Illinois Congressional Delegation Joins Campaign to Protect Firearm Owner Privacy

Mar 15, 2011, 21:30 ET from Illinois State Rifle Association

CHICAGO, March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA):

Opposition continues to grow against a recent decision by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to release the names and other sensitive information belonging to 1.3 million law-abiding Illinoisans who hold Firearm Owner Identification cards (FOID).  The latest blow struck against Madigan's plan comes in the form of a letter signed by 12 of Illinois' 19 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The March 10, 2011 letter to Madigan cites the long-standing tradition of keeping FOID data confidential and justifies continuing to do so out of concern for the safety and security of persons who hold FOID cards.  Continuing, the letter expresses confidence in the Illinois State Police and the agency's ability to enforce the FOID requirement without help from outside sources.  In closing, the letter admonishes Attorney General Madigan to direct her office's resources towards prosecuting criminals and away from tactics that would endanger law-abiding citizens.

Signing on along with the letter's proponent, Rep. Aaron Schock (R-18) were: Rep. Jerry Costello (D-12); Rep. Robert Dold (R-10); Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-14); Rep. Tim Johnson (R-15); Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-11); Rep. Peter Roskam (R-6); Rep. Robert Schilling (R-17); Rep. John Shimkus (R-19); Rep. Judy Biggert (R-13); Rep. Don Manzullo (R-16) and: Rep. Joe Walsh (R-8).

The congressional letter of support for gun-owner privacy came just as the ISRA secured a Temporary Restraining Order against the Illinois State Police which prohibits release of information from the FOID database until a full hearing may be held.

"Law-abiding Illinois firearm owners certainly appreciate the support offered by our U.S. Representatives," commented ISRA Executive Director, Richard Pearson.  "The fact that our members of congress took the time to weigh in on this issue underscores the importance of firearm owner privacy at both the local and national levels."

"I think it's important to note that the representatives agree that there is no legitimate reason for anyone outside of law enforcement to have access to the FOID database," continued Pearson.  "Supporters of Madigan's ruling claim that the public needs to know who holds FOID cards so that the performance of the Illinois State Police in managing the FOID program may be evaluated.  Quite honestly, the state police have managed the FOID program quite well over the years given their resource limitations.  Anyone who believes that members of the media can do a better job auditing the FOID program than the Illinois Auditor General needs to rethink their position."

"The ISRA is prepared to push relentlessly forward in our efforts to protect firearm owner privacy," said Pearson.  "We're prepared to sue anyone who stands in our way.  The safety and security of law-abiding citizens will not be subordinated by claims that the public somehow has the right to know who is exercising their constitutional right to keep and bear arms."

The ISRA is the state's leading advocate of safe, lawful and responsible firearms ownership.  For more than a century, the ISRA has represented the interests of millions of law-abiding Illinois firearm owners.

SOURCE Illinois State Rifle Association