Over the past two weeks, gun control re-appeared on the national stage for the first time since the tragic events of Tucson, Ariz. This time, the debate is taking shape in the form of a privacy fight in Illinois and a larger call from President Obama to find agreement on gun reforms.
Being from Illinois and a proud representative of twenty of Illinois’ counties, I have a keen interest in the debate that is currently taking place in my home state. Recently, a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA) was denied by the Illinois State Police to release publicly the private information of the 1.3 million Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card holders in the state. In response, the Illinois Attorney General issued a directive mandating that the State Police make this information public.
A court in my hometown of Peoria has already issued a temporary restraining order (TPO) on releasing FOID information as this issue continues to navigate the courts system. This TPO is a wise decision to ensure privacy is ensured while this directive goes through the appropriate judicial channels. The worst thing that could happen would be a hastily executed effort to release private information thus endangering the lives of 1.3 million FOID card holders.