CHICAGO - While there's an outrage over a New York news source making the residences of gun owners public, Illinoisans should recall that their own Attorney General Lisa Madigan directed the State Police to conduct a similar unveiling in March 2011. When the media filed a FOIA on the list of gun owners, the State Police refused to release the names.
The Illinois legislature overwhelmingly agreed with the State Police that the names should not be made public, and passed legislation to protect the names of nearly 1 million Illinois gun owners' and their privacy.
Exactly as what happened in New York, Senator Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) said publishing the names would provide a "map" to criminals deciding whose homes to burglarize. "It is a complete invasion of people's privacy rights, constitutional rights and it makes no sense for the public protection of the people of Illinois to have these names released," Dillard said.
State Rep. Rich Morthland (R-Moline) introduced HB 3500 shortly before AG Madigan's instructions to the State Police., and his bill passed the House 92 to 11 April 8, 2011. Senator Dillard picked up HB 3500's sponsorship in the Senate, where it passed in May, 58 to 1. Governor Quinn signed it into law, effective immediately, July 5, 2011.