Fee Office Agent: Concealed Weapons Data Collected at Most, If Not All, Offices

A Missouri state fee office owner says almost all of the fee offices that handle concealed carry permits collect information from the potential permit holds, in an apparent violation of the state’s law.
The fee agent declined to do an interview with KMBC TV. He said all fee agents were told not to talk to reporters about the matter.
Calls to the Missouri Department of Revenue, which supervises the motor vehicle licensing operations, were not returned. The licensing fee offices are involved in the process because that where permit holders go to a concealed carry permit endorsement on their driver’s license or state ID card.
“It’s a privacy issue”, said Kevin Jamison, a board member for the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance, a Second Amendment rights group.
“Its private information,” Jamison added, “a lot of people don’t want their private affairs exposed. A lot of people don’t want others to know they have a license to carry.”
Earlier this week, a Stoddard County judge issued an ordering stopping the practice in that county. A man filed a lawsuit over the mater. He said his sheriff-approved application was rejected at the local DMV office because he refused to let them scan his person information.
The state’s concealed weapons law says that personal data is not public information.
The clerks who process that information do not work for the state. They work for the private fee agent office. Some of the equipment used to collect the information at the local level is provided by a third-party firm, Morphotrust, a company that deals in data collection.
“I think that it’s not public information to know who owns a gun, you know? It should be kept private between that person and the sheriff. It should be kept private,” said Lyle Hermann.
Hermann says he does have a concealed carry permit. He was at a Kansas City area fee office handling some business for his own license and tags.
The controversy over the use of the information has led to at least one bill being filed this week in the legislature to address the issue.
It may also lead to a set of hearings where the current practice may be described by critics as a backdoor effort at gun registration.
Another news organization, Missouri Watchdog, also reported Thursday several fee office employees across the state said their offices were also collecting the same sort of data.

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