Adam Putnam: Florida needs fewer 'gun-free zones'

By Christie Zizo, Digital Media Producer
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 5:56 PM EDT

Florida's agricultural commissioner, and leading Republican contender for governor, wants to allow open carry in the state.

  • Adam Putnam supports open carry, guns on college campuses
  • Putnam made remarks at event in Tallahassee
  • Putnam is the main Republican running for governor in 2018

Adam Putnam made the statement Tuesday at an event in Tallahassee.

Putnam said the state should have fewer "gun free zones." He also said he supports allowing guns on college campuses.

As agricultural commissioner, Putnam oversees the office that handles concealed weapons permits.  

That Putnam supports reducing gun laws in Florida is not surprising. He expanded the state's concealed weapons license program so that it's the largest in the country, according to his campaign website. He's continually lowered fees for concealed weapon license applications and renewals.

In a video from his campaign, he promises to work with the NRA to protect gun rights and expand hunting on public lands.

Legislators have long proposed allowing open carry in the state and lifting or loosening "gun-free zone" rules for public schools, colleges and other facilities. Those efforts have not yet made it out of the Florida Legislature.

Putnam would not say if he would repeal the ban on guns in stadiums.

Putnam is the only major Republican who has officially announced his gubernatorial run. A son of a famous citrus growing family in Polk County, Putnam was also one of the youngest to serve in the U.S. House.

Other Republicans considering a run for the office in 2018 include House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Lutz, and State Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Palm Harbor. Latvala said this week that he would announce a decision either way next month.

Several Democrats have announced a run for the office as well, including former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Orlando businessman Chris King. Orlando power lawyer and political fundraiser John Morgan and Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine are also considering runs.

To see a complete list of candidates for governor in 2018, go to the Florida Division of Elections website.

Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.