Updated at 7:04 p.m.
The Missouri Department of Revenue will cease scanning source documents for conceal-carry weapons applicants, also known as CCW’s. This news comes a day after the resignation of now-former DOR Director Brian Long.
In a statement released Tuesday, Governor Jay Nixon (D) says scanning and retaining conceal carry certificates are “not essential to the integrity of the license issuance process.” State Senator Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia), who’s been leading the attack on the Department of Revenue’s policy, is not satisfied. He says the Governor’s decision still doesn’t explain why the entire list of CCW holders in Missouri was given to a federal investigator.
“Everything indicates to me that this was not a criminal investigation," Schaefer said. "It looks to me like this was simply a fishing expedition or some other purpose, to basically profile over 160,000 Missourians who have a conceal carry permit, and that is wrong and it’s a violation of state law.”
Schaefer is also unhappy that the Dept. of Revenue will continue to scan documents for driver’s license applicants. Nixon, meanwhile, says GOP lawmakers are using the controversy to divert attention away from Medicaid expansion. He also got frustrated with reporters at Tuedsay's Medicaid rally at the State Capitol for asking whether his administration violated the law regarding the scanning of documents.
“To have the entirety of what's going on here -- the most significant public policy issue I've faced in 26 years -- (to) be pulled away for a few questions so that (Republican lawmakers) can divert the attention of the public from what needs to get done over the next five weeks, it’s time folks got back to work here and focus on what needs to get done," Nixon said.
Meanwhile, Schaefer says next year’s budget for the department’s Motor Vehicles Division will remain at zero until they get some answers on whether the public’s money is being appropriately spent.
Here's the full statement from Nixon:
JEFFERSON CITY, MO. – Gov. Jay Nixon announced today that the Department of Revenue will no longer scan or retain certificates of qualification for Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) endorsements.
“It has been determined that the scanning and retention of concealed carry certificates are not essential to the integrity of the license issuance process,”
Gov. Nixon said. “We will continue to work with policymakers to ensure the security and privacy of our license issuance process.”
As our Marshall Griffin reported yesterday:
Long's departure follows weeks of controversy surrounding the agency’s handling of documents for driver’s license and conceal-carry-weapons (CCW) applicants. He had testified at a number of hearings that the Department of Revenue was scanning source documents as a means of combatting fraud, and that no one’s information was being stored in a database for the Department of Homeland Security or otherwise being sent to the federal government. Then news broke last week that the agency had compiled the entire list of the state’s 163,000 CCW holders for the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The Patrol then provided it to the Social Security Administration for an investigation it was conducting.
Both Nixon and the Department of Revenue had denied that the sending of documents to federal agencies was occurring.
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