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Question of the day

Thursday, Jul 7, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Synopsis of Rep. Daniel Didech’s HB888

Amends the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act. Provides that the Department of State Police shall conduct a search of the purchasers’ social media accounts available to the public to determine if there is any information that would disqualify the person from obtaining or require revocation of a currently valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card. Provides that each applicant for a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card shall furnish to the Department of State Police a list of every social media account.

The bill was filed in 2019 and went nowhere. A total of 3,575 people submitted electronic witness slips against the bill, compared to just 29 in support. Rep. Didech said his staff was inundated with communications from angry opponents.

* Rep. Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport) said Didech’s proposal would “create unnecessary bureaucracy, unacceptable delays and is an outrageous infringement on law-abiding citizens exercising both their Second and First Amendment rights” at the time.

A gun shop owner told WAND back then he was against the bill and was wondering, “Who’s going to make that judgement? What’s the parameter? What are they looking for?”

“It seems much more likely to end in profiling of people, rather than catching a possible school shooter,” Rebecca Glenberg, a senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Illinois, told CNN.

* But the sponsor said this

In an increasingly online world, we must have an open discussion about the tools law enforcement may use to keep our communities safe, and my intention is to continue that discussion so we can find the right balance that respects the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners while at the same time keeping our children safe from gun violence.

And today, in the wake of the Highland Park massacre, Sen. Darren Bailey seemed to at least endorse the concept of the Illinois State Police proactively monitoring gun owners’ social media accounts.

* The Question: Do you support the concept of police agencies proactively monitoring social media accounts of Illinois gun owners? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


  1. - DuPage Dad - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:23 pm:

    Yes. Anything which would indicate you’ve made documented threats of harm to yourself or others should substantially disqualify you from legally purchasing weapons.

  2. - In_The_Middle - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:24 pm:

    Checked “No”. Same reason that Rep. Chesney stated. I also know a few PO’s who’s social media may not pass that sort of scrutiny.

  3. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:24 pm:

    I don’t have an issue with it, but then again I only have a very inactive FB page and no other social media. I almost never post on FB and then it is so bland and non political or violent. So monitor away just like Darren Bailey wants you to.

  4. - LakeCo - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:24 pm:

    Voted yes. If someone is going to broadcast to the internet that they have violent thoughts and fantasies, that should be fair game to consider.

  5. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:27 pm:

    With rights come responsibilities. If it can be done quickly I support it. After all you cannot yell fire in a crowd theater. Your right to obtain a fire arm quickly should not be greater than the public right to gather safely

  6. - Google Is Your Friend - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:27 pm:

    ==A total of 3,575 people submitted electronic witness slips against the bill, compared to just 29 in support.==

    Glad to see JB in support supporting his dark lord, Lucifer! Good job at preventing the sock puppets, LIS!

  7. - vern - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:28 pm:

    I voted no, and generally think the ACLU has the right of this. Police have shown themselves basically incapable of evaluating these kinds of threats, and I suspect this power would mostly be used for less sound purposes than intended. (Here’s a good example from Minneapolis:

    I am, however, strongly in favor of roasting Bailey for talking himself into the same ideas he and his friends typically lose their minds over. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

  8. - Soccermom - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:30 pm:

    Oddly, I’m opposed to this. Has anyone seen Childish Gambino’s video for This is America? I think it could be viewed as disqualifying, even though I think it’s commentary rather than threat.

  9. - AlfondoGonz - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:31 pm:

    Voted no.

    I’m very anti-gun, and am sure there is a lot of insight to be gained from gun owners social media, as is proven time and time again.

    But I do not trust the government “monitoring” anything without at least a reasonable suspicion, and I don’t trust cops’ judgment in this arena.

  10. - FormerParatrooper - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:31 pm:

    What about us who don’t have FB, Twitter or the rest? Will this open us up to our cellphone history to be monitored as well?

    And then there are those who don’t have FOID cards who post on social media who display firearms. Will they be looked at as well?

  11. - G'Kar - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:34 pm:

    I didn’t vote, because at this point in time, I am undecided on the issue. I can see both sides of the issue, and thus, I’m on the fence.

    But, I do expect Bailey to be a co-sponsor of this bill if it is reintroduced./s

  12. - Sue - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:34 pm:

    Would have possibly prevented Crimo having the opportunity to commit his July 4 mass shooting

  13. - Shibboleth - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:34 pm:

    No, not for gun related matters, but out of a concern that this would put the 1st and 2nd amendment rights in conflict. The answer is reducing gun ownership, not surveillance.

