Illinois House Approves Bill Keeping Names of Gun Owners Private
The Illinois House has approved a bill that would keep private the names of state gun owners, as lawmakers battle to prevent the attorney general from opening up those files to the public.
The bill passed Friday on a 98-12 vote and heads next to the Senate. It was drafted in response to opinions from state Attorney General Lisa Madigan saying the state police should release the official list identifying all firearm permit holders in response to a reporter's Freedom of Information Act request.
Madigan's office has argued that there is a "public interest" in releasing the information, citing the example of an individual who may have become ineligible to carry. Her staff has argued the public interest outweighs any privacy concerns and instructed the records to be released.
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The current situation is that the AP wants the list and the state police (ISP) have repeatedly said no. The Attorney General ordered the ISP to release it. The ISP stalled and a judge in Peoria issued a TRO to prevent the release. Hopefully it buys enough time for the bill to get through the senate.