Attorney General Eric Schmitt said Wednesday that FBI agents will not be allowed to audit concealed carry permits collected by county sheriffs in Missouri.
In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Schmitt said he had been told that FBI agents planned to visit several county sheriffs departments in August to audit concealed carry weapons permits.
Schmitt, who is a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, said a Missouri law prohibits sharing the confidential lists collected by sheriff departments with federal, state or private entities. He also contended allowing federal agents to access the permit records would violate the Second Amendment.
Schmitt said the concealed carry law passed when he was a state senator included the provision that only elected county sheriffs would have access to the permit records because lawmakers “wanted to leave no doubt that the citizens of Missouri have a right to bear arms, and the federal government has no business poking around to find out their identities.”
FBI representatives in Kansas City, St. Louis and Washington D.C. did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In 2013, the Legislature passed a gun law that included a provision transferring responsibility for issuing identification cards for concealed gun permits from driver’s license clerks to local sheriffs after revelations that state agencies provided permit records to federal employees investigating fraud.
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