The Revenue Department has offered an explanation for its license offices scanning personal information from concealed carry permit applicants.
A lawsuit was filed in Stoddard County over its license office scanning those documents. A judge then granted an order putting a temporary halt to those scans. Some GOP lawmakers say the scans alone violate state law, and some allege information is being sent to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The issue has been raised to Revenue Department Deputy Director John Mollenkamp at a hearing of the House Budget Committee. St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Elizabeth Crisp tweeted some of his remarks on the matter.
Mollenkamp told the Committee that he understands no information is being sent to the federal government. He says scanned information is being sent to a third-party vendor because printers used for licenses are too expensive for the state to own, and says other documents scanned are being sent to the state data center in Jefferson City.
Mollenkamp says more details will be released at Monday’s hearing.
Representative Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff) has filed a bill to prohibit the Department from keeping copies of such documents, but he says it’s not clear yet what change needs to be made in law.
“Whether there exists a gap in the law that we need to fix is really the point of my legislation. Privacy rights are an incredibly important right that we have as Missourians and I don’t want a state department unnecessarily collecting people’s private information, and I certainly don’t want them collecting that private information and shipping it off to an out-of-state, for-profit company.”
Representative Casey Guernsey (R-Bethany) says an anonymous source working with a Revenue Department license office in his district has told him the information is going to the Department of Homeland Security. He says he thinks that state law is “plenty clear” in prohibiting the scans, and any dissemination to the federal government.
“In 2009 I was in the legislature and we passed [a law] specific to these situations … 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.”
See our earlier stories on the scanning of concealed carry application documents.