The Missouri Department of Revenue is colluding with the Department of Homeland Security to collect citizens’ biometric information and store it in a massive federal database. This information includes the names of those who apply for a concealed carry weapons permit.
This was the allegation investigated at a meeting of the Appropriations Committee of the Missouri state senate, chaired by state Senator Kurt Shaefer (R-Dist. 15).
Local talk-radio host Dana Loesch recounts on her show’s website the content of a conversation she had with Senator Schaefer about the hearing:
Schaefer notes that the collection of biometric data was never discussed with Missouri lawmakers and that it was discovered quite by accident when suspicious Missourians questioned why the DOR would want their marriage licenses and a multitude of other information simply to renew their conceal carry permits. When Schaefer confronted the DOR, they twice lied to the senator, claiming that the DHS grant money was for things like “hole punchers.” Schaefer later learned the DHS grant money was actually used towards items like facial recognition hardware and software. It’s not only backdoor gun registration, but a massive invasion of privacy as well.
Testimony from other senators at the hearing revealed the anger of lawmakers who have discovered the backdoor dealings of the Department of Homeland Security with officials of their own state government.
Republican Senator Mike Parson says this punishes law abiding citizens, and it puts them at risk of their information being exposed if the database is breached.
“But whether you like it or not, you now obtained that information and you have the responsibility of that information, which makes everybody at risk,” said Parson. “I don’t know why we want to put Missouri citizens at risk when we don’t have to.”
State Senator Brian Nieves (R-Dist. 26) said that this revelation was not a partisan issue, noting that the situation would be just as grave were the governor a Republican. “All that matters is that the executive branch of the Missouri state government is thumbing its nose at the law,” Nieves said.
Last year, The New American reported on an effort by Nieves to nullify in Missouri all acts of the federal government that exceed its constitutionally prescribed authority.
According to information provided by a source at the Missouri legislature, the conspiracy to collect, catalog, and share the private information of Missourians was discovered when citizens applying for driver’s license renewals or renewals of concealed carry weapon permits were required to re-submit all original qualifying documents such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, etc. These documents were already on file when the licenses were originally granted, so citizens of Missouri were perplexed as to why the state Department of Revenue was suddenly demanding that they “Show Me” these papers and why they were scanning them into a new database.
In Fiscal Year 2011, the Department of Homeland Security awarded nearly $45 million to states as part of the Driver’s License Security Grant Program (DLSGP). DHS lists the following as the way states are intended to use the federal funds:
These solutions should improve business processes, IT, infrastructure and DL/ID document and issuance security. Grant award recipients may use grant dollars to meet the minimum issuance standards of Federal law in one of two ways:
1. Begin or continue State-specific process, security, infrastructure and IT improvements consistent with the Federal law and DHS regulations; and
2. Develop and implement policies, procedures, and protocols, following the uniform set of standards established by the States to capture, manage, and verify applicant data under the provisions of Federal law.
That seems to belie the story told to Senator Schaefer by Missouri Department of Revenue deputy director John Mollenkamp.
During the various hearings Schaefer has held to investigate this important issue, Mollenkamp has claimed at different times that the DHS grant money would be used for “hole punchers to void old licenses.”
At another hearing, Mollenkamp testified that the money was used to “verify identify and prevent fraud.”
Schaefer is reportedly furious at the attempt of the Missouri executive branch to bypass the people’s elected representatives and assist the Department of Homeland Security in compiling a nationwide database consisting of the most vital statistics of citizens of the United States.
Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder announced recently that he supports a lawsuit filed by a citizen whose private documents were scanned by the Department of Revenue and sent to Homeland Security.
The lawsuit was filed March 4 by Russ Oliver in Stoddard County, Missouri. Oliver is Stoddard County’s prosecuting attorney. He filed the lawsuit as a private attorney on behalf of Eric Griffin.
“I fully support Mr. Oliver in this important legal action in Stoddard County Circuit Court,” Kinder said. “This case has issues of statewide importance implicating serious privacy concerns for law-abiding citizens. These folks have followed the letter of the law and been approved for concealed carry by the proper authorities. They must not be required to share that information with any third parties or the federal government.”
Oliver said Griffin went to his local Department of Motor Vehicles fee office after passing the application process for a concealed carry gun permit. When he refused to let DMV employees scan some of his documentation, he was denied the permit.
Oliver said Griffin acted within his rights. He said the Department of Revenue apparently installed new computer equipment to record the information as part of the federal Real ID Act of 2005.
Applicable Missouri state laws prohibit the Department of Revenue from retaining and collecting these types of documents and from complying with that portion of the Real ID Act. The data the Department of Revenue collected was being sent to Morpho Trust U.S.A., a Georgia company that specializes in partnering with state and federal governmental agencies.
“There are important privacy concerns for concealed carry holders who justly fear their information being sent to a third party or the federal government,” Oliver said. “Missouri law makes it clear that what is going on here is illegal, and serves no legitimate purpose since the county sheriff is solely charged with the duty of determining applicants’ eligibility for the endorsement.”
The lawsuit asked a county judge to issue a temporary restraining order to stop the Department of Revenue from collecting and sharing the private data and declare their actions unlawful. That order was issued later that day by a judge of the Circuit Court of Stoddard County.
Citizens of the state of Missouri are encouraged to contact Senator Schaefer to express their support for his efforts to expose the unlawful and unconstitutional collusion between the state department of revenue and the federal Department of Homeland Security.
And, if Missouri is using DHS grant money to effect a backdoor implementation of the REAL ID act and to send the feds the names of all holders of concealed carry weapons permits, it seems likely that other state departments of revenue are playing parts in this conspiracy.