JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The leader of the Missouri House says an attempt to access a secure website listing Missouri's concealed gun permit holders was part of an investigation into whether the state had appropriately shielded the information.
In an interview with The Associated Press, House Speaker Tim Jones declined Monday to identify the person who tried to access the information last Thursday. But Jones said it was an appropriate action.
Gov. Jay Nixon's administration revealed last week that someone using a House computer address repeatedly tried to access the site. It said those attempts were unauthorized because information on concealed gun permit holders can only be shared with law enforcement.
The information was posted online for a federal fraud investigator, who testified last week that he opted not to download the information.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has passed a bill that would allow county sheriffs to issue concealed weapons permits instead of the Revenue Department.
Missouri sheriffs already have the responsibility of receiving concealed-carry applications, reviewing applicants' backgrounds and issuing paper permits. But under current law, recipients take the paper permits to a local licensing office overseen by the Department of Revenue to receive a photo ID card noting their concealed-carry status.
Republican lawmakers want to allow sheriffs to print the permits after learning the Revenue Department compiled a list of concealed weapons permit holders to share with a federal agent at the Social Security Administration.
The measure passed 123-34 Monday. It would also allow designated school personnel to carry concealed weapons in schools buildings. It now heads to the Senate.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri senators are considering a nearly $25 billion budget plan that may be most notable for what it doesn't contain.
Senate debate on the budget began Monday with education funding among the first items up. The budget includes a $66 million increase on top of the current $3 billion in basic aid for public schools. But that still falls $620 million short of what's called for by a state formula.
Later Monday, senators were to discuss more contentious topics. The Senate budget plan wipes out funding for the motor vehicle and driver's license division. The intent is to register senators' disapproval of licensing procedures that include making electronic copies of applicants' personal documents.
Like the House, the Senate plan includes no money for Gov. Jay Nixon's proposed Medicaid expansion.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Department of Revenue Director Brian Long has resigned amid a controversy over the agency's handling of concealed gun permit documents.
Gov. Jay Nixon announced Long's resignation Monday and said it was effective immediately. The governor's statement did not say why Long resigned or whether he was asked to do so.
Long was appointed to the job by Nixon on Dec. 13.
That came shortly after the Department of Revenue had launched a new process for issuing driver's licenses in which clerks are making electronic copies of applicants' personal documents, such as concealed carry permits. Republican lawmakers have raised concerns about the potential for people's privacy rights to be violated.
During a Senate committee hearing last week, Long had declined to stop scanning the documents.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The way Missouri processes concealed weapons permits has fueled the fire in Republican lawmakers' fight over the state's new driver's license procedures.
Missouri appears to be the only state to have concealed weapons endorsements printed on driver's licenses. Permit holders can choose to have the endorsement printed on the license or on a separate card issued by the Revenue Department.
In most other states, county sheriffs or police issue the concealed weapons permits. Some states don't require a permit at all to carry a concealed weapon.
The department began scanning applicants' concealed weapons permits and other documents in December when it switched licensing protocols. Republicans say the department could share that information with the federal government or a private company. Revenue department officials deny that information is being shared.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House wants to block the scanning and computer storage of personal documents needed to get a driver's license or state identification card.
Legislation given initial approval 141-14 on Wednesday would bar the Revenue Department from scanning documents needed for driver's licenses or concealed weapons permits. Documents that have been scanned would need to be destroyed.
The bill needs another vote before moving to the Senate, where members have criticized the driver's license procedure.
Previously, license clerks looked at applicants' documents, took a photo and printed the license. Under the new system, licenses are printed and mailed by a contractor several days after people apply. Revenue Department officials have said the new procedure makes licenses more secure and saves money.
Some Missouri senators are pressing the state's driver's license agency to stop collecting documents from people with concealed gun permits.
But the head of the agency said Wednesday he's reluctant to halt the practice.
Since December, clerks in Missouri's local license offices have been making electronic copies of concealed weapons permits for a state database of driver's license applicants. Concealed gun endorsements are noted on driver's licenses.
Some Republican lawmakers have expressed concern about the document database. During a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing Wednesday, Chairman Kurt Schaefer asked the Revenue Department to stop making and keeping copies of concealed gun permits.
Revenue Director Brian Long said he's unwilling to commit to that, because the scanned documents provide protection against fraud. But Long also said he will consider it further.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Republican state senator plans to hold hearings across Missouri to get public reaction to a new driver's license process that stores electronic copies of applicants' birth certificates and concealed gun permits in a state database.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Kurt Schaefer claims the procedures by the Department of Revenue are an invasion of privacy. During a hearing Wednesday, Schaefer aggressively quizzed department officials about whether they are trying to comply with the 2005 Real ID Act, which sets stringent proof-of-identity requirements.
Department officials insisted they are not. They noted that a 2009 state law prohibits compliance with Real ID.
Schaefer wants to hold public hearings across the state on the procedure. He says he won't give the driver's license administration any money until it can prove it's worthy.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Newly obtained records show that Missouri senators were informed two years ago about a new driver's license system but were not briefed about one of its most controversial aspects.
Republicans have complained about the new system in which applicants' personal documents, such as birth certificates and concealed weapons endorsements, are scanned and retained in a state computer system.
Audio records reviewed by The Associated Press show that members of the Senate Appropriations Committee were briefed in 2011 about the new licensing procedures but were never told that applicants' documents would be scanned and retained in a state database.
Republican lawmakers have accused the department of sharing that information with the federal government or a private company. Revenue Department officials have denied that charge in legislative committee hearings.
The order was signed Monday by Republican Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey. It requires the department to produce documents to help determine whether the state is sharing people's personal information with the federal government or a private company.
Lawmakers began investigating after a southeast Missouri man filed a lawsuit. The lawsuit challenges the new requirement that documents such as birth certificates and concealed weapons endorsements be scanned into a state database when a person applies for a driver's license.
Revenue Department officials have denied during legislative hearings that personal information is being shared.