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Governor Jay Nixon to Face Subpoena in Concealed-Carry Privacy Lawsuit

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Governor Jay Nixon.
Governor Jay Nixon is facing another subpoena in a court battle.

Earlier this month, we reported on the twist in a long drawn-out murder trial, in which the defense wanted Nixon to testify about a 1990 killing. (A judge has since refused to order him to testify).

Now, it looks like the Missouri governor is going to face a subpoena in a case his current office is much more closely involved in: the battle over concealed-carry permit applicants' privacy in the state.

This is the latest development in a Stoddard County resident's lawsuit that has sparked a wide range of GOP backlash against the state's licensing bureau.

Critics of the Republican outcry argue that this is a fabricated, paranoid controversy that has shamefully taken over the state legislature.

But conservative lawmakers, sparked into action by the suit in question, say they fear that the state is collecting and retaining gun owner data and potentially collaborating with outside groups and/or the federal government, to build some sort of "gun registry."

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At the center of the debate is the Department of Revenue's Division of Motor Vehicle and Driver Licensing, which has violated the privacy of concealed-carry applicants through a new policy -- at least according to the lawsuit from Stoddard County resident Eric Griffin.

Now, Griffin's legal team wants Nixon and senior officials in the revenue department to appear for deposition and plans to issue subpoenas.

"The information that I expect to get...is a motive on why this policy changed," Russell Oliver, Griffin's attorney, tells Daily RFT, "what they are trying to accomplish, what statements they've made to the federal government."

Nixon has brushed aside the criticisms -- once saying there is no "magical database" -- but recently did announce that the state will stop scanning in concealed-carry certificates. (That move has in no way quieted critics).

"He's given statements about the lack of a 'magical database' and that this stuff isn't going anywhere," Oliver says of Nixon. "I don't believe that the governor would make this public statement with that unequivocal of terms without having been briefed by the major players involved."

Oliver says he wants to know more about the discussions the governor and senior revenue staff had before this "scandal" erupted.

Notices of deposition have been filed, he says, adding that they could appear in early May. Other officials include the former revenue director, who resigned amid the controversy, and the new acting director.

The governor's office did not respond to Daily RFT's requests for comment today and a revenue department spokesman declined to comment.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

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3 comments
Michael Mytzlplyk
Michael Mytzlplyk

If you own a gun, you don't deserve privacy. If you want privacy, become unemployed and homeless. The government will have NO idea you exist, or at least pretend you don't.

Peggy Keller
Peggy Keller

While Facebook is spending 1.5 billion dollars in Iowa on a new data center due in part to their wind energy availability, Missouri is subpoenaing their Governor and shutting down their Driver's Licence Bureaus.

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