Gun Controversy: Missouri House Source Tries Accessing Confidential Data to Prove a Point?

House Speaker Timothy Jones.
House Speaker Timothy Jones.

One of the most hotly debated issues at the Missouri legislature this session is the question of whether the state is violating the privacy of residents with concealed-carry permits by way of some sort of "gun registry" conspiracy. The concern is that -- in the context of gun control -- officials in Missouri responsible for licensing may be maintaining a list of names that could be used outside of the state or by the federal government to track gun owners.

Now, it seems, someone using a Missouri House of Representatives computer has tried to access a confidential list of concealed-carry permit holders in the state, possibly to prove some sort of point that private citizens' personal information is at risk. This unknown source, however, was unsuccessful, and now the Missouri office of administration is trying to figure out who was making repeated unauthorized attempts to access a secured server...from a House IP address.

Critics of the GOP say this is basically an attempt at hacking a government database.

House Speaker Tim Jones, a Republican who has been a leading voice in the fight to protect the privacy of gun owners, has little to say about these efforts within the House to access confidential gun-permit data.

A spokesman for Jones and the House did not have any additional comment to offer beyond the speaker's remarks at a press conference yesterday, where reporters asked him about this controversy. He sent Daily RFT this footage, and Jones addresses questions on the matter at around the 9:20 mark.

On Friday, the office of administration announced that it had detected "repeated and unauthorized attempts to gain access" to a secure server and that the account in question "had at one time housed confidential CCW information" (referring to concealed-carry permit holders). In a release, the administration says:

After the initial attempt was denied, the individual or individuals made subsequent attempts to gain access to the site. This apparent attempt to access confidential CCW data, available only to law enforcement, came from an IP address belonging to the Missouri House of Representatives.

In response, the office made a records request to the House for all records related to the unauthorized attempt to access the restricted site.

At the presser yesterday, a reporter asked Jones if he was going to comply with the records request about the unauthorized attempt to access the data.

"I'll disagree with the premise of the question," Jones responded. "The House, as I mentioned, has had an ongoing investigation of the [Governor Jay] Nixon administration's scanning program and the disclosure of the documentation whether through the CD-ROMs or what I believe is an unlawful Web portal that was set up. So typically, we do not discuss the details of an ongoing investigation, but the House did check to make sure the web portal that was established was no longer active after the existence of that became completely known to the public. And that's all I can say on the matter at this time."

Continue for more on Tim Jones' press conference and his latest announcement on the gun privacy investigation.

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