SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) – Citing nervous gun owners who are “up in arms, literally,” State Rep. Richard Morthland (R-Moline) passed a bill out of committee Wednesday that would take Firearm Owner Identification card-holders off the list of things for which people can submit Freedom of Information requests. 

“The Freedom of Information re-do was a very good step to take,” said Morthland.  “However, we are seeing, that perhaps there (are) areas that incrementally we need to look at.  For instance, already exempted is our library information.  You can’t tell if I’ve checked out Maya Angelou or Mein Kampf…it’s not FOIA-able.”  

State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) said he wanted to see other licenses exempted under FOIA, instead of just Firearm Owner Identification cards. “Why do we set FOID card holders out as a special class under the FOIA act?” he asked in the House Judiciary Committee.  “I think, potentially, this is an incendiary situation,” replied Morthland.  “And I think there hasn’t been a request to get out fishing licenses, that I know of.”

 “I think there’s a real concern among people who own guns, that if that list is released, it would be a shopping list for criminals who want to steal guns,” Morthland later clarified.  “And there is a perception out there that, that is exactly what the consequence of this release would be.  And if that’s the perception, there is a risk of gun violence.”

 Morthland was hesitant to add an amendment that would expand exemptions to all license holders.  The final vote was 9-1, with Lang being the lone no vote.  HB3500 now goes to the full House.

Copyright Illinois Radio Network


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