A seven-member board created to review concealed carry applications in Illinois could be exempt from the state’s Freedom of Information Act if Gov. Pat Quinn approves a measure that recently landed on his desk.
[T]he board’s records and activities would be off-limits to the public. The board would also not be included in the Open Meetings Act, so in theory ”they could meet at midnight in some guy’s basement,” said Josh Sharp, of the Illinois Press Association. He says the organization is not interested in applicants’ personal information, like how many guns they own. Instead, t”his is about shining more light on government and how they act, rather than applicants for these licenses,” he said.
The measure’s sponsor says he understands those concerns, and he’s willing to introduce follow-up legislation to fix them. He says his priority is keeping private sensitive information, like the names of applicants who get rejected.
Per a court order, Illinois has 8 days to get a concealed carry law on the books.
I agree with the decision that the board should not be FOIable. However, there does need to be some sort of check and balance to ensure that the board is denying or accepting applications in a correct manner. Perhaps there could be part of the law ensuring that names and other personal information of applicant’s isn’t subject to FOI, but other actions of the board is. Hopefully the state of Illinois can work it out for the benefit of it’s citizens.