First it was the Missouri Department of Revenue providing data on the state’s concealed carriers to the Department of Homeland Security. Now, after a full rectal probe by members of the Missouri Legislature’s appropriations committee, someone from Highway Patrol who wears a funny hat — OK, they all do — has finally admitted that they, too, have sent lists of CCW holders to the feds. Twice. Only this time the data went to the Social Security Administration. Wait, isn’t that illegal in The Show Me State? Gosh, illegal is such a black-and-white word . . .
But Social Security? Seriously? From columbiatribune.com:
In November 2011 and again in January, (Col. Ronald K.) Replogle said, an agent of the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General received discs with the data. Each time, the agent was unable to read the encryption format and destroyed the discs, Replogle said.
“They said no names were retrieved,” Replogle told the committee this morning. “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.”
The data was turned over because the Office of Inspector General is a law enforcement agency, Replogle said. It was done by a mid-level supervisor at the patrol. Replogle said he was not informed of the transfer until four weeks ago.
Oh, well. As long as it’s going to a federal law enforcement agency, I guess that’s OK. Still, why would a federal agency want to know who’s packing heat?
The intention was to cross-check the names on the concealed carry list with the agency’s list of those with disabilities attributed to mental illness to find possible evidence of fraud in the system.
I feel much better now. Wonder if the plan was to cut off disability checks, yank carry licenses or both. Maybe this is some of that “under the radar” stuff Barack was talking about a couple of years back.
Still, there’s that sticky part about the whole thing being in violation of Missouri law.
The frustration level rose again when Andrea Spillars, deputy director of the Department of Public Safety, arrived to explain why she thought what the patrol did was legal and could be done again for federal law enforcement officials.
“Under state statutes the legislature passed, it is a lawful, permissible disclosure,” she said.
Ya know, if Missouri’s gun-toters didn’t know any better, they’d be forgiven for thinking that someone in Washington’s trying to compile a list of the concealed carriers in their state. And if Missouri’s supplied a list of their 185,000 carriers, how many of the other fifty-six states have done the same?
I just hope someone’s brought Governor Jay Nixon up to speed on l’affair de CCW.
“This Department of Revenue and this state of Missouri is not collecting a bunch of un-useful data to send to some sort of magical database someplace to mess with people – it’s not happening, okay?” Nixon said. “They’re just not doing it, I mean, you know that and I know that.”
Being one of those with a Missouri license to carry — and presumably also now an entry on the feds’ various lists, thanks to our diligent, dedicated public servants in Jefferson City — I’d be happy to be one of the first to lend my name to the class action suit that’s sure to be filed against Col. Replogle and Governor Nixon. Besides, there’s nothing I like much more than dealing with lawyers.