A lawsuit has been filed in the Missouri Bootheel accusing the state of wrongfully requiring digital copies of vital records.
The plaintiff, Eric Griffin of Stoddard County, was seeking a conceal carry endorsement. He says officials at his local license fee office told him that in order to receive it, his application, birth certificate and residency documents would have to be digitally scanned and stored by the Missouri Department of Revenue. Lt. Governor Peter Kinder (R) says any license fee office that makes that demand is breaking the law.
“The legislature faced an option 10 years ago on passage of the right to carry law – will we have a ‘may issue’ law, or will we have a ‘shall issue’ law?" Kinder told reporters Monday at the State Capitol. "Our (state) is a ‘shall issue’ (state), it’s a mandate. You go down the checklist of requirements to secure a permit, and you get one -- it is not discretionary with the sheriff or any other public official.”
Stoddard County Prosecutor Russell Oliver is acting as Griffin's personal lawyer. He says Griffin should not have to provide the documents for scanning. A trial judge issued a temporary restraining order over the practice Monday and scheduled a hearing March 12. Oliver says the order is limited to the Stoddard County license office.
A Revenue Department spokesman says the agency follows the law.
Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter: @MarshallGReport