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Jones: Attempt To Access CCW List Part Of House Investigation

Republican House Speaker Tim Jones has formed a committee he says will thoroughly investigate the Department of Revenue's scanning of source documents for driver's license and conceal carry applicants, and the release of the state's conceal carry weapons (CCW) holder list to the federal government.

Jones says the committee is necessary because the Nixon administration has not fully cooperated with lawmakers' efforts to get answers to everything that's happened and why.

"If the Nixon administration refuses to cooperate, we will compel them to do so by issuing subpoenas," Jones said.  "The Department of Revenue's scanning, storage and releasing of Missourians' private information is a serious matter."

Jones stopped short of saying whether the new committee would try to compel Governor Jay Nixon, a Democrat, to testify.

"We wanted to know if the database existed, (but) the Governor denied that it existed," Jones said.  "Further information was that it did exist, and so there's been a repeated pattern of contradictory statements and inability to completely give us full answers."

Jones says the Bipartisan Investigative Committee on Privacy Protection will include both Democrats and Republicans from the legislature and from law enforcement agencies.  He adds that the committee will release a final report by September 1st, which will include proposed legislation designed to prevent any future releases of citizens' private information. 

Jones also confirmed that several attempts last week to access Missouri's list of conceal carry weapons holders was part of a House investigation into how secure the list is.  Governor Nixon's Office of Administration (OA) has issued a Sunshine Law request for all records related to the attempted breach of a web portal it says once contained confidential conceal carry information.  Jones refused to answer reporters' questions Monday on whether his office would comply with the request, or whether he gave the order to try and access the portal.

"Typically, we do not discuss the details of an ongoing investigation, but the House did check to make sure the web portal that was established was no longer active," Jones said.  "That information was turned over to folks who have been investigating that, and the report back to me was that the information was still accessible to the public, and hopefully it now is no longer."

Office of Administration officials say the web portal had been set up for Special Agent Keith Schilb from the Social Security Administration's Inspector General's office.

Marshall Griffin is the Statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.
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