Florida to speed up veteran wait time for concealed weapon permits

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In the wake of the tragic murders of five military members in Chattanooga, Tenn., the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs will speed up the process necessary for active military and veterans to obtain a license to possess a concealed permit.

In Chattanooga, suspect Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire in a military facility and killed four Marines and injured two service members and a police officer. Abdulazeez was killed at the scene.

USA Today reports that within 30 days, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs plans to offer weapon permits to all qualifying active military and veterans. This reduces the time it normally would take by a third.

“The men and women who serve and have served our country deserve all of the support we can provide,” Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam said, “We are pleased to expedite active military member and veterans applications for a concealed weapon license, and our partnership with tax collectors throughout the state will make this process even more convenient.”

Military and veterans should have no problem receiving their permits quickly if they are qualified and have all the paperwork. Current service orders or military identification must be submitted with applications to prove that they are currently active.

Though the tragedy happened on a military facility, there will still be strict rules about carrying concealed weapons on bases. Generally, weapons are only allowed on base and other facilities if carried by those on duty at that time, including guard or security duties.

The concealed weapons permit allows military members to carry such weapons outside of military facilities within their state.

Another issue for Florida is the safety of military recruiters at stations. Citizens are sometimes armed at recruiting stations and recruiters’ safety is a concern.

Retired Army Sgt. 1st. Class Juan Santiago, also a Vietnam veteran of Melbourne, FL has doubts about recruiters being armed. However, he thinks they do have the right to remain safe. He suggested that installing bulletproof glass on the front of stations should be an option.

“Of course it’s a must for them to protect themselves,” said Santiago, who often helps with Army recruiting. “They need to create an environment where facilities are protected.”

Armed guards at recruiting stations may not be an option for some time as Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook says that placing guards at the stations could start to pose unnecessary risks.

Cook spoke on behalf of Defense Ash Carter and said that Carter was reviewing all safety recommendations at this time.

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