The past week has been busy for gun policy, as both the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois made two moves against gun control.
On Saturday, Gov. Pat Quinn signed HB 3500 into law. The bill allows the names of Illinoisans holding a Firearm Owner Identification Card to remain secret, even though Attorney General Lisa Madigan has declared the names be open record. AG Madigan took on the issue after the Illinois State Police denied the Associated Press the names of 1.3 million card holders in the state. HB 3500 easily passed in the General Assembly in May.
Florida and Tennessee have similar laws in play, despite investigations that show a large number of their card holders have plead guilty or no contest to felonies. Gun control advocates say this means there aren’t enough measures taken to vet gun owners, while gun advocates like the National Rifle Association say offering up names puts gun owners in danger of being a target for criminals who may want to steal their guns. But NBC Chicago’s Edward McClelland's may have put it best this way: “I don’t begrudge the right of my fellow citizens to own guns. But gun owners shouldn’t begrudge my right to know who they are, so I can stay away from them.”
Late last month, we highlighted the spotlight shining down on the state’s gun policy. We talked about Quinn’s
position on concealed carry, which makes the passage of HB 3500 all the
more shocking. In a release announcing the signing, however, Quinn had
this to say: “It is essential to have an open and transparent state
government; however, it should not come at the expense of the public’s
safety. This bill has the support of the Illinois State Police because
it ensures that individuals who have FOID cards or who have applied for
FOID cards are protected from having their personal information made
public, which could make them vulnerable to potential crimes and
jeopardize public safety.”
Meanwhile in the city of Chicago, where it was once a contested haven for gun control, there is now word that Mayor Rahm Emanuel will introduce an ordinance allowing gun ranges in the city. Practice at a range -- which previously meant a trip to the suburbs -- is part of the process in obtaining a permit. The ordinance would be for in-door ranges in areas zoned for manufacturing and would require city and Chicago Police approval, according to the Sun-Times.