IL AG to State Police: Release FOID Names & Addresses to AP

In other words (via, “Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says state police must release the name of everyone in the state who is authorized to own a gun. State police determine who gets a Firearm Owners Identification card, which allows people to own guns. The police have always kept the list private. But Madigan’s public access counselor released a letter Monday night saying the information should be public.” This will not please anyone, save, perhaps, the Associated Press, who filed suit for the info.


  1. avatar Tam 212 says:

    What say the TTAGentsia on making CCW “lists” public? I did not follow that post much since CCW is not allowed here…

    To me, this is one of the more asinine public policy decisions (out of many in this state) to befall Illinois citizens who choose to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights.

  2. avatar Vigilantis says:

    Henceforth to be known as The Complete List of People With Guns Available To Be Stolen…

    Any guesses on how long it will take for a gang member to be arrested with a copy of that list in his/her possession?

  3. avatar Rob says:

    It’s not just a list of people of own guns to steal. I’m thinking about trying to find another job. What do you want to bet employers will use this to unofficialy deny applicants? Would be almost impossible to prove.

    Why stop with gun owners? We should publish a list of all government employees, legislative staff, and journalists.


    1. avatar David Gross says:

      Actually, the list of government employees, their job descriptions, salary, etc., probably is public information, as they work for the public.

      1. avatar Rob says:


        You know, you’re probably right. I recall a local paper recently published an article of the 100 highest paid state police officers. I don’t know, though, there is public information and then there is public information. I mean, a newspaper can file a FOIA request and get a list of, for example, state police officers and their salaries. But that’s not exactly the same thing as a searchable database of names available online to anyone at any time.

        Also, state employees are paid with public funds. Those 100 state troopers were doing pretty well (salaries between $100,000 to $190,000), while FOID card holders have to pay for the priviledge of having their privacy violated.


  4. avatar David Gross says:

    There is, apparently, a problem with the Illinois Government Data Practices Act in terms of what is private data on citizens. This wouldn’t be the first time something like this has happened in some states which provide inadequate protection for information.

    The next question would be whether AP decides to publish that information freely, or whether it will use that information only in the context of, say, background or additional information on a news story concerning an individual in another context or for something else, possibly related. It is conceivable that someone injured by its publication could have an action against AP; but the nexus between the publication and injury would have to be fairly compelling.

    But, if it is available to AP, then, of course, it is most likely available to your friendly, neighborhood burglar who wants a “steal me” list, or to research those homes where s/he is least likely to encounter armed resistance.

    There SHOULD be a legislative solution to this problem, once it has manifested itself, and the legislature COULD act to stop the order with immediate legislation that says, “THAT wasn’t the intent of the legislature, and don’t do anything that cannot be called back.” But I don’t know what the wording of the Data Practices Act is or what kind of interpretation/spin/twist/fubar the court put on it. For all I know, the decision could be quite literally and reasonably compelled by the plain language and that nobody had been crass enough to do that, before, because the legislature “relied” on the common administrative practice of the police not to release it; so, it didn’t “need” to be addressed. Can you say, “loophole,” “ellipsis,” or “oversight”? Also, usually, there is a provision in these laws for the withholding of data on the basis that its immediate release could cause harm to a specific individual, but application of this type of provision in this kind of instance as a general application would actually result in a reclassification of the data, which would be a legislative matter.

    Good luck, Illinois. I’m not surprised.

  5. The Illinois State Rifle Association’s legislative web site lists both the House bill and the Senate bill that would outlaw Madigan’s move:

  6. avatar JR says:

    The thing that really got me angry was that the State Police said they wouldn’t release the info because it violates privacy, and the SA’s office said that that arguement was “invlaid.” What a crock of shit.

    I am sure this is just her response to the pending CCW legislation.

    Sometimes I am REALLY glad I moved to Wisconsin.

  7. avatar 2yellowdogs says:

    Living in St. Louis, I’ve attended gun shows in Illinois and actually purchased two firearms at those shows. The hoops through which out-of-staters have to pass to do this are bad enough. It’s worse if you’re a resident. I couldn’t, of course, carry a handgun while in the lovely Land of Lincoln, either.

    I will never again bother to drive across the river to attend any gun show in Illinois. There are plenty of good shows on this side of the muddy Mississippi and I can walk out of any store or show with any gun I choose to purchase. Why should I (or you) spend a dime to support anything in a state that deprives me of a basic constitutional right if I can otherwise avoid it?

  8. avatar Ralph says:

    I can’t wait to see if former Mayor Daley or new Mayor Rahm the Bomb are on the list.

    1. avatar 2yellowdogs says:

      Do you actually think that, if in fact Daley does own a gun, it would appear on whatever list may be disclosed? You have way too much faith in the integrity of the process in the most corrupt state in the nation.

    2. avatar James Montgomery says:

      Or the President? Or does he not count as an Illinois citizen anymore?

