House computer sought access to gun permit holders
Friday, May 3, 2013
By JORDAN SHAPIRO
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri House computer was used in an unsuccessful effort to access a secure website that contained the list of Missourians with concealed weapons permits, Gov. Jay Nixon’s administration said Friday.
State Office of Administration spokeswoman Misti Preston said the user tried to access the website 23 times around 10 a.m. on Thursday morning. She said the attempted access was “unauthorized” because that information is confidential and can only be shared with law enforcement agencies.
Nixon’s administration now is trying to determine who was behind the attempted login.
Open records requests were sent by Commissioner of Administration Doug Nelson to House Speaker Tim Jones, House Clerk Adam Crumbliss and House Director of Information Systems Rich Beckwith late Thursday in an effort to figure out which computer was used. The Office of Administration had not yet received a response to its request and Crumbliss was not immediately available for comment Friday. As chief clerk, he is responsible for House operations.
Missouri’s open records law, known as the Sunshine Law, gives government entities three days to formally respond to records requests.
The Office of Administration is seeking all House firewall, workstation and computer logs for Thursday between 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
Access to the list of Missourians with concealed gun permits has been a controversial topic at the state Capitol over the past two months.
In March, lawmakers began an investigation into the Revenue Department over new drivers’ license procedures that required applicants’ personal documents, such as birth certificates and concealed weapons permits, to be scanned into a state computer system. During that investigation, lawmakers learned the Revenue Department gave the state Highway Patrol a list of gun permit holders to share with a federal agent in the Social Security Administration.
Nixon’s administration said the login information used on the House computer was the same credential to a federal Social Security agent who requested the permit holder list.
The agent, Keith Schilb of the Office of Inspector General for the Social Security Administration, told a Missouri Senate panel this week that he wanted the list to advance a fraud investigation. He said that he was looking into Social Security recipients with a mental health diagnosis who also had a state-issued weapons permit.
The Highway Patrol gave Schilb a password to the secure website after he could not use two CDs containing the same information. Schilb said he accessed data on the website in February but was not comfortable using the information in that format and did not attempt to login again.
Preston said there were no other login attempts on the secure website until Thursday. She added that the list of concealed weapons permit holders was removed from the website on March 5.
The login information given to Schilb was released to the public and other lawmakers as part of the probe this week.
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