Boy, Asking for FOID Info Can Get You Shot!

Posted: March 27, 2011 by mikethemouth in Local Issues
Tags: , ,

There is an ongoing fight on whether or not to release the names of people authorized to own guns in IL.  The IL State Police determine who is issued a Firearm Owners Identification Card, but has always kept the information confidential. There aren’t any state laws which specifically keep the information private, but you sure wouldn’t know this from the public uproar which has ensued following Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s letter, early March 2011, which rejected state police arguments that public release of this info is tantamount to an invasion of the privacy of FOID card-holders. Many public comments quickly appeared in the media which claim that the release of names, will make card-holders a target for criminals. This position seems a little extreme given that, unlike sex-offenders and IDOC inmates who are released early, only the names of FOID card-holders, (and not their addresses, occupations, aliases, or tatoos) and the expiration dates of their cards will be released.

The release of this information only seems fair since the public seems to be more and more inclined to regard it as okay to publish the names, addresses, and other much more detailed information about just about anyone who has “broken the law” regardless of whether they have already served their time for their offenses. Releasing this information does make it difficult for these individuals to successfully reintegrate back into society, and instances have already occurred where crime victims and others use this information to track persons down to confront them. FOID card-holders may believe themselves to be exemplary, but there is a legitimate reason for the Associated Press to be asking for this information. The AP holds that FOID ownership is a matter of public interest and policy and that, as in all other state matters (seemingly), mistakes can happen, and cards may be issued to less than upright citizens. Witness what the New York Times & the Florida Sun-Sentinel found about gun ownership:

The Rich, the Famous, the Armed

Florida legislator targets reckless gun users’ permits

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