Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder today issued the following statement regarding the federal Department of Homeland Security’s threat to end Missouri’s exemption from federal Real ID requirements on Jan. 10.
After that date, Homeland Security has said Missourians would not be able to use their state driver’s licenses to enter federal facilities that require an ID, such as military bases and the White House. Eventually, the ban could extend to airport security.
“The real-world implication of a nationalized ID system, with biometric photo data that allows for long-distance identification and tracking of residents, is disturbing. That’s why in 2009 the Missouri General Assembly passed HB 361 to stand athwart the federal government’s continued encroachment on Missourians’ liberties.”
That bill passed by a vote of 83-69 in the Missouri House, unanimously in the Senate, and was signed into law by Governor Jay Nixon. Kinder said Homeland Security now is disregarding Missouri law in violation of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution. In its letter to states, Homeland Security wrote, “As we continue the phased in enforcement of the Real ID Act, the consequences of continued noncompliance will grow with each milestone.”
“That’s an overt threat, to which I would say to the federal government, ‘we in Missouri are not interested in compliance with this kind of federal overreach,’” Kinder said.
He said the Missouri Department of Revenue in 2013 was shown to have already violated HB 361 in an effort to comply with Real ID without state lawmakers’ knowledge.
“The Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by Sen. Kurt Schaefer of Columbia, held hearings in Jefferson City, where DOR officials were rightly chastised and forced to rein in their activities,” Kinder added.
Those hearings revealed that Missourians’ biometric data was being shared with a company called MorphoTrust USA, which is based out of Paris, France.
One of the most controversial findings was the revelation that Missouri twice transferred a list of Missouri driver’s license holders with a concealed carry firearms endorsement to the federal government. A Missouri Highway Patrol official revealed the information a week after Governor Jay Nixon denied the fact.
In the wake of those hearings, lawmakers overwhelmingly approved SB 252, which ended data storage by the Department of Revenue and shifted concealed weapons permits responsibilities to county sheriff’s departments. That law passed 25-8 in the Missouri Senate and 118-40 in the House.
“The stated purpose of Real ID is to make us safer,” Kinder added, “The same federal government that says we must let so-called Muslim refugees into our nation without an effective vetting process now threatens Missourians who don’t comply with its intrusive Real ID law.
“The Missouri General Assembly was right to oppose this law by passing HB 361 in 2009 and by strengthening that law by passing SB 252 in 2013 with overwhelming support. I urge Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill and Missouri’s Congressional delegation to stop Homeland Security’s strong-armed tactics against the citizens of Missouri. I also call on Governor Jay Nixon and Attorney General Chris Koster to stand with Missourians against this intrusive and misguided federal law.”