VALLEY PARK, MO (KMOX) - Local gun owners are reacting to news last week that the state of Missouri shared a list of concealed carry permit holders with the federal government.
“It’s my privacy. You might as well just walk in my house and look at everything I own,” one man at the On Target shooting range in Valley Park said.
“Well, I don’t like it,” another permit holder said. “I don’t like any of my information being given out without my permission.”
After months of speculation, court cases, and hearings in the Missouri legislature, it was confirmed Thursday that the Missouri State Highway Patrol has twice handed over to federal officials information regarding the 160,000 concealed carry permits in the state.
“People have the right to carry. They’ve already done what they need to do to get their right to carry so let them carry it,” a female On Target patron said.
Another shooter bucked the trend of concerned customers, saying he doesn’t understand what the fuss is about.
“It doesn’t bother me a bit,” he said. “If they want to come after me, all that information is out there anyway. I’m an honest citizen.”
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has said the data sharing was legal, part of an investigation into potential Social Security fraud. Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones told KMOX Thursday that the policy is a clear violation of state law.
“They are violating state statutes in collecting this source information, in forwarding it to another outside agency,” Jones said.
Some at On Target agreed with the Speaker’s legal assessment.
“I think that the whole thing is predicated so that they can find out where and who owns guns. The federal government does not have that information,” On Target owner Karl Schoenbeck said. “These 160,000 people we know actively carry guns so if they’re going to go after everybody’s guns, they take these people out. They can take them out one at a time.”