Luetkemeyer Talks Conceal and Carry Permit Data

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JEFFERSON CITY - U.S. Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer went into detail about the Social Security Administration's use of the list of all of Missouri's concealed-carry permit holders it had requested twice since 2011.

The issue at hand is whether the Social Security Administration has the legal right to request this list. Earlier this month, the Missouri Highway Patrol admitted they had fulfilled a request the administration made for this information.

Luetkemeyer sent letters to the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration and Homeland Security asking why the agencies are requesting the information, if they have the right to do so, and how they were planning on using it.

According to Luetkemeyer, the administration wanted this information to address the issue of fraud and mental health disability benefits. In an application for a conceal and carry permit, there is a box to verify mental abilities and if checked a person will not get these benefits. After talks with the inspector general, Luetkemeyer said it was within the legal rights of the administration to request such information, but Missourians should not be concerned that their personal information will be used in other ways.

"My concern this morning was to make sure the citizens of Missouri are aware or have been informed that at this point it does not appear that their information has been given out to any other agency within the Social Security or any other governmental agency as well. The information was destroyed so their privacy has been protected," Luetkemeyer said.

But for Missouri lawmakers the problems with administration's request is its large scope of information it is asking for, the purpose for it, and the procedure it followed to obtain the information.

"At the very least it's a strange request, at the very worst it is an extreme abuse of power and potential government overreach," House Speaker Tim Jones said.

According to State Sen.Kurt Schaefer, (R) Columbia, the administration cannot search in a mass database of information, because that is essentially profiling. These lawmakers wished the information was instead compared, rather than the entire list of more than 160,000 people be handed over to the administration. The goal for them is to keep Missourians information private.

An investigation will continue at both the federal and state level to look into the controversy.