Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) sent a letter blasting the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) last month, in response to the agency seeking out lists of his state’s citizens from local sheriffs, who have exercised their Second Amendment rights by having concealed carry licenses.
“It has come to my attention that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has informed several Missouri county sheriffs that they will be showing up in August to ‘audit’ CCW permit holder records,” the letter began. “The FBI states, ‘The audit includes an onsite review of your Concealed Carry Weapons Permits.’
“Let me be perfectly clear,” he continued. “Federal agents from the FBI to have access to records of Missourians who have a permit to carry a concealed weapon violates Missouri law and infringes on our Second Amendment rights.”
“Missouri law specifically prohibits sharing this confidential list with the federal government,” Schmitt added. “The people’s elected representatives passed this law after it became known that the Obama Administration wanted to know which Missourians had firearms, supposedly to establish who was entitled to federal benefits,” he explained. “The federal government has no business poking around to find out their identities.”
“We deliberately wrote the state law so that only the elected county sheriff had access to the CCW list you are trying to get. Here in the heartland, we elect our county sheriffs, who are members of our communities. The same cannot be said for your out-of-touch FBI.”
— Lenny Dykstra (@LennyDykstra) August 10, 2022
The state AG then laid out the multiple events which have hurt Americans’ trust in federal law enforcement agencies, trust that has been further weakened following the Bureau’s raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate earlier this week.
“You may wonder why there is such strong suspicion of federal agents here in the ‘Show Me State.’ Simply put, Missourians are hard-working, law-abiding citizens who don’t need a national nanny-state keeping tabs on us,” he explained, adding, “But more than that, over the last couple of years, we’ve seen story after story of incompetence and corruption at the highest levels of the FBI. Our trust in your agency is at an all-time low.”
Schmitt also highlighted the direction of federal agents last year, when they investigated parents who pressured school boards across the country — over the implementation of a radical curriculum which included Critical Race Theory in the classroom — explaining that such actions were, “unbelievably, somehow… done as an alleged violation of the PATRIOT Act.”
“In addition to targeting parents, your agency has targeted conservatives, most famously the witch-hunt against President Trump and his team,” the Missourian added. “James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and others endlessly investigated fake allegations fabricated by the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic operatives. Yet while it persecutes conservatives, the FBI turns a blind eye to Democrats. The FBI inexplicably cleared Hillary Clinton of wrongdoing and has been sitting on evidence of criminal activity on Hunter Biden’s laptop for years.”
It’s become a common argument amongst Republican leaders that the attacks on the former Commander-in-Chief showcase how adamant the federal bureaucracy is in about undermining Trump and conservatives overall: “Now the FBI appears to be targeting Missouri gun owners, and we will not stand for it,” he continued, adding, “In light of all these facts, Missourians have concluded that the FBI leadership in Washington, D.C. has been weaponized for political gain.”
“This is not going to happen,” Schmitt said in reference to agents going to sheriff offices, concluding that he, “will fight [them] tooth and nail with all of the resources that the people of Missouri have given me as their Attorney General.”
Another Missourian lawmaker, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), questioned FBI Director Christopher Wray last week about the agency’s plan to audit specific sheriff offices.
“This is of significant concern, it directly affects Missouri state law. You’ve praised your local law enforcement partners earlier today Director. You are putting them in a terrible position in the state of Missouri,” Hawley explained. “State law says they cannot turn over these personal records, the sheriffs cannot. You are asking them to, apparently in an unprecedented manner.”
“I want to know what in the world you’re doing with this,” the Republican added. :”And frankly, I don’t like the fact that the FBI is snooping around the records of the concealed carry permits of Missourians.”
Director Wray claimed he was unaware of the audit — a common theme lately — showing either ignorance deception on his part.
He also failed to provide adequate answers to Hawley’s line of questioning. This effort by America’s political establishment, however, represents yet another attempt at attacking law-abiding people, overriding local statutes, and overreaching with regard to the powers and mandate of the federal government.
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