Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) President Cliff Maloney filed a lawsuit today against Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nicole Fried, who suspended online concealed weapons license applications, arguing that Fried’s actions violate his constitutional right to bear arms.
Maloney is a military spouse, gun owner, and Floridian who was prevented from submitting his concealed weapons license application online.
Fried suspended all online concealed weapon license applications on March 23, 2020, until further notice. Fried cited COVID-19 as the reason for the suspension.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody sent Fried a letter requesting that she resume taking online concealed weapons license applications and end any delays going forward. Moody also sent Fried copies of recent litigation in Georgia related to the suspension of concealed carry applications and stressed the importance of avoiding costly litigation.
On April 29, 2020, Maloney issued a letter to Fried threatening litigation if she did not reopen the online applications. Fried refused to reopen the process and blasted Maloney and YAL. In her response to Maloney, Fried referred to YAL as “an obscure right-wing fringe group” and boasted that she would not be “bullied” by the NRA.
Fried is the only statewide elected Democrat in Florida and is an ally to gun control activists. Former NRA President Marion Hammer previously named Fried an “anti-gun extremist” and the “most anti-gun Commissioner of Agriculture in over 40 years.”
Maloney believes that Fried’s actions are politically driven. In the lawsuit, Maloney alleges that Fried is using COVID-19 as a “veiled excuse” to indefinitely halt all online concealed weapon license applications as “self-serving.”
“Nikki Fried thinks that your right to self-defense is negotiable. She’s wrong. This is a blatant disregard for the rule of law, and I will not idly sit by while Nikki Fried uses this crisis to enact her gun-grabbing agenda. I encourage all Americans to join this fight for our rights. We either believe in liberty in times of crisis, or we do not believe in liberty at all,” Maloney said.
Fried has not yet responded to the Complaint.