Originally published April 21 2013
Traitorous Missouri Highway Patrol turns over entire list of concealed carry holders to the feds
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) A startling development in usually gun-friendly Missouri has concealed weapons holders up in arms, so to speak, following an improper release of private information by none other than the Missouri Highway Patrol.
According to the Columbia Daily Tribune, someone within the MHP has twice provided federal officials with an entire list of concealed carry holders in the state, despite a law that prohibits bulk release of said information. So now, even making an attempt to comply with the laws will most likely land you on some future federal government gun-confiscation list.
The paper reported:
Missouri's database of concealed weapon permits was twice given to federal authorities investigating Social Security disability fraud in a move that has enraged lawmakers already angry over potential abuses in a new driver's licensing system.
Missouri State Highway Patrol Col. Ron Replogle was questioned for nearly an hour (the morning of April 11) by the Senate Appropriations Committee after he revealed to Chairman Kurt Schaefer (R) yesterday that his agency had turned over the data.
Jerking concerned lawmakers around with BSThe disclosure of concealed carry information has become a major issue for a number of Missouri lawmakers since they first started raising questions about new procedures involving the issuance of driver's licenses. Those procedures have been challenged in state court via a lawsuit filed by Stoddard County; they require all supporting documents to be scanned and retained, and that includes certificates granting concealed carry privileges.
Replogle said in November 2011 and again the following January, an agent of the federal Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General was sent discs containing the data, and that each time the agent was not able to read the encryption format, he destroyed the discs - supposedly.
"They said no names were retrieved," Replogle told the committee. "They do not have those names. They did not disseminate that information, and all that information has been destroyed. We have asked for that documentation of what has happened."
So, does that make the turnover of names all right? And how did the offending MHP official who turned the names over to begin with actually know who was making the request?
Without answering those key questions, Replogle tried further to justify the unjustifiable by trying to convince rightfully skeptical lawmakers that the Office of Inspector General is a law enforcement agency. Whether the fine print of that statement is true is not the point; the Social Security Administration itself is not "law enforcement" and therefore has no legal right to a concealed carry list.
Replogle said he was not informed of the transfer until four weeks ago, according to the Tribune. He also went onto say, now that the entire list of conceal carry holders has been compromised - twice - he is implanting procedures "to make sure similar data release does not happen again without his approval," said the paper.
That begs a couple of questions. First, if the releases were indeed legal, why must Replogle - the patrol commander - need to be bothered with such a mundane office task? And if the release is legal, why the need for any new procedures whatsoever - considering the provisions governing release of concealed carry data is already spelled out in the Missouri state statutes. [Click here]
Needless to say, state lawmakers looking into the fiasco say they have been frustrated by department officials who they believe are working to obscure facts as much as they possibly can. That frustration level peaked once more when Andrea Spillars, deputy director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety, arrived to testify before the committee, explaining that she believes what the patrol did was not only legal but that the MHP could release the same information over and over again if requested to do so by federal law enforcement officials.
"Under state statutes the legislature passed, it is a lawful, permissible disclosure," she said.
That's not true, however. Per the Tribune:
State law bars the Department of Revenue from implementing the federal Real ID Act. The procedures adopted for Missouri licenses mirror Real ID Act requirements. State law also mandates that concealed weapons permit data is confidential.
Yeah, but it's not legal - that's the point
Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, waffled on the issue. In fact, he tried to minimize anyone concerned about the disclosure. In answering questions about the incident, Nixon said no conceal weapons data was turned over to a "magical database" so that federal agents could "mess with" Missouri permit holders. He dodged the question of whether the releases were legal, which is the crux of the issue.
"There is nothing magical about the name Real ID," Schaefer said after this morning's hearing. "It is the things that go along with it, the giving up of personal data, the subjecting yourself to identity theft without any due process of law before that information is given up."
Continuing, Schaefer said of the incidents, "What we now know is we were lied to about the process, how it is implemented, how it is funded, and we were lied to about the fact that the Department of Motor Vehicles or the state of Missouri did or did not give out a list of concealed carry holders to the federal government."
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