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Gun permits go to felons

January 29, 2007|South Florida Sun-Sentinel

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. — Florida has given concealed-weapon licenses to hundreds of people who wouldn't have a chance of getting them in most other states because of their criminal histories. Courts have found the people responsible for assaults, burglaries, sexual battery, drug possession, child molestation -- even homicide.

A Sun-Sentinel investigation of the state's concealed-weapon system found that among people awarded licenses in the first half of 2006 were more than 1,400 who pleaded guilty or no contest to felonies but qualified because of a loophole in the law; 216 with outstanding warrants; 128 with active domestic violence injunctions against them; six registered sex offenders; and at least one prison inmate.

Four government attorneys are responsible for suspending or revoking licenses whenever any of Florida's 410,000 licensees is accused of a serious offense.

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