Today U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) sent a letter to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray, asking why he is directing FBI agents to conduct 'audits' of Missouri county sheriffs' records of concealed carry weapons permit holders. 

"Missouri is a state filled with law-abiding gun owners. There’s no pressing need for federal bureaucrats to collect information about who they are and other information on their applications for concealed carry permits," said Senator Hawley. "Indeed, restricting who can access that information has been a priority for Missouri lawmakers for years: limitations on the distribution of firearm owner information have been codified into Missouri law to prevent the very scenario we’re seeing here."

Senator Hawley emphasized that the increasing politicalization of the FBI is a major cause for concern, and that Missourians and their sheriffs have every right to be skeptical of the FBI's intentions. 

Read the entire letter here and below:  

July 29, 2022

The Honorable Christopher A. Wray Director
Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 
Washington, D.C. 20535

Dear Director Wray:

Despite being fresh off a punishing loss at the Supreme Court in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, the Biden Administration has made clear that it won’t stop chipping away at Americans’ Second Amendment rights. Specifically, FBI agents under your authority are planning to visit Missouri county sheriffs in order to “audit” their records of concealed carry weapons permit holders.

In the weeks since the announcement, numerous sheriffs and gun owners have expressed concern over the scope and purpose of this audit. As one sheriff recently put it, “I was elected to protect [Missouri residents’] rights and their freedoms and to uphold the laws. That is a law in the state of Missouri that we don’t give out that private information.” I have also heard from numerous constituents that they are alarmed by the FBI’s recent actions.

Missouri is a state filled with law-abiding gun owners. There’s no pressing need for federal bureaucrats to collect information about who they are and other information on their applications for concealed carry permits. Indeed, restricting who can access that information has been a priority for Missouri lawmakers for years: limitations on the distribution of firearm owner information have been codified into Missouri law to prevent the very scenario we’re seeing here.

Under your leadership, the FBI has become increasingly politicized. As a result, Missourians and their sheriffs have every reason to be skeptical of the FBI’s intentions. For the benefit of Missouri firearms owners and the public at large, you should explain why the FBI has aggressively sought information about concealed carry permit holders in Missouri.

Please provide my office with answers to the following questions:

  1. How many Missouri sheriffs does the FBI intend to visit for purposes of records audits?
     
  2. In what other states, if any, is the FBI conducting similar audits?
     
  3. What specific concealed carry information, and how many records, does the FBI intend to review?
     
  4. How long does the FBI intend to retain records seized, and for what purposes?
     
  5. What action steps does the FBI intend to take following these audits? 
I await your response.

Sincerely,

Josh Hawley
United States Senator
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