TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Hours after the first hearing investigating the US Capitol riot ended, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said she was suspending the concealed weapons permits of 22 Floridians involved in the insurrection.
"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 statement.
The Florida Department of Agriculture's Division of Licensing administers the state's concealed weapon licensing program.
Fried, Florida's only Democrat elected statewide, said Tuesday the suspensions were effective immediately for anyone who participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection who is charged with a felony or certain other offenses.
"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," Fried said.
Fried's office said it has the ability to immediately suspend a license if the licensee is charged with a felony or certain other disqualifying offenses. Once a judgment is rendered, if their sentence disqualifies the person from carrying a concealed weapon, the state will then revoke their license.
Fried said more suspensions could come in the future. Public disclosure by her agency of individual concealed weapons permits is prohibited by law.
The move comes as a select U.S. House committee began hearings into the Capitol riot with testimony from police officers who confronted and battled the mob that was supporting then-President Donald Trump's false claims of widespread election fraud in 2020.
Fried is seeking the Democratic nomination for Florida governor, along with former governor and current U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and others. The winner would face Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in the 2022 election.
More than 500 people have been arrested since the U.S. Capitol was violently breached six months ago. Fifty-five of those arrested were from Florida and approximately a dozen called the Bay Area home.
The U.S. Capitol Police say the majority of threats come from California and Florida and that’s why it is opening two field offices – one in Tampa and one in San Francisco.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.