PLATTE CITY, Mo. — The Platte County Sheriff is getting ready to welcome the FBI to town next week for what the bureau calls a routine audit of the system that law enforcement use to track criminal justice information like fingerprints and criminal histories.
The audit is to make sure that those records are being accessed in the proper ways and for the proper reasons. They happen across a few states every year, generally circling back every three years. A similar audit happened in Missouri in 2018.
Unlike in 2018, audit teams are asking to access information about Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) permits in Missouri, which puts the Platte County Sheriff’s Office in a bind.
“The topics that were selected for this audit had implications with Missouri law related to CCWs and the 2nd Amendment Preservation Act,” said Platte County Sheriff spokesperson Major Erik Holland.
The 2nd Amendment Preservation Act, “prohibits state and local cooperation with federal officials that attempt to enforce any laws, rules, orders, or actions that violate the Second Amendment rights of Missourians,” according to a news release from Gov. Mike Parson’s office from June 2021 when it was signed into law.
Functionally, it means, “one of the largest concerns is the identity of individuals with firearms ownership or concealed carry permits,” Holland said.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley each sent letters to FBI Director Chris Wray criticizing the FBI in general and specifically over its attempt to get information from Missouri Sheriff’s Offices that they aren’t allowed to give.
Thursday, Hawley criticized FBI Director Chris Wray in person in a hearing.
“You’re putting them in a terrible position where in the State of Missouri, state law says they cannot turn over these personal records,” Hawley said, referring to county sheriffs. “The sheriffs cannot and you’re asking them to.”
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