In a politically calculated move following an investigative hearing in Washington, D.C., Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried suspended concealed carry permits for 22 individuals allegedly involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
“I just suspended the concealed weapons permits of 22 people involved in the insurrection against the United States of America instigated by Donald Trump on January 6, 2021,” the Florida Democrat bragged on Twitter.
“The deeply disturbing events that occurred at our nation’s Capitol on January 6th were sedition, treason, and domestic terrorism – and those individuals involved in the insurrection must be held accountable for attempting to subvert our democratic process,” Fried said in a public statement.
“Since charges began being filed, we are using our lawful authority to immediately suspend the licenses of 22 individuals involved in the storming of the U.S. Capitol. This is an ongoing effort, and as charges and sentences continue in the wake of this despicable attack, we will further suspend and revoke any additional licenses granted to insurrectionists,” she stated.
I just suspended the concealed weapons permits of 22 people involved in the insurrection against the United States of America instigated by Donald Trump on January 6, 2021.
— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) July 27, 2021
The events of #January6 were sedition, treason, and domestic terrorism. Those involved in the insurrection against our government must be held accountable.
I’m using my lawful authority to immediately suspend the licenses of 22 individuals involved in storming the U.S. Capitol. pic.twitter.com/Arsz1OhxlN
— Commissioner Nikki Fried (@NikkiFriedFL) July 27, 2021
The Florida Department of Agriculture’s Division of Licensing oversees the state’s concealed carry program and has the ability to suspend a permit if an individual is charged with a felony or other disqualifying offense. Fried declared on Tuesday that the suspensions were effective immediately and apply to any resident who was charged with a felony or other offenses in connection to the riot.
The gubernatorial candidate further announced that more suspensions could be forthcoming. The public disclosure of individual concealed carry permits by Fried’s office is prohibited by law. Currently, 2,321,146 individuals in Florida are licensed to carry a concealed weapon or firearm.
Florida has the highest number of Jan. 6 riot arrests. According to WFLA, more than 60 protesters in the state have been taken into custody and questioned.
Fried’s political posturing follows the first Jan. 6 investigative hearing by the select U.S. House committee on the storming of the Capitol. The timing of the suspensions appears to be politically expedient as she seeks the Democratic nomination for Florida governor. Fried is the only Democratic statewide elected official.
Pamella Seay, who is a professor of Justice Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University, told NBC-2 that Fried is jumping the gun when it comes to suspending licenses.
“If you have not been found guilty of those or pleaded guilty then a suspension of the license is not an appropriate measure,” she contended. “There are means by which to remove someone’s license but this is not it.”
Seay also said it violates due process to suspend their concealed carry license when suspects have not been convicted in a court of law.
“She’s calling it sedition, she’s calling it treason but there may be some legitimate reasons for some of those people to be there,” commented Seay. “Are they found guilty? Has there been a court that looked at what happened? So far I only know of a couple that actually had some kind of either a plea or some adjudication.”
“She has to wait until a court steps in and makes their decision,” she concluded.
While Florida’s state constitution does protect its citizens’ right to bear arms, it also, unfortunately, gives the state the power to regulate them and, in this case, that means Fried was purportedly within her authority to do so. The wording is key here, “(a) The right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and of the lawful authority of the state shall not be infringed, except that the manner of bearing arms may be regulated by law.”
However, this will almost certainly be constitutionally challenged in court.
According to the statute, the state can revoke a carry license if a licensee is merely charged with a crime, not just convicted of it:
(3) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall deny a license if the applicant has been found guilty of, had adjudication of guilt withheld for, or had imposition of sentence suspended for one or more crimes of violence constituting a misdemeanor, unless 3 years have elapsed since probation or any other conditions set by the court have been fulfilled or the record has been sealed or expunged. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall revoke a license if the licensee has been found guilty of, had adjudication of guilt withheld for, or had imposition of sentence suspended for one or more crimes of violence within the preceding 3 years. The department shall, upon notification by a law enforcement agency, a court, or the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and subsequent written verification, suspend a license or the processing of an application for a license if the licensee or applicant is arrested or formally charged with a crime that would disqualify such person from having a license under this section, until final disposition of the case. The department shall suspend a license or the processing of an application for a license if the licensee or applicant is issued an injunction that restrains the licensee or applicant from committing acts of domestic violence or acts of repeat violence.
Governor Ron DeSantis has not commented on the move yet but will almost assuredly do so. He has previously referred to Fried as a “lockdown lobbyist” and has accused her of virtue signaling.
“Nikki Fried has done nothing in office. She does nothing,” DeSantis stated. “All she does is emote on social media, virtue signal to small-dollar donors in California and New York. She put her face, spent millions of dollars to put her face on every gas pump across this state, purely to boost her own image at your expense as a taxpayer.”
Fried was torched on Twitter for the move:
In accordance with Art. 3, Sec. 5 of the FL Constitution, @NikkiFried should immediately be subpoenaed & investigated for this unlawful & politically motivated action
Although the House can only impeach for misdemeanors, we should immediately pass a law to strip her of all power https://t.co/Y242kFxOfn
— Rep. Anthony Sabatini (@AnthonySabatini) July 27, 2021
This lady is so proud to take away your constitutional rights! It’s sad people like her are holding an elected office.
— Saundra McDowell (@mcdowellformo) July 27, 2021
Make no mistake, YOU are the criminal here.
— Pastor Greg Locke (@pastorlocke) July 28, 2021
This is unconstitutional! It violated the 4th, 5th, and 14th amendment! The government is not allowed to deprive a person of their life, liberty, or their protect without due process! Last time I checked, majority involved have not convicted of a crime! @NikkiFried pic.twitter.com/NeqVIeVoPg
— Michael Eugene Nickens Jr (@nickens_jr) July 27, 2021
Nikki Fried suspends concealed carry for 22 1/6 protesters! This woman need her ass voted out of Florida politics for all time! What a Commie she is!!
— Graves Williams (@GravesWilliams6) July 28, 2021
What about the the hundreds of lawless rioters who burned down and looted business and federal buildings? What about them, Nikki?
— Don Julio70 (@DJulio70) July 28, 2021
I had no idea that the Florida system was so fucked up that someone with your position would have the ability for that type of tyranny.
— Mike Dennis (@Korn1699) July 28, 2021
So you’ve stripped them of a constitutional right before they’ve even been convicted? I can’t wait until Desantis destroys you because someone who abuses their position for political reasons should be in jail
— Travis (@TWines4congress) July 27, 2021
The Second and Fifth Amendments would like a word.
Better hope it doesn’t go to court, because if it does, you’ll lose.
— John Casey (@JohnCaseyGA) July 27, 2021
We’re about to find out the exact number of woke voters who live in Florida this next election, because Nikki Fried has made alienating everyone who isn’t woke her entire campaign battle plan. 😅
— Nick Papagiorgio, From Yuma (@HartSlager) July 27, 2021
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