By Judson Berger, FOXNews.com
In a showdown over the privacy rights of gun owners, the Illinois State Police are refusing to release a list identifying all firearm permit holders in the state after Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan determined that the information “must” be made public.
The dispute, which soon could come before a judge, has been building since last fall when a reporter for The Associated Press made a Freedom of Information Act request to the police for the names of cardholders as well as information about the weapons each permit holder is authorized to carry.
But the state police, who safeguard that information, resisted as lawmakers and others raised privacy concerns. Critics questioned what public interest it would serve to let neighbors look up each other’s potential weapons cache — further, they warned that publicizing the information could put both gun owners and those who don’t own guns at risk.
If the state publishes a list of gun owners, Republican Rep. Ron Stephens said, “You are by design also publishing a list of everyone who doesn’t” carry a firearm.
That could be comparable to publishing a list of everyone who has, or doesn’t have, a car alarm or home-security system, at least in the eyes of those who want to keep the records private.
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