A state lawmaker says an anonymous source has told him that a Department of Revenue license office in his district has scanned personal information from applicants for concealed carry permits and sent it to the Department of Homeland Security.
Rep. Casey Guernsey (R-Bethany) says that information violates state law.
Guernsey describes his source only as someone who works with a license office in his District.
“Considering they, of course, want to remain nameless, it’s hard to really go into any further detail, I believe,” he says.
Guernsey says a 2009 law passed by the General Assembly expressly made such collections and dissemination of information illegal.
“I think it is plenty clear, and it is abundantly obvious the intent of the legislation, not to mention the language that we put in statute to prevent this sort of thing from happening.”
The claim the information is being sent to Homeland Security was made in an e-mail distributed Thursday morning by Guernsey and Rep. Paul Curtman (R-Pacific). While Guernsey cites his anonymous source, Curtman admits he didn’t have a source for the claim and that he was just drawing a conclusion.
“I’m telling you from my experience in the Marine Corps that the Department of Labor is not concerned about military strategy or what the bad guys are carrying, but the people that deal with security issues are, so if we’re looking for somebody at the federal level who wants all this information on what citizens have a CCW permit, it makes sense to me tactically speaking and logically speaking … it’s the Department of Homeland Security,” Curtman says.
Curtman could not confirm that anyone at a fee office had said that the information is going to Homeland Security.
“I probably couldn’t even answer that question for you right now because the conversations that were happening with some of the folks at the fee offices … I have not heard them say that,” he says. “Without naming any names for you right now, this information will be made public later on as more information unfolds.”
A lawsuit filed Monday in Stoddard Co. alleges that the license office in that county was refusing to give a concealed carry permit applicant his permit for failing to hand over his personal information to be scanned. A judge later issued an order stopping the scanning of such documents there.
Stoddard County Prosecutor Russ Oliver announced his suit with Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder Monday at the State Capitol. At that time, neither Oliver nor Kinder knew what was being done with the documents that were scanned.
The House Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability will hold a hearing on Monday on the matter.
The ranking Democrat on that committee, Rep. Kevin McManus (D-Kansas City) says he wants to see what information is revealed at Monday’s hearing.
“At that point I think it would be proper to consider whatever legislative proposal we need to, to make sure that, I think number one, identities are being protected and private information’s not being released that shouldn’t be released, and number two that people are able to have whatever rights and excercise their rights for the conceal and carry permits properly under current statute that they are given that right and are able to exercise it,” McManus says.