Ill. Attorney General: Authorized gun owner list is public info

March 1, 2011

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(Flickr/Kate Gardiner)

The Illinois Attorney General says names of people authorized to own a gun in Illinois should be public.

The Illinois State Police Department is responsible for issuing Firearm Owners Identification cards. That authorizes a person to own a gun.

At the end of September, the Associated Press had requested a list of people who were issued a card from the state police. But the police would not release the information saying it would be an invasion of personal privacy and could endanger the owner's safety.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office sent a letter to the police late Monday night, saying the information should be accessible to the public and the argument of privacy is invalid.

There are Republican-sponsored bills in the state capital that would prohibit disclosure of the information.

The Illinois State Police respectfully disagrees with the recent opinion of the Attorney General's Public Access Counselor regarding the release of names of Firearm Owner Identification cardholders. The Department intends to request that the PAC issue a binding opinion so that the issue may be resolved through the judicial process.