SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says state police must release the name of everyone in the state who is authorized to own a gun.
State police determine who gets a Firearm Owners Identification card, which allows people to own guns. The police have always kept the list private.
But Madigan’s public access counselor released a letter Monday night saying the information should be public.
The Associated Press had requested the list of FOID cardholders but state police said that would violate the privacy of gun owners. The attorney general’s office ruled that argument invalid.
State police officials have not said whether they will comply with the ruling.
There are Republican-sponsored bills in the Illinois House and Senate that would prohibit disclosure of the information.
Republican Rep. Ron Stephens responded, ”You can own a handgun, and information about whether you do or don’t is private information,” Stephens said. “There is no reason for anyone or any government agency to make available to you or anyone else whether I have a FOID card.”
This disturbing move by AG Lisa Madigan has put 1.3 million lawful gun owners in harms way. The choice to arm oneself is a very personal matter and something that no one wants to broadcast. There are people who are currently in or have served in law enforcement, responsible for numerous arrests, and now must worry about how their information will be used by the public. Many lawful gun owners purchase firearms to protect themselves from abusive spouses, stalkers, and the like, and now that Lisa Madigan has ordered their names (and possibly their addresses) made public, they could easily be targeted for attack. Then there is the criminal element to think about. Do they buy their weapons at the local gun store, go through a background check, and follow the laws? Of course not – They find a house in their neighborhood that they believe has weapons and they rob it. The people of Illinois can thank their Attorney General for this incredible destruction of privacy and security.
Americans cannot fall into the trap of confusing a right with a privilege. The second amendment is not about hunting or target shooting – It’s about having the ultimate protection from a tyrannical government. When overzealous government officials like Lisa Madigan chip away at our rights and privacy in this manner, we must work hard to vote them out of office as soon as possible.