Illinois House Moves to Overturn Lisa Madigan FOIA Ruling on Making Public Gunowners’ Names

When the Public Access Division of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office ruled that the names of Firearm Owner’s Identification Card holders under the Freedom of Information Act, gun owners hit the roof.  I admit to not knowing what the problem was.  It seemed to me that when the crooks found out where the guns were, they would rob the neighbors’ houses instead.  I have a FOID card.

The Illinois State Police said that it would fight Lisa Madigan’s ruling, but passage of legislation prohibiting the FOID card names being release would avoid a court fight.

Today State Rep. Mike Tryon reports below on House passage of the bill pushed by the Illinois State Rifle Association and the NRA.

Legislators Protect FOID Card Holders’ Rights through Passage of HB 3500

Springfield… State Representative Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) joined many of his colleagues on Friday in protecting the privacy rights of Firearm Owner’s Identification Card holders across Illinois.

House Bill 3500 adds an exemption to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) protecting the personal information of Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Card holders. The bill prohibits State and local governments from publicly releasing the names or other private information of FOID card holders or applicants. HB 3500 passed the Illinois House of Representatives on a vote of 98-12.

Mike Tryon

“This is a major victory for law-abiding gun owners in Illinois,” said Tryon, a co-sponsor of the bill. “Those who choose to exercise their second amendment rights are entitled to a certain level of privacy and today’s vote helps to ensure that these people’s names and personal information may remain confidential.”


House Bill 3500 was filed in response to a ruling by Attorney General Lisa Madigan that declared the names of FOID Card holders to be public information that must be disclosed if requested through a FOIA request. The Illinois State Police and the National Rifle Association both opposed Madigan’s ruling.

“Releasing the names and addresses of people who have firearms in their homes would make it easy for criminals to target locations where they could steal guns,” said Tryon. “Making that list public would also let criminals know which homes they could break into without fear of encountering an individual who protects himself with a gun.”

The bill will now be considered by the Illinois Senate.


Illinois House Moves to Overturn Lisa Madigan FOIA Ruling on Making Public Gunowners’ Names — 5 Comments

  1. Tryon has identified only part of the problem with Madigan’s ruling.

    Several years ago, Mayor Daley tried to obtain the FOID database in order to cross reference the Chicago registration database with Chicago residents listed in the FOID database. Chicago residents with a FOID but no Chicago registered guns would be singled out for”special” enforcement.

    The Chicago administration reasoned that a Chicago FOID holder who did NOT have a gun registered was prima fascia in possession of an unregistered firearm. And subject to arrest.

    There are several problems with approach. Possession of a FOID does mean the holder has a gun, only that they can buy a gun and ammunition and own one. Not that they have a gun. Or, if they did own a gun, that it was physically located in Chicago. However, a Chicagoan storing his guns in his Wonder Lake summer home is perfectly legal. Not that it would matter when SWAT was kicking in his door in the middle of the night.

    Daley’s use of the FOID database was for a FISHING EXPEDITION, in other words. The State Police correctly told Daley to jump in the Chicago River.

    I am convinced that Madigan wants gun owners harassed by anti-gun people and organizations. Knowing who has a FOID can be used by schools, DCFS and the police to put pressure on gun owners to relinquish their firearms, to surrender their Constitutional rights.

    Possession of a FOID card could be used to tip the scales in custody battles, or give DCFS justification to intervene, on the mistaken belief that gun owners are too irresponsible to be allowed to raise children. Even if there are no guns (FOID only grants permission to ow guns) in the home.

    Publishing the names of FOID holders is the modern equivalent of being forced to wear the Star of David in Nazi Germany. It is a weapon to be used AGAINST those citizens who obey the law to lawfully purchase and own a firearm.

  2. I think we need to be careful in mixing up seperate issues. I will say I have mixed feelings about the FOID.

    First and formost we need to establish the right to raise our children and educate them without government interventions. Pleas visit to learn about the need for a constitutional change by watching “The Child”.

    On the otherside. I want to know if my crazy neighbor who has threatned me and my family really has a gun. I would like to know how many as well. Is it one or 10.Is it hand held or rifle. Can he shoot me or my family or dogs? Yes, I think I have a right to know this because its a lethal weapon and weapons can and do kill. Everyday as a matter of fact.

    I would like to know if a home where my child might visit has a gun. How many?

    On the other hand I respect the right to bear arms and have a gun or guns but I also know that we have lots of crazy people in the world so i feel I should have the right to know and choose where I wish to live. You see I would not choose to move next door too or in an area with lots of guns. I also deserve to have the right to protect myself and my family? Just consider how the police handle threats…Well,, If i didn’t hear it I can’t do anything about it.

    Consider how often women are killed by old boyfriends or husbands..They told the police many times and nothing happened. So I think people deserve the chance to protect themselves too. I am not sure what the answer is..But I don’t think taking the teeth out of the FOIA is the answer and I am disappointed in the Politicians who choose to do this. This was not the right answer. More exceptions will likely follow and corruption will prevail.

  3. Cynthia? What on God’s green Earth makes you think you have any right to know how many or what kind of anything your neighbors own? Do you even understand what you are suggesting?

  4. Yes, I do know what I am suggesting. Do you know what you are suggesting?
    And yes, I do think I have the right to know if my neighbor has guns. I have not suggested that I have the right to take away their guns but yes, I think I should have the right to know what type of lethal weapons are in my community.
    In addition I should have the right to determine what type of community I wish to live in. One that has 7 homes with 10 guns each or a community without any guns.
    Yes, If guns require a license then i should have a right to know who has one.

    I did not suggest I have the right to know other things about my neighbor but yes, when it comes to lethal weapons I should have the right to know. Just like i should have the right to know if my home has been built on a chemical dump or if animal waste is being dumped into my nwater system or if a Nuclear plant is going to be built next door to my home.

    Yes I have the right to know

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