Important Message for All Minnesota Carry Permit Holders!
In early December, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher sent a fund raising letter to Ramsey County carry permit holders, using names and addresses that were improperly taken from the Sheriff’s permit to carry database. The letter invited carry permit holders in Ramsey County to a shoot in a private outing at the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office indoor firearms range.
If you received such a letter from Sheriff Fletcher inviting you to shoot at his charity event, your privacy rights have been violated. GOCRA urges you to join in a criminal complaint filed with the St. Paul Police Department. Sheriff Fletcher violated Minnesota Data Privacy Laws by using permit to permit to carry files for activities that were not official business.
The text of the letter is available here: http://www.gocra-mn.org/news/ramsey-county-illegal-invitation/
On the surface, this may look harmless. It might even seem like a “nice” thing to do. However, this is a serious violation and needs to be addressed.
First, using this data for such a purpose is in direct violation of the law!
Subd. 14. Records. (a) A sheriff must not maintain records or data collected, made, or held under this section concerning any applicant or permit holder that are not necessary under this section to support a permit that is outstanding or eligible for renewal under subdivision 7
The translation: permit holder data is only to be used for issuing or renewing permits. Any other use is illegal. A Sheriff should know this. Further, this data is specifically classified as private criminal justice data per MN Stat. 13.87, Subd. 2. This is clearly a misuse of the data.
In the late 1980s, Chief Judge Douglas Amdahl of the Court of Appeals did, in essence, the same thing and was disciplined for his use of public position, stationary, stamps, etc. to benefit his favored charity groups. He targeted lawyers who appeared before his court. In essence, that is the same misuse of power that Fletcher is attempting to do.
Second, and equally important, such actions put personal, private data on permit holders out into the public domain – with potential for unchecked abuse.
So, what can we do? What we must do is:
If you are a resident of Ramsey County, GOCRA urges you to join the complaint filed with the St. Paul Police Department. The case number for the complaint against Sheriff Fletcher regarding the misuse of carry permit holder data is CN 09273/732.
The St. Paul Police Department (www.stpaul.gov) is located at:
367 Grove Street
St Paul, MN
After joining the complaint, forward a copy of it to the Ramsey County Attorney and the Ramsey County Board.
Do it now! Your rights are hanging in the balance.