Mary Flores

Last year, Mary Flores ran for the democratic nomination for Florida’s 27th Congressional district seat. She didn’t win, but she earned a lot of points with anti-gun groups by supporting strong gun laws, including universal background checks and banning “assault” rifles. Now, Flores is being put in charge of Florida’s concealed carry program.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services oversees the CCW program. So, it is up to newly elected FDACS Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried to fill positions, such as Deputy Commissioner for Consumer Affairs. This position oversees licensing, which includes concealed weapons permitting. Fried announced on Jan. 14 that Mary Flores will assume this senior leadership position.

“Mary’s extensive experience with consumer protection issues, as both an attorney and a judge, make her a perfect fit as we strengthen our Department’s consumer services and protect Florida taxpayers,” said Commissioner Fried in a statement. “From credit card skimmers and fraud to telemarketing scams and effective oversight of licensing, we are bringing consumer protection to the forefront of the Department to ensure Floridians know we’re here to help them.”

About Mary Flores

Flores is an attorney and former state circuit court judge from Miami, which is where she was born and raised. She also spent 12 years in the federal Office of the Public Defender. In 2015, President Barack Obama appointed her to the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida. However, her nomination was blocked, preventing her from assuming the judgeship.

So, last year she decided to run for Congress. She received a lot of endorsements, including from the Brady Campaign, Giffords and other groups don’t support gun rights. However, she didn’t make past the democratic primary.

Now this appointment brings up lots of concerns. Will Flores, along with Fried, try to circumvent the law to make obtaining a permit more difficult? There is no way to know for sure, but most feel that the Florida Constitution will be followed. This, of course, is because pro-gun groups will be watching. Also, a lawsuit to require the FDACS to follow the law is easy to file. However, it is up to Florida gun owners to pay attention and get involved.

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