Scotland County Sheriff Bryan Whitney said in public statements that his department won't comply with the bureau's audit.
"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, wrote in a July 18 letter, referring to concealed carry weapons permits.
"Point Blank, I will go down with the ship if need be."
The FBI told Fox News that its audits won't "require access to lists such as state-approved concealed carry holders." It described the audit as "routine" and something that has been done before in the state of Missouri.
"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 stated, noting that the bureau has "been through this? routine audit multiple times, most recently in 2018."
FBI officials didn't return a request for comment by press time.