After taking office this month, Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson said Friday the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has dropped a lawsuit against the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in a dispute involving information about a concealed weapons license applicant.
Former Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried filed the lawsuit in October against the law-enforcement agency to try to obtain information about why a woman was flagged as ineligible for a license.
While the agriculture department issues concealed weapons licenses, the law-enforcement agency conducts background checks. If background checks show applicants are ineligible for licenses, FDLE notifies the agriculture department.
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The lawsuit came after the applicant, identified only by the initials M.S,. disputed the denial of a license and requested a hearing at the state Division of Administrative Hearings.
As part of the administrative case, the agriculture department sought additional information from FDLE about mental-health issues that would make M.S. ineligible. But FDLE declined to provide the additional information, which it said was protected from disclosure under a federal rule, Simpson said Friday he decided to dismiss the lawsuit “after agreeing to a resolution that meets the needs of both departments.”
A news release from the agriculture department did not provide details but said “FDLE, moving forward, will provide legally sufficient information during DOAH (Division of Administrative Hearings) hearings for individuals denied a concealed weapon license.”