training members of the military receive as reasoning for the separate rules. “When I look at the firearms training, the discipline and the character of the 82,000 men and women who have served this country, and continue to serve this country, they are a force multiplier for law enforcement,” Putnam explains.
Under Putnam, the state has seen an increase in the number of concealed carry permits applications. Since first winning a state-wide office in 2010, the number of permits has swelled from 800 thousand to more than 1.78 million.
The rule changes for active military, combined with the fast-tracked application for current military members and honorably discharged veterans, continues a commitment by Florida to those who commit their lives to serving our country.
“This is just one example of what we do through our department to make Florida the most veteran and military friendly state in the nation,” Putnam said.