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Removing the Department of Revenue from the Concealed Carry Permit Process (HB 859)

While this week did not produce any new startling discoveries in regard to the ongoing Missouri Department of Revenue scandal, the House did take legislative action to ensure the department will never again release the personal information of concealed carry permit holders.

The bill we passed this week would take the department entirely out of the process of issuing concealed carry endorsements. Right now, Missourians can take their concealed carry permits to a local license office to obtain a photo ID showing the concealed carry endorsement. If the legislation we passed goes into law, our sheriffs would have sole responsibility for printing ID cards for concealed weapon permit holders.

Our sheriffs already take care of receiving applications, conducting background checks and issuing paper permits for concealed weapon holders. The change we propose would simply authorize them also to print a concealed weapon ID card, which would prevent the Department of Revenue from obtaining, or sharing, the private information of Missourians with a concealed weapon.

The bill we approved also would eliminate the renewal process for concealed weapons permits, which currently require a renewal fee every three years.

Budget Update

The budget bills we approved the week after our legislative Spring Break have now made their way through the Senate and are headed back to the House. The 13 bills make up a spending plan of nearly $25 billion. That total includes a $66 million increase in funding to our public schools and a $34 million increase in state funding to our colleges and universities. Both are increases I support wholeheartedly.

The House now has the option to approve the bills as they currently stand, which would send them on to the governor to be signed into law, or send them to conference. In conference, selected members from the Senate and House will meet to hash out the differences we may have with the goal of reaching an agreeable compromise. It is likely that most of the bills will be sent to conference where negotiators from both chambers will have until Friday, May 10 to come to an agreement.

As always, it is an honor to serve the good folks of the 153rd District. If you would like to discuss any issue, please call 573-751-1066 or you can e-mail me at steve.cookson@house.mo.gov.

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