Illinois Attorney General: State Should Release FOID Card List
Interview with Cam Edwards and Todd Vandermyde.
Fairfax, VA –-(Ammoland.com)- NRA-News is a valued partner that continues to cover breaking gun rights news. The following is a transcript of Cam Edward's interview with Todd Vandermyde, regarding Illinois attempt to publish the contact info from the Illinois FOID Card database.
Cam Edwards: Right now, though, I'm very pleased to have with us on the program, Todd Vandermyde, NRA's Illinois lobbyist. Todd, good evening, sir.
Todd Vandermyde: Hey, Ken, how's it going?
Cam Edwards: Not too bad. Glad you could be with us tonight. The news breaking this afternoon that the Attorney General there, in Illinois, has decided that the names of Firearm Owner Identification Card holders, which would be every legal gun owner in the state of Illinois, that information is public record.
Todd Vandermyde: Yep.
Cam Edwards: So, Todd, what's your reaction to this?
Todd Vandermyde: Well, the Attorney General seems to think that gun owners in Illinois are equivalent to sex offenders and that our names are to be published out there and to be vilified, scorned, or made targets of. I, you know, really not sure what her thinking is, we've been unable to get an answer out of her office, or the State Police have been unable to get an answer as to why she wants to undo prior precedent. But, the Tribune and the Associated Press have put in Freedom of Information Act requests for the Firearm Owner Identification Card List. She said parts of it have to be turned over. So, we were anticipating this. And the State Police were doing a yeoman's job of holding off on moving anything and fighting this every step of the way.
So, we've got bills in the hopper to undo this. And one of them House Bill Seven, will be up for a hearing tomorrow morning at 8:30 in the Judiciary Civil Committee. So …
Cam Edwards: Now was that planned or did this get expedited as a result of the Attorney General's statement today?
Todd Vandermyde: No, we had had, when the State Police came to us with their concerns about what was going on, I asked them, I said, “Guys, how long can you drag this out? Because if you can get us the session, I'll have bills in the hopper.” And so, we wrote the bills, filed, pre-filed them back in December, and it just so happens that they were assigned to committee a week ago and we're going to move on this one this week. It's up for a hearing tomorrow and we're going to go after it. And we think we've got the votes to get it out of committee.
The sponsor, Ron Stevens, called me a little while ago, said he'd been calling Judiciary members, and their phones are already starting to ring because of this. A lot of people, who may be gun owners, who don't think about their Second Amendment rights every day, are really taking this to heart. They don't want their names published out there.
I mean, the argument is that you just handed out crooks a target list of homes to case, and you've got a chance that there's going to be, you know, firearms, which are easily fencible, highly prized by criminals, and places to go burglarize. Or, conversely, you now have ideas where you may not want to go burglarize, because you may run into an armed homeowner.
Cam Edwards: Yeah, and that's the thing. We pointed that out. Not only does this hurt gun owners out there, but it hurts non gun owners out there. It affects everybody.
Todd Vandermyde: It does. And so, when the reps that I've talked to about this, they've inquired, and the AD's office being, or having unanswered so far, …
Cam Edwards: Mm-hm.
Todd Vandermyde: … maybe they'll be in committee tomorrow, and maybe they'll have something answered. And, if there answer is, “Well, we think that's what the Freedom of Information Act says,” we think they're wrong because there's a clear exemption in there for personal information. And, I think that there is the idea that they're exercising a fundamental Constitutional right, and the nature of the property that you convey, that it is personal information.
So, we'll see. But, we're also hearing that the city of Chicago has their gun bills in the same committee, and they're going to try to make a run at them tomorrow, as well. So, looks like we're going to have a busy morning tomorrow.
And then, we're just going to keep plugging along, going towards our right to carry hearing next week and IGOLD's on the 10th.
Cam Edwards: Yeah, and I got to tell you Todd, boy, if the Illinois gun owners' lobby day did not just gain new importance here. I mean, what an opportunity for gun owners around the state to show their support for each other and show their support for pro-Second Amendment legislation. It seems to me like they've got an excellent opportunity to raise some eyebrows by getting a big turnout.
Todd Vandermyde: Well, and another rep told me that people who aren't gun owners, people who don't look at the fight the way we do, this just gets them at a level of privacy and personal invasion that starts to get them to cock their heads and think about things. And the AG may have done us a favor here and kicked over a hornets' nest that a lot of people weren't thinking about. If they can do this, what else can they do?
Cam Edwards: Mm-hm.
Todd Vandermyde: So, yeah. I think IGOLD is timed right this year. You were playing, last night, the mayor's hissy fit that he had.
Cam Edwards: [laughs] Yes.
Todd Vandermyde: You know, I mean, he's really becoming irrelevant. I think that question that they had up there, “Why don't you ask me a question about guns?” Because the Supreme Court has made it kind of moot, Mr. Mayor, and we hear your rantings every three to five months about this stuff. I talked to somebody that was at that press conference and said he eventually just turned his back and walked away, wouldn't talk to the press, because they wouldn't talk to him about what he wanted to talk about.
Cam Edwards: Yeah, I know. I loved that. Yeah. Well, Todd, I mean things are certainly heating up. It's not going to be a quiet rest of the Session, I know that.
Todd Vandermyde: Oh, no, we are loaded for bear and the best thing that gun owners can do is: One, start calling your rep, start calling your senator. Tell them, “No to the Chicago agenda. No to the Attorney General's agenda. Yes to Right to Carry and Otis MacDonald.” And just keep pounding that. And we're hoping that we'll figure out what some movement might look like in the Senate here pretty quick. And if not, show up on Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day. Come down and hold your rep accountable, hold your senator accountable. If they happen to be Democrats and have been supporting the anti-gun leadership, then it looks like it's getting time to hold them accountable for those decisions, as well.
Cam Edwards: All right. Mr. Vandermyde. sir, glad you could join us tonight, and we'll talk to you again soon.
Read More on these topics:
- Attention Illinois Gun Owners – Annual Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day
- State Rifle Association Secures Restraining Order Against Release
- Illinois FOID Renewal: Take Action on your Late FOID
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