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Under state law, certain measures exist to protect Missouri residents from governmental overreach or invasion of privacy. When these laws are obeyed and enforced, it helps keep the criminal justice system fair and credible. But when they are not, the results can cause unease for Missourians - and civil liberties advocates across the country.

Such a breach recently occurred in Missouri. In the past 16 months there have apparently been two instances of Missouri State Police officials handing over a database containing information on all of the state's concealed carry users to the federal government. This was apparently done "for law enforcement investigate purposes" but it was actually done in violation of state law.

Apparently the Social Security Administration's Office of the Inspector General requested the information to see if Social Security beneficiaries with mental disorders also had concealed carry permits. That is a legitimate concern, as often those with certain mental illnesses are not allowed to own firearms.

However, the state database that contains that information is supposed to be set up in a way that prevents such large-scale data extraction. Missouri state law prohibits officers from accessing this information by pulling more than one name at a time. But 185,000 names were simultaneously copied, processed and handed over to the federal government.

Another concern is the fact that the state police did not inform these permit holders that their information had been turned over. In the face of such a breach of trust by law enforcement officials it is important to be able to protect your rights.

Consider contacting a criminal defense attorney if you are facing law enforcement action as a result of a police misconduct.

Source: Personal Liberty Digest, "Feds Secretly Asked For - And Secretly Got -List of Every Concealed Carry Resident in Missouri," Ben Bullard, April 12, 2013

To learn more about defending against criminal charges in Missouri, please visit our website.

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