Officials in the state of Missouri have publicly refused to obey the FBI’s demands that they hand over the personal information of the state’s concealed carry weapons permit holders, saying the agency is attempting “to illegally obtain” the information. Scotland County Sheriff Bryan Whitney, for one, is adamant that the FBI is trying to assemble an illegal gun registry of Missouri citizens. “As the sheriff of Scotland County, I want all my citizens to know that I will not allow, cooperate or release any CCW information to the FBI, ‘even at the threat of a federal arrest,” Whitney, a Republican, told his constituents in a letter released on Monday, Fox News reported. “Point Blank, I will go down with the ship if need be,” Whitney added in his letter. Whitney told his constituents that the FBI had alerted Missouri’s 24 county sheriffs that it intended to launch an audit of Missouri CCW holders starting in August. The Scotland County sheriff found support in the state’s Republican Attorney General, Eric Schmitt, as well. In his recent press release, Schmitt says he has sent a letter to the FBI telling it to “cease their attempts to illegally obtain information from local sheriffs on Missourians who have concealed carry permits.” “The FBI has absolutely no business poking around in the private information of those who have obtained a concealed carry permit in Missouri,” a press release from the AG’s office said. “The Second Amendment rights of Missourians will absolutely not be infringed on my watch. I will use the full power of my Office to stop the FBI, which has become relentlessly politicized and has virtually no credibility, from illegally prying around in the personal information of Missouri gun owners.” [firefly_poll] Schmitt added that back when the Obama administration was attempting similar unconstitutional back-door gun-control efforts, the state passed a law to make it illegal for state officials to share such sensitive information about gun-owning residents with the federal government. Of course, the FBI claims innocence over the coming audit. The Bureau claims it is only looking to complete “a small sampling of system transactions” of Missouri’s CCW applications to “ensure there is no misuse of the [FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division] systems.” The Bureau added that the CJIS is the system by which criminal justice information is shared by the nation’s law enforcement and criminal justice communities. But the information gathered for the audit would not be shared. “At no point would auditors require access to lists such as state approved concealed carry holders, nor would the CJIS Division retain information beyond what is necessary to address a specific compliance concern,” the FBI claimed. The Bureau also said the state has “been through this routine audit multiple times, most recently in 2018.” Still, Schmitt notes that Americans no longer trust the deep-state FBI. “You may wonder why there is such strong suspicion of federal agents here in the ‘Show Me State.’ Simply put, Missourians are hard-working, law-abiding citizens who don’t need a national nanny-state keeping tabs on us. But more than that, over the last couple of years, we’ve seen story after story of incompetence and corruption at the highest levels of the FBI,” Schmitt said in his press release. Schmitt added that the “deep staters” in the FBI have “tarnished the reputation of this once well-respected agency” by targeting parents who expressed outrage over school curricula at school board meetings” along with “the witch hunt against President Trump and his team.” For his part, Sheriff Whitney said he is moving all CCW holder information to a secure location to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands — especially in light of the data breach suffered by the California Department of Justice, which leaked the personal information of thousands of California gun owners. Indeed, Whitney said the California data breach was “one of the exact reasons” he is refusing to cooperate with the FBI’s audit. Missouri’s reluctance to cooperate with the FBI is unsurprising when viewed against how the Bureau has allowed itself to be used as a political tool by Democrats. From its illicit framing of Trump adviser and former Lt. General Michael Flynn — whom Donald Trump had to pardon to stop the FBI’s political persecution — to the Bureau’s complicity with the Hillary Clinton campaign to promulgate the fake Trump/Russia conspiracy, not to mention the subsequent illegal spying the Bureau performed on the Trump campaign, it is no wonder no one trusts or respects the FBI. But kudos to AG Schmitt, Sheriff Whitney and others willing to protect our constitutional rights and to stand up against the tyranny of the deep state. We could use more officials with their guts. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.