      1. avatar Vigilantis says:

        What does Mr. Obama need a gun for? He has dedicated teams of Secret Service agents, armed with select fire weapons. Owning a gun himself would be like mounting a BB gun on top of a Sherman tank.

        1. avatar Lance says:

          But it would be awesome to see his name on that list.

  9. avatar Paul R says:

    This is exactly why pursuing CCW is a loser for us. Instead, we should be after unrestricted carry like AR, VT, AK and maybe some others.

    1. avatar RuffRidr says:

      I think you meant Arizona, but AR is Arkansas and does not have unrestricted carry. In fact, we’re still working on open carry.

  10. avatar Nick Dixon says:

    I’m definitely voting with my feet once I get my bachelors.

  11. avatar NukemJim says:

    “I can’t wait to see if former Mayor Daley ”

    Mayor Daley keeps his shotgun in Michigan in his cabin. There was a “situation” with one of his sons at the cabin when the shotgun was used to threaten someone a few years back.

    Do not know for sure if he has a FOID or not.


  12. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    Why is anyone surprised? This is Illinois, the nanny state that knows what’s best for you, and will deny you any rights that it feels you can’t handle.

  13. avatar Monte says:

    When I moved to IL lo these 18 years ago, I went to a gun shop to buy some ammo, having shot most of it up in MI, prior to our move. The gun store owner wanted to see something called a FOID. Wha?! Oh, yeah, mister, a FOID. Firearms Owner Identification Card. The store owner informed me that I couldn’t look at his guns or purchase ammo without it in this, the Land of Lincoln. And that should the police come to my home and find guns but no FOID, I’d be subject to arrest, my firearms confiscated, and I’d eventually do time in state prison.

    But, I objected, it’s a list that the authorities may use against me, you, us. This violation of my privacy and obstruction to my constitutional rights may end up, in the long run, costing me far more than the current law allows. In the end, I shut up, stood in front of the camera, filled out the form, and handed over my 14 bucks. (An empty gun being not much more than an expensive, highly machined paper weight.)

    Today, here we are with Madigan starting us down that slippery slope of gun owner persecution (she who has designs on the governorship of this state in the not-so-distant future).

    I’m not so sure she wins…this time. But the writing is in bold font right out in the open, fellow Illinoisans. Daley may be retired, but his gun-grabbing machine is not… it’s alive and quite well, thank you. It just elected its hand-picked mayoral successor, straight from the White House (which itself was filled by the “machine”).

    Time to quit this state. It’s sad and sickening and its only purpose, to me, was to reveal to me the depths of the enemy of the common American… a good many of our public “servants.”

  14. avatar AWD says:

    First, the whole idea is BS…..

    secondly…what the FOID act actually says:

    Sec. 1. It is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination that in order to promote and protect the health, safety and welfare of the public, it is necessary and in the public interest to provide a system of identifying persons who ARE NOT qualified to acquire or possess firearms, firearm ammunition, stun guns, and tasers within the State of Illinois by the establishment of a system of Firearm Owner’s Identification Cards…

    The legislature actually found it a matter of public concern to identify persons not qualified to own guns … not those who ARE qualified……

    As a matter of fact, there is legislation currently proposed in both the house and senate …HB 007 and SB 0027…..addressing this issue….

    Contact your elected officials and let them know you want them to support all right to carry legislation

  15. avatar ihatetrees says:

    There are limited circumstances where making such data public could benefit: States (or counties of some states) where favoritism/cronyism equate to special privileges (like owning a handgun).
    But overall, releasing lists of firearms owners is not a good idea.

    Sidebar: I wonder how Illinois law protects the names of those with felony convictions. You’d think felony records would be information the public could use. Although I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the j-skool grads at the AP to file a FOIA for that info.

  16. avatar BLAMMO says:

    Doesn’t the Fourth Amendment say, something to the effect …

    “It’s nobody shittin’ business what I keep in my home or what I carry on my person.”

    I’m paraphrasing, of course.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Actually, I think you’ve captured its essence very nicely.

  17. avatar Steve says:

    A little off topic, this website tries to contain govt worker salaries, but a big chunk of fed workers wont show if they work for DOD and other national security agencies…

    Also, the Ill AG is an ass-hat, as are most of the chi-town pol-clowns that have given us such a wonderful POTUS and given the people of Ill a ton of anti-second amendment laws.

  18. avatar RPB says:

    In addition I want a lIst of the real names and addresses of Bill Collectors who call me looking for someone who used to have my cell phone number. So I can backcharge my phone bill to them. In addition I want a complete list of the contributors and amounts contributed to the Democratic Party.

  19. avatar RK says:

    Thanks for posting this Robert. The more Illinoisans who know about this the better. All readers, please share this story/attack on our fundamental rights with every gun owner you know so that we can vote “the machine” out of office at all levels (federal, state and local) once and for all. “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” –Thomas Jefferson

    If I didn’t own a gun I would be pissed that it was public knowledge that I am more vulnerable than the next guy. Then again, I would probably be naive enough to think that the gubbamint would save me in time of need and emergency. F*ck that!

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