FOID fight brewing in Illinois over gun owner privacy - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

FOID fight brewing in Illinois over gun owner privacy

By Carly O'Keefe - bio | email

SPRINGFIELD, IL (KFVS) - The Illinois Attorney General's Office of the Public Access Counselor says gun owner information should be public record, but Illinois State Police say no way.

Now a FOID fight is brewing in Springfield, and gun owners and non-gun owners alike have some concerns about privacy.

"I don't think it would be a good idea for everybody to know you have a gun, or how many you have," said Alice Black of Marion.

The dispute started back in September, when The Associated Press filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to Illinois State Police to obtain the names of Firearm Owner Identification Card (FOID) holders. ISP denied the request on the grounds that it could be "information that would endanger the life of physical safety of law enforcement personnel or any other person."

The Attorney General's Office reviewed ISP's denial and wrote a letter to ISP detailing that FOID information is public record and should be made available to the public and the press.

Illinois state police still refused to release it.

Now it appears it may be up to a judge to decide.

"We do understand that the Illinois Rifle Association along with others are filing suit to get a freeze on this information until it can go to the courts," said Rep. Mike Bost (R) - Murphysboro.

Rep. Bost says were a complete list of FOID holders to fall into the wrong hands - it could even put those who are not on the list at risk.

"If you have guns and criminals know you have guns, they watch your home and when you leave they would want to break in and steal the guns," said Rep. Bost. "If you don't have a gun, you're susceptible to a break-in whether or not you're or not you're there."

Some lawmakers tried to push through a bill Wednesday that would keep those records private. The bill died with a tie vote in committee and will not go to the House floor for debate.

Rep. Bost is now co-sponsoring a bill to do away with FOID cards all together; a measure he says is another way to end the dispute.

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