October 25, 2014

Lawsuit filed over making of digital copies of concealed carry applicant information

A lawsuit was filed Monday morning that says a Bootheel license office is violating a state law by collecting information from concealed carry permit applicants.

Stoddard County Prosecutor Russell Oliver say his county’s license office is requiring concealed carry permit applicants to turn over documents with their applications, to be scanned. He says that’s a violation of state law.

“State statute … prevents the collection of any personal information by the Department or Revenue or their fee office agents.”

Oliver filed the suit not as Prosecutor by as an attorney representing a private citizen, Eric Griffin, who tried to get his concealed carry permit yesterday morning.

“My client went in to the local fee office to apply. They informed him that his documents would have to be scanned. He said he didn’t want to do that and they said, ‘Well, you can’t get your CCW,’ so this is clearly a hurdle that someone has to overcome to obtain a concealed carry endorsement on their driver’s license.”

Oliver says he thinks the fee office is asking for those documents to comply with the federal Real ID Act of 2005, which Missouri opted out of.

The suit asked for, and a judge has signed, a temporary restraining order stopping the license office from collecting concealed carry permit application information.

Oliver doesn’t know why the information is being collected or who it is being made available to, but says legally it shouldn’t be scanned in the first place.

“Statute clearly makes the application itself a personal, protected, private information. It is being uploaded to at least one third party, this private company [that provided the equipment] and from there we don’t know where it’s going.”

A spokesman for the Department of Revenue declined to comment on the suit, and said the Department’s operations are “not inconsistent with the statutory protocols.”