Our Opinion: State need not keep FOID card ‘secret’ (Editorial)

March 8, 2011

Never have we seen the kind of fury as that which followed the Illinois Attorney General’s ruling that names of firearm owner identification card holders are public information under Illinois law.

Letters to the editor, online comments and incalculable discussion elsewhere seemed unanimous in their judgment: Attorney General Lisa Madigan had put every lawful gun owner and FOID card holder in danger with this ruling.

If the Illinois State Police release these names — and it is only the names in question; no other information would be made public — criminals swiftly would descend on FOID holders’ homes in search of weapons to steal, went the prevailing argument.

We’re accustomed to gun rights advocates being vocal, rigid and determined in their pursuit of what they believe are their Second Amendment rights. We are not deaf to their concerns. In fact, we recently have called for Illinois to adopt a law defining the right of FOID holders to carry concealed firearms.