Though Missouri isn't one of the 19 states certified by the Department of Homeland Security as REAL ID compliant, its steps towards compliance is raising privacy concerns by handgun carry permit holders and state lawmakers.
According to Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, Eric Griffin went to his Department of Motor Vehicles fee office after he passed the application process for a concealed carry gun permit. Griffin refused to let DMV employees scan some of his documentation and he was subsequently denied a permit.
On Monday, Russ Oliver — Stoddard County's prosecutor, but acting as Griffin's private attorney — filed a lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Revenue on behalf of Griffin. Oliver said that Griffin acted within his rights. He said the department installed new computer equipment to record the information as part of the REAL ID Act.
"I fully support Mr. Oliver in this important legal action in Stoddard County Circuit Court," Kinder said. "This case has issues of statewide importance implicating serious privacy concerns for law-abiding citizens. These folks have followed the letter of the law and been approved for concealed carry by the proper authorities. They must not be required to share that information with any third parties or the federal government."
The equipment was created by MorphoTrust USA, a division of Safran. Safran creates unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) for the federal government, while MorphoTrust creates driver license issuance systems for 41 states. They also supply biometric systems for the FBI, Department of Defense, and the Department of State. Tennessee, a REAL ID compliant state, uses the equipment as well to issue driver licenses, handgun carry permits, IDs, etc.
According to Oliver, Missouri state laws prohibit the Department of Revenue from retaining and collecting the documents and from complying with portions of the REAL ID Act. The documents in question were being forwarded to MorphoTrust.
The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order to stop the department from collecting and sharing the private information and to declare their actions unlawful.
"There are important privacy concerns for concealed carry holders who justly fear their information being sent to a third party or the federal government," Oliver said. "Missouri law makes it clear that what is going on here is illegal, and serves no legitimate purpose since the county sheriff is solely charged with the duty of determining applicants’ eligibility for the endorsement."
A judge granted the temporary restraining order on the same day the lawsuit was filed and scheduled a hearing for March 12, according to KCRG.