The Public Access Counselor of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office says the Illinois State Police must release the names of all FOID card holders to the Associated Press.
According to a story in the Chicago Tribune, the Illinois State Police have always kept the names of the FOID card holders private. The State Police had argued that releasing this information would violate the privacy of the FOID card holders and should be exempted from the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. This argument was overruled by the Public Access Counselor.
The letter was released on Monday night but it is not yet up on the Attorney General’s website. I have requested a copy of the letter from the Office of the Public Access Counselor. If I can get it, I will post it here.
Given that to possess a firearm in the state of Illinois one must have a FOID card, this list gives the press the name and address of every registered gun owner in the state. If something like this were to be published, criminals would be given a shopping list of houses ripe for break-ins. A contrarian view might be that crooks would know which houses could be more dangerous to hit because the owner is armed. Frankly, I lean more towards the former than the latter.
UPDATE: As I noted above, I requested a copy of the letter from the Public Access Counselor. I just received it this morning. I have embedded the full 8-page letter below.