Much to the consternation of the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA), Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan released a ruling on March 1 that directed the State Police to release the names and other personal information of the state's 1.3 Million firearm owners.
The ruling came in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOI) request filed by news organizations that wanted to list the names of firearm owners in newspapers
and other publications.
As an ISRA press release explained, “Information subject to the FOI request is maintained in the Firearm Owners Identification card (FOID) database which tracks personal information belonging to persons who hold FOID cards. Since its inception in the mid-1960s, information in the FOID database has been considered confidential and not subject to release by the State Police. Today's ruling by Attorney General Madigan is a dramatic departure from that tradition.”
“The ISRA strongly opposes release of the FOID database information because the association believes that release of such data puts FOID card holders and their families in grave danger.”
“Attorney General Madigan has to understand that the safety of real people is at stake here,” said ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson. “Once this information is released, it will be distributed to street gangs and gun control groups who will use the data to target gun owners for crime and harassment.”
The state’s affiliate of the National Rifle Association, ISRA publicly asked Madigan to reconsider her directive, and to honor the long-standing tradition in Illinois of keeping this information confidential. So far, no response from Madigan’s office.
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