Gun Privacy: Judge Says There's Only "Hearsay Evidence" Missouri is Sending Data to Feds

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As we reported earlier this week, Republican legislators have increased pressure on the Department of Revenue to prove that it is not collecting personal information of law-abiding gun owners and sending documents off to the federal government.

But a judge has since issued an order in the lawsuit that sparked this whole debate that says, notably: "The Plaintiff has failed to provide any evidence, other than hearsay evidence, that the Defendants have disseminated such information to the Federal Government."

What does this mean for the continued fight for gun-owner privacy?

"We are still pressing on," attorney Russell Oliver tells Daily RFT.

As a quick recap, this whole debate began when Stoddard County resident Eric Griffin, with Oliver as his attorney, brought a lawsuit against a local Department of Revenue office, alleging that an employee was requiring him to scan in a whole range of personal documents into a state database when he was trying to get his concealed-carry permit.

That sparked a wide-range of backlash from Missouri Republicans, with high-profile GOP officials in the state accusing the Department of Revenue of potentially collecting gun owner information and sending it off to a third party of the federal government.

There has since been proposed legislation to specifically block this, a lot of angry press releases and testimony -- and most recently a direct subpoena from the Missouri Senate asking the state to hand over all documents regarding any policy change on this matter.

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Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, one of the Republicans supporting the lawsuit.

Revenue department officials have testified that they are not sending any information to the federal government -- and for now, it seems, a circuit judge agrees.

A Department of Revenue official yesterday sent Daily RFT the order, on full view below, from Circuit Judge Robert Mayer, which denies Griffin's request for a preliminary injunction and removes a temporary restraining order on the "fee office agent" who had apparently sought to scan these personal documents.

Oliver, however, argues that it's still very early in the litigation process and that he is confident in his client's case moving forward.

Continue for more of our interview with Russell Oliver and for the full order.

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Robert Winkelmann
Robert Winkelmann

Don't care. Just wondering why we register our cars and homes and no one cares but freak out when it's a gun.

Jesse Irwin
Jesse Irwin

Nobody cares until their own privacy and interests are on the line. I suppoort civil rights and the rule of law for everyone, even people I don't like.

Adam Woehler
Adam Woehler

If it is secret then by definition there is no evidence. The Supreme Court just rejected a case on the expansion of overseas communication surveillance by saying the complainant had no standing because they had no direct evidence of the governments secret program.

Bart Cohn
Bart Cohn

Call me old fashioned, but evidence is usually a good thing to have to prove any point.


In the words of Lionel Hutz, attorney at law, "Well, your honor, I have hearsay and conjecture, those are  kinds of evidence."

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