By Eli Yokley
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Highway Patrol provided a spreadsheet of names of people with Conceal Carry Weapons permits to the federal government as part of a joint venture with the Social Security Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, according to documents provided by the Missouri Department of Revenue in response to a State Senate subpoena.
The emails, provided to reporters during a news conference with Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, show the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General requested the list of individuals with CCW permits to “compare those persons who have applied for or been awarded benefits based on mental disability to either prove existence of benefits fraud or to prove their involvement in knowingly concealing a mental defeat making them inedible to possess a firearm.”
Gov. Jay Nixon previously said the State had not sent the information to some “magical” federal database, an assertion that Schaefer said is completely false Tuesday. “There is a magical database,” Schaefer told reporters.
“It was an Excel sheet with a code, apparently on a sheet of paper,” he said of the documents sent to the two federal entities. The sheet of paper, he said, was in the same package in the mail with the disk with the Excel file. Schaefer called on the social security investigator, Kevin Schielb, to testify before his committee.
Speaking later on the Senate floor, Schaefer said “it is apparent now that before the Department of Revenue and Highway Patrol produced that list in January, they knew it was a joint request between the ATF and Social Security.”
Nixon’s administration, during testimony last week, said it was at their discretion as to who the list can be shared with. Speaking with reporters soon before Schaefer’s news conference, said the controversy — led by two Republicans, Schaefer and House Speaker Tim Jones — is a distraction from his call for Medicaid expansion.
“To have the entirety of what is going on here — the most significant public policy decision I’ve faced in 26 years — to be pulled away for these questions so that they can divert the attention of the public from what needs to get done over the next five weeks,” Nixon said. “It’s time folks got back to work here and focused on what needs to get done.”
The relevation came hours after Nixon announced that he had ordered the Missouri Department of Revenue to cease scanning of personal documents related to the conceal carry endorsements. The House passed legislation last Thursday banning such scanning.
The issue first emerged in February, when Stoddard County resident Eric Griffin, 52, filed suit against his local fee office after they tried to scan his personal documents when he went in to file for a Conceal Carry Endorsement. After a fee office employee attempted to scan some of his documents, Griffin stopped them, and the fee office would not allow him to obtain his license. His litigation is pending.
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