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Illinois gun rights group criticized for invoking Holocaust

An Illinois state senator wants a gun advocacy group to apologize for comparing alleged attacks on gun owners to the actions of Nazi Germany. 

In the April issue of GunNews, publisher Guns Save Life uses a gold Star of David with an article that compares the treatment of Jews during the Holocaust with that of Illinois gun owners battling to keep their names private.

Guns Save Life made the analogy in response to Attorney General Lisa Madigan's recent opinion supporting the release of the names of all Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card holders in Illinois. 

But Chicago Democrat Ira Silverstein said the group is using "a very poor analogy" in making its argument. He represents a legislative district that includes many Holocaust survivors, and he said comparing Attorney General Lisa Madigan's opinion to the Holocaust is absurd.

An updated version of the Guns Save Life's April newsletter defends the use of Holocaust imagery.

"This symbolism with the Holocaust is fair in that the slippery slope for the Jews in Germany began first with their identification, then disarmament then annihilation. Under Attorney General Madigan’s plan, Illinois gun owners will be identified publicly and will stand on the precipice of their own slippery slope towards ends unknown," wrote the editors.

The Illinois State Police oversee the records of all FOID card holders in the state, but until now has kept the information confidential. State police argue that confidentiality is necessary to protect individual safety and privacy.

Madigan rejected those arguments in issuing her opinion earlier this month, declaring the information a matter of public record. Opponents of the move are hoping to block the change in policy through legal or legislative means.

Guns Save Life president John Boch said Silverstein should thank the group for its advocacy of First and Second Amendment rights.

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