(1) Except as otherwise provided, the department must investigate an applicant for a license under this chapter before it may issue the license. The investigation must include: (a)1. An examination of fingerprint records and police records. If a criminal history record check of any applicant under this chapter is performed by means of fingerprint card identification, the time limitations prescribed by s. 120.60(1) shall be tolled during the time the applicant’s fingerprint card is under review by the Department of Law Enforcement or the United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation.
2. If a legible set of fingerprints, as determined by the Department of Law Enforcement or the Federal Bureau of Investigation, cannot be obtained after two attempts, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services may determine the applicant’s eligibility based upon a criminal history record check under the applicant’s name conducted by the Department of Law Enforcement if the fingerprints are taken by a law enforcement agency or the department and the applicant submits a written statement signed by the fingerprint technician or a licensed physician stating that there is a physical condition that precludes obtaining a legible set of fingerprints or that the fingerprints taken are the best that can be obtained.
(b) An inquiry to determine if the applicant has been adjudicated incompetent under chapter 744 or has been committed to a mental institution under chapter 394.
(c) Such other investigation of the individual as the department may deem necessary.
(2) In addition to subsection (1), the department shall make an investigation of the general physical fitness of the Class “G” applicant to bear a weapon or firearm. Determination of physical fitness shall be certified by a physician or physician assistant currently licensed pursuant to chapter 458, chapter 459, or any similar law of another state or authorized to act as a licensed physician by a federal agency or department or by an advanced registered nurse practitioner currently licensed pursuant to chapter 464. Such certification shall be submitted on a form provided by the department.
(3) The department must also investigate the mental history and current mental and emotional fitness of any Class “G” or Class “K” applicant and may deny a Class “G” or Class “K” license to anyone who has a history of mental illness or drug or alcohol abuse.