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Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has some explaining to do. Earlier today during a hearing led by state Senator Kurt Schaefer, Col. Ron Replogle of the Missouri Highway Patrol confessed that Missouri state law was violated (which I shared yesterday here) and the full list of conceal carry permit holders was sent to the federal government:
The head of the Missouri State Highway Patrol on Thursday admitted something that Gov. Jay Nixon has denied multiple times. Col. Ron Replogle told a Senate committee that a list of Missourians who have conceal-and-carry weapon (CCW) permits was sent twice to the U.S. Social Security Administration.
On Wednesday, when Nixon was in Springfield for a news conference on a different subject, Nixon was asked whether the Department of Revenue had shared copies of personal documents with the federal government or third-party companies. He said no.
Nixon didn’t just say “no,” he implied that it was a conspiracy theory and said “no documents are being sent to a magical database somewhere and called it a “distraction.” [Video]
The head of the Missouri Highway Patrol admits that the CCW list was twice (that we know of) sent to the federal government and its a “distraction?”
Nixon also falsely claimed that the suit was “thrown out.” The judge did no such thing. The request for a permanent injunction was denied. The case is still going forward. Nixon only serves to implicate himself when he makes demonstrably false statements such as this one.
Missouri didn’t just share the CCW list: they emailed it once and the second time they dropped into an envelope a disk full of Missourians’ private information and sent it to the feds via USPS. I’m not kidding. Replogle made no guarantees that no one other than the intended federal recipient received the disk or had access to it. All against Missouri law.
I spoke with Sen. Schaefer earlier today and he explained how part of the reason the feds used in asking for the list was to arbitrarily judge or not any of Missouri’s CCW permit holders had any mental illness which would make them ineligible to possess a firearm. If it sounds like a crazier, unofficial and Missouri-illegal version of the already suspect SAFE Act, then you’re right.
The first day of the hearing was today; MO House Speaker Tim Jones and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder held a press conference outside of Attorney General Chris Koster’s office to demand action on the matter. Koster is in an interesting position: Nixon has national aspirations but Koster could undo them and supplant Nixon as the head of the party by aggressively pursuing this offense, if it’s proven that he knew (which, how can you not when these department heads answer to you). Democrats can say that Koster was just following the law, moderates will appreciate Koster’s action towards privacy violations about which they situationally care, and Nixon goes under the bus. Nixon may be a moderate, but he has no teeth and with a Republican supermajority, is a lame duck at that. As of such, he has every reason to fight and pass the buck because something this egregious would end his journey to higher office. Missourians don’t play with their Second Amendment or health care.
Schaefer told me yesterday that they plan to hold hearings across the state so as to allow for public input. I’ll continue watching this story.