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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The federal Social Security Administration now says that its investigators were not able to read an electronic list of concealed gun permit holders from Missouri.
In an email Monday, a spokesman for the federal agency says it distributed incorrect information last week when it said the disk was read before it was destroyed. The agency's retraction came after Missouri Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer held a news conference Monday recounting what he had been told about the disk by the agency's inspector general.
The miscommunication highlights the confusion about an issue that has been a growing concern among Republican lawmakers. They fear gun owners' privacy rights were violated when the Missouri State Highway Patrol provided the list of permit holders to a federal investigator.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Social Security Administration says one of its fraud investigators received a readable list of Missourians who have concealed-weapons permits but that the list was later destroyed.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday that the agent received the list in a readable format from the Missouri State Highway Patrol in January.
Patrol officials told a Missouri Senate committee Thursday the data were never accessed at the federal level because of a technical glitch. But the Social Security Administration's Office of Inspector General told The Post-Dispatch the unreadable version was sent to the agent in 2011.
The investigator was planning to check if anyone who met Missouri's mental health qualifications for a weapons permit had also sought benefits for a mental disability. But the project was dropped.
The bill given first-round approval Tuesday drew support from both Republicans and Democrats who said they hope a database will help stop people from abusing the workers' compensation system by repeatedly filing claims against employers.
Senators said employers already can get information on an applicant's workers' compensation claim. But must do so in writing, which can take a couple weeks. They said an online database could speed up the hiring process, benefiting both workers and bosses.
The state Division of Workers' Compensation says an online database initially would include 554,000 claim records, with about 13,000 records added annually.