Illinois’ Firearms Owners Identification cards have been a point of contention as far back as 1980, when reporters pulling a prank induced the hapless state to issue a card to John Dillinger — a card that even included a photo of the Depression-era’s Public Enemy No. 1. In recent days, a new debate has been sparked by an Associated Press’ Freedom of Information request for the names of gun permit holders. The State Police refuse to release the names, but Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the law requires them to do so, although they would not have to include identifying information, such as addresses. Madigan has the law and good public policy on her side. Gun advocates would like to keep secret the identity of those who hold the FOID cards, which are supposed to keep people with criminal records or mental illness from buying guns. Anti-gun activists, on the other hand, argue that making the names public is one way to ensure the FOID system is working. Licensed gun dealers and gun shows are not supposed to sell a gun to anyone who lacks a valid FOID, but who can say the system is working if all records are kept private? We can’t see how releasing just the names of the state’s 1.3 million FOID holders poses much of a privacy risk, except perhaps for folks with truly unusual names. In a state as big as Illinois, a lot of people share the same name. It’s also true, we acknowledge, that this information is so scanty as to be of limited use in evaluating the effectiveness of the FOID program. But a bill, sponsored by Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale), that would make all FOID information private moves in the wrong direction. We’re not looking to inconvenience legal gun owners, even mildly. But our first concern is to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. Editorial: Release the names of gun cardholders - Chicago Sun-Times -------------------------------------------------------- Now let me see...? It is illegal to find out who is an illegal alien in Illinois. In other words, their identity. It is illegal to find out the identities of gang members under 21, and that is most gang members in Illinois, the state with the most gang members per capita in the United States. It is illegal to question the citizenship of anyone enrolling in a public school or the parent enrolling them. To even hint to question if they are US taxpayers will probably get you into a lawsuit. Yet, let us give every illegal invader and their streetgang buddies the address of any AMERICAN who might have firearms they could steal and use against other AMERICANS. I wonder why people don't trust their politicians to protect the identities of loyal Americans and expose the foreign criminals that slither among us?