Will Missouri GOP's Gun Owner Privacy Efforts Make State Vulnerable to Terrorism, Fraud?

The privacy of law-abiding gun owners in many states is already protected through laws that restrict access to their information and records except when there is a specific criminal charge or investigation, Zimmer notes.

One opponent of the GOP bills sends Daily RFT stories from New York and New Jersey of successful anti-fraud initiatives that utilized facial recognition technology in crime-fighting efforts. (In New York, officials recently announced that they've investigated 13,000 identity-fraud cases through this process.)

Kurt Schaefer, a Republican State Senator who has been one of the leading critics of the revenue department, tells us that citizens of Missouri deserve basic privacy assurances.

"Could you do procedures that provide more security? The question is where's the line on that?" he says. "We don't throw the Fourth Amendment to the wind...so that anyone can come into my house without a warrant."

If the government could just violate everyone's privacy with warrantless searches, for example, he says, "Would that result in us finding more crime? Absolutely. Would anyone think that is acceptable? No."

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Kurt Schaefer.

He continues, "How much personal privacy do you give up in the name of security?"

And regarding the use of biometrics, there have to be limits, he adds. "Is it really acceptable to take all of that technology and use it in an absolutely unfettered way?"

In Missouri, it's time to end all scanning of documents in the state, he says. It's wrong for any list like this to exist in the state, he says.

Of the Nixon administration, he adds, "They've been incredibly secretive about this issue and they don't want to have a public discussion."

Carl Bearden, executive director of United for Missouri, a conservative group which has launched an ad campaign pressuring Nixon on this issue, says, "There is no legal authority for them to do what they are doing now."

(He and other critics of Nixon have argued that the governor is violating a law passed in 2009 specifying that Missouri would opt out of the federal Real ID Act, an anti-terrorism initiative.)

Bearden says that facial recognition is not necessary and that a wide array of residents, not just Republicans, want to ensure their privacy is protected. "They totally underestimate that this is a real issue with Missourians."

Spokespeople for the governor and the revenue department did not respond to a request for comment last week.

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

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Crazy is as crazy does. The federal government already has tons of info collected on everyone, but you don't hear these guys crying foul over that. "Just leave our guns alone so we can keep having these 'accidents'!". It's one thing to be forced to suffer a fool, but we shouldn't be forced to suffer these particular fools. This is a CCW household, we have NO PROBLEM if the federal government wants a list of license holders, or an account of EVERY gun we own. IT'S CALLED BEING A RESPONSIBLE GUN OWNER. If people can't understand this, it likely means they're NOT a responsible gun owner and SHOULD have them taken away. If you're scared of being "up front", it means you have something to hide.


So... In right-wing crazy person land (also known as the G.O.P.) it's okay for women to have to schedule two appointments, wait 72 hours after a consultation, have a medically unnecessary ultrasound performed and be subjected to audio bombardment, then must be lectured to (with lies and distortions throughout) before she can have a legally protected medical procedure. This, to the right-wing crazy person (Republican), is NOT, however, a violation of basic privacy as spelled out in the Constitution.

The compilation of information concerning the type, number, and cost of every vehicle purchased or sold in Missouri, every house bought or sold, every birth or wedding or divorce or adoption or death is happening hourly with no adverse effects. Collecting data that contains information about who has a CCW is somehow crossing a line?

Red light cameras, traffic cameras, ATM cameras, office building lobby cameras, cameras on the top of every retail strip mall and over every checkout counter, cameras under the awnings of gas stations, inside the casinos and Wal*Marts and Targets and K-Marts and Schnuck's, and at the ballpark and the hallways of the hotels and airports across the state are taking your picture every day. If you live in a major metro area, it is possible that the only place you cannot be seen is on your toilet, but the state checking a box on a spreadsheet that says you have a CCW is invasive. Privacy invasion in the name of the appearance of security is everything to the right-wing crazy people (Republicans), unless it involves the procurement of guns.

No personal space is inviolate when it comes to terrorism or abortion or union organizing or registering voters, but mess with guns? "Man, you MUST be out yo mind!" Welcome to the land of right-wing crazy people with power.


The measures put forth by the state GOP are not without impetus as it was shown earlier this year that the Missouri DOR already violated the privacy of CCW permit holders by compiling and sending this data to the federal government  This is, after all, the same federal government that just this week was shown to have singled out one group of law abiding citizens, conservative activists, for undue, unjust scrutiny by the IRS. While I am sure that it pains you, the left leaning authors of the RFT, to pass on a chance to bash the often quixotic efforts of the MO state GOP, they happen to be in the right in this particular instance.  


You couldn't be MORE right! These people are unbelievably obtuse!! Missouri thinks they're ABOVE federal law?! Talk about being frighteningly arrogant while practicing willful ignorance! An embarrassment to Missouri & a shame they call themselves "patriots" (disgust).

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