Missouri revenue director Brian Long abruptly resigned, becoming the first person to step aside amid a controversy over the way Missouri gathers information about people with permits to carry concealed guns, the Associated Press reports. Long had been on the job for only four months. His appointment came shortly after the agency had launched a new driver's licensing process in which clerks make electronic copies of applicants' personal documents, such as birth certificates and concealed-gun permits.
Despite criticism from Republican legislators who denounced it as a potential invasion of privacy, Long defended the process as a strong safeguard against fraud. The controversy began last month, when Republicans touted a lawsuit challenging the new licensing procedure. Local licensing offices handle concealed-gun documents because they issue the necessary photo identification cards or place the concealed-carry endorsement on applicants' driver's licenses. Long said those scanned documents are kept on a state computer server and not shared with the federal government or other entities. In a state Senate committee hearing last week, the head of the Missouri Highway Patrol said his agency had twice obtained a separate electronic list of concealed gun permit holders that was based on driver's license information and shared that list with a fraud investigator in the Social Security Administration.