The Missouri Department of Revenue is colluding with the Department of Homeland Security to collect citizens’ biometric information and store it in a massive federal database. This information includes the names of those who apply for a concealed carry weapons permit.
This was the allegation investigated at a meeting of the Appropriations Committee of the Missouri state senate,chaired by state Senator Kurt Shaefer (R-Dist. 15).
Local talk-radio host Dana Loesch recounts on her show’s website the content of a conversation she had with Senator Schaefer about the hearing:
Schaefer notes that the collection of biometric data was never discussed with Missouri lawmakers and that it was discovered quite by accident when suspicious Missourians questioned why the DOR would want their marriage licenses and a multitude of other information simply to renew their conceal carry permits. When Schaefer confronted the DOR, they twice lied to the senator, claiming that the DHS grant money was for things like “hole punchers.” Schaefer later learned the DHS grant money was actually used towards items like facial recognition hardware and software. It’s not only backdoor gun registration, but a massive invasion of privacy as well.
Testimony from other senators at the hearing revealed the anger of lawmakers who have discovered the backdoor dealings of the Department of Homeland Security with officials of their own state government.
Republican Senator Mike Parson says this punishes law abiding citizens, and it puts them at risk of their information being exposed if the database is breached.
“But whether you like it or not, you now obtained that information and you have the responsibility of that information, which makes everybody at risk,” said Parson. “I don’t know why we want to put Missouri citizens at risk when we don’t have to.”
State Senator Brian Nieves (R-Dist. 26) said that this revelation was not a partisan issue, noting that the situation would be just as grave were the governor a Republican. “All that matters is that the executive branch of the Missouri state government is thumbing its nose at the law,” Nieves said.
Last year, The New American reported on an effort by Nieves to nullify in Missouri all acts of the federal government that exceed its constitutionally prescribed authority.
According to information provided to The New American by a source at the Missouri legislature, the conspiracy to collect, catalog, and share the private information of Missourians was discovered when citizens applying for driver’s license renewals or renewals of concealed carry weapon permits were required to re-submit all original qualifying documents such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, etc. These documents were already on file when the licenses were originally granted, so citizens of Missouri were perplexed as to why the state Department of Revenue was suddenly demanding that they “Show Me” these papers and why they were scanning them into a new database.
In Fiscal Year 2011, the Department of Homeland Security awarded nearly $45 million to states as part of the Driver’s License Security Grant Program (DLSGP). DHS lists the following as the way states are intended to use the federal funds:
These solutions should improve business processes, IT, infrastructure and DL/ID document and issuance security. Grant award recipients may use grant dollars to meet the minimum issuance standards of Federal law in one of two ways:
1. Begin or continue State-specific process, security, infrastructure and IT improvements consistent with the Federal law and DHS regulations; and
2. Develop and implement policies, procedures, and protocols, following the uniform set of standards established by the States to capture, manage, and verify applicant data under the provisions of Federal law.
That seems to belie the story told to Senator Schaefer by Missouri Department of Revenue deputy director John Mollenkamp.
During the various hearings Schaefer has held to investigate this important issue, Mollenkamp has claimed at different times that the DHS grant money would be used for “hole punchers to void old licenses.”
At another hearing, Mollenkamp testified that the money was used to “verify identify and prevent fraud.”
Schaefer is reportedly furious at the attempt of the Missouri executive branch to bypass the people’s elected representatives and assist the Department of Homeland Security in compiling a nationwide database consisting of the most vital statistics of citizens of the United States.