State leaders have reportedly been informed that the FBI is set to audit some 24 Missouri counties concerning Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) information next month. Scotland County Sheriff Bryan Whitney and Attorney General (AG) Eric Schmitt, both Republicans, say that won’t happen if they can help it.
“As the sheriff of Scotland County, I want all my citizens to know that I will not allow, cooperate or release any CCW information to the FBI, ‘even at the threat of a federal arrest,’” Whitney told his community in a letter on Monday, Fox News Digital first reported.
“Point Blank, ‘I will go down with the ship if need be,’” the sheriff added.
Schmitt addressed the coming audits last week in a strongly-worded letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, demanding the agency “cease their attempts to illegally obtain information from local sheriffs on Missourians who have concealed carry permits.”
“The FBI has absolutely no business poking around in the private information of those who have obtained a concealed carry permit in Missouri,” Schmitt slammed. “The Second Amendment rights of Missourians will absolutely not be infringed on my watch. I will use the full power of my Office to stop the FBI, which has become relentlessly politicized and has virtually no credibility, from illegally prying around in the personal information of Missouri gun owners.”
“Let me be perfectly clear,” Schmitt said in the letter to Director Wray. “Allowing federal agents from the FBI to have access to records of Missourians who have a permit to carry a concealed weapon violates Missouri law and infringes on our Second Amendment rights.”
In a press release, the AG cited RSMo. Section 571.101.9: “Information retained in the concealed carry permit system under this subsection shall not be distributed to any federal, state, or private entities …”
Moreover, the AG “promises to use the full power of his Office to stop the FBI’s attempts to obtain information on Missouri concealed carry weapons permit holders,” the press release added.
Whitney told Fox News Digital he’s preparing to move all CCW paperwork to a secure location if an FBI federal search warrant is issued.
The FBI contends that its audits will not “require access to lists such as state approved concealed carry holders.”
“At no point would auditors require access to lists such as state approved concealed carry holders, nor would the CJIS Division retain information beyond what is necessary to address a specific compliance concern,” the FBI told Fox News Digital, adding that the agency has “been through this routine audit multiple times, most recently in 2018.”
Just last month, gun owners with CCW permits in California had their information exposed after Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) launched a 2022 Firearms Dashboard Portal, The Daily Wire reported. The breach included gun owners’ names, addresses, and races leaked online.
“We are investigating an exposure of individuals’ personal information connected to the DOJ Firearms Dashboard,” the California Department of Justice told gun outlet The Reload. “Any unauthorized release of personal information is unacceptable.”
President of the California Rifle & Pistol Association Chuck Michel unloaded after the breach. “Vindictive sore loser bureaucrats have endangered people’s lives and invited conflict by illegally releasing confidential private information,” he slammed.