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The Amish and Firearm Owners Should Thank Peoria County Judge Scott Shore

The Amish and Firearm Owners Should Thank Peoria County Judge Scott Shore

I mean no disrespect to the Amish for my choice of picture

(MATTOON, Ill.) – A collision over the religious beliefs of the Amish and their gun ownership rights is brewing over an apparent reversal of Illinois state policy on Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) requirements.
Illinois Amish have been allowed to forego placing their photographs on FOID cards and other mandatory IDs. On Feb. 14, Illinois State Police Director Jonathon Monken, now the head of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, decided that policy should be changed, meaning Amish gun owners face photographic identification requirements like other FOID holders in the state.
Last week, Amish residents of Central Illinois met with four state lawmakers and law enforcement officers in an effort to rescind the proposal that they believe infringes on their religious beliefs against intrusions on their privacy. This change in state policy could end their right to legally hunt in Illinois, they say.
“A lot of the Amish hunt and they usually use squirrel or rabbit rifles to bring some food back home. Their big concern is this means they won’t be able to purchase guns or ammo. They have a religious edict against photographs,” said Douglas County Sheriff Charlie McGrew, who attended last week’s meeting with state Sens. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon, and Kyle McCarter, R-Decatur, and stateReps. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, and Adam Brown, R-Decatur, in an Arthur restaurant. Illinois State Police officials also attended to hear the concerns and consider possible solutions.
Rep. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet
District Office
1113 Lincoln Ave
Charleston, IL 61920
Rose said he learned of this issue as he and other state lawmakers were immersed in the controversy over the potential release of FOID information through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Last week, the Illinois Attorney General’s office stated FOID data, except for phone numbers and addresses, is open to FOIA access despite long-standing opposition by state police, which administers firearm owner registration and criminal background checks before issuing FOID cards.
ISP has asked for a judicial ruling on Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s decision on an Associated Press FOIA request that was rejected last year by state police.
“These are two completely unrelated things that happened. But both issues deal with basic constitutional rights,” Rose said. “With one, you’re telling gun owners to give up their right to privacy. And with the Amish this would tell them to violate their religious rights.”more
- The Illinois State Rifle Association won a small victory Friday in its battle to block release of the names of authorized gun owners in the state, a day after thousands of members rallied at the state Capitol.
A Peoria County judge granted a temporary restraining order to prevent release of a list of Firearm Owner Identification card holders, in a case brought by four members of the association.  The Illinois State Rifle Association has argued that releasing the names endangers the public.
The ruling follows a March 1 announcement by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan that the information should be publicly available under the state’s Freedom of Information Act.
Peoria County Judge Scott Shore will revisit the issue Tuesday, when the court sets a date for hearing arguments.
Judge Scott Shore
Peoria County Courthouse
324 Main Street
Peoria, IL 61602
“Judge Shore’s order will prevent the Illinois State Police from releasing personal information on FOID holders to news organizations, gun control groups, gangs and other criminals,” said Richard Pearson, the rifle association’s executive director.
Proponents of the push to release gun owners’ names say that doing so would keep the government accountable for its decisions to grant permits.

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