    I also have concerns about database security, and the right of private individuals to not have anonymous or private content potential disclosed to hackers or publicly accessible sources.

    I also share Miss Glenberg’s concern. For example, if someone expresses views that they are not fond of police, could that be construed as a risk to public safety or law enforcement? If this ever passed, it would need to be much more particular on the parameters.

  14. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:35 pm:

    In theory yes, but I’m not sure it should be a “shall” do that because of resources. I’d prefer it be more permissive where they deem it warranted.

  15. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:35 pm:

    =What about=

    Are you for or against? Call the sponsor of the bill with your questions.

  16. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:36 pm:

    Voted no - good idea in theory, but completely unworkable in the real world. Additionally, any legislation that puts me in agreement with Chesney is probably not a good thing.

  17. - Now What? - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:38 pm:

    I voted yes largely because these shootings carried out by individuals have left a digital footprint-that’s the new reality. There’s the world we live in and the world we wished we lived in. The data and evidence all speak to the power of the digital footprint mass shooters have left and it needs to be considered as another filter for public safety.

  18. - Pundent - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:39 pm:

    Voted no. Because I support the social media platforms being held responsible for monitoring these accounts. In this case the shooter lived and acted out his crime in Illinois. But this is a national problem not confined to state lines. We can’t “fix” the problem in Illinois without recognizing that exists elsewhere.

    We’ve allowed these social media platforms to spread content, violent or otherwise, with little or no consequence. We need to hold them accountable for the information that makes it’s way onto their platforms and face liability for doing little if anything to moderate the content.

  19. - Dotnonymous - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:39 pm:

    I’m waiting for Bailey to chase his tail…round and round he’ll go…inconsistently.

  20. - Huh? - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:40 pm:

    Voted no. The idea automatically assumes gun owners are likely to commit violent acts. There are many other ways of committing mass destruction that do not include firearms.

  21. - northsider (the original) - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:42 pm:

    Voted yes. Social media sites are supposed to be the 21st century public square. Waving guns, acting out murders and making horrific threats in a physical public square would result in an immediate arrest.
    When internet fantasies seep into real life, it’s time to treat the fantasies as if real.

  22. - Mason born - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:48 pm:

    I voted no, this seems troubling on 1A grounds as well as subject to a lot of fuzziness you can’t clear up. Furthermore I’m not sure it would accomplish anything. If I’m the kind of person planning this kind of thing why would I not either commit an account or start a separate account that ISP is not aware of? Not sure how we can expect ISP to be sure someone doesn’t have an anonymous account. Esp if they know they gave their other account info to ISP. Don’t see a constitutional way for ISP to monitor if someone opens a new account 6 weeks after getting their FOID.

  23. - Suburbanon - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:48 pm:

    I voted yes because, as noted by Anonymous at 12:34 pm, private data companies already have this data. In most cases we agreed to give them full access to our data. Complaining after the barn door is open seems foolish. Law enforcement needs a reasonable standard to collect and use that data. Setting that “reasonable standard” is the hard part.

  24. - Wonky Kong - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:51 pm:

    Voted no, but it took me a while to get there. I think there is value in looking at peoples social media accounts, but I can’t see how ISP would actually and effectively implement this. I think right now as everyone is shouting “do something,” the reality is that anything that would move the needle is going to infringe on what some people see as their rights or privacy. At some point, if the chorus gets loud enough, the gun folks are going to end up wishing they had been at the table to decide what they could live with, whatever they think infringes them the least. An assault weapons ban or registry, a gun registry, a gun owner registry, a better tracking system for gun purchases and purchasers, government monitoring, mental health monitoring and data sharing, etc, all sound great until people see what it means to them and then a movement to stop that idea pushes forward. There will be no improvement to safety without losing a little “freedom”.

  25. - RNUG - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:52 pm:

    Didn’t vote, but if I did, it would be no.

    As proposed, given recent SCOTUS decisions, it would be unconstitutional. Too vague and too much subjectivity. At minimum, the bill should be amended to identify items such as threats to harm others or threats to harm themselves. The problem will be to draw the line between protected political speech, such as threats against the government in general, and more explicit / directed threats.

    If they wanted to amended the bill to be much more explicit to make it more objective, I might be able to support it … and it might pass court muster.

  26. - Amalia - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:52 pm:

    I’m all for doing more to prevent gun violence and I am not so worried about a police state. but this is LOTS of work and the staffing and time to get it done just seems unworkable. what is another way around this? are there questions to be added to the application? there are so many things that I do now that ask about self harm or violence that at least it can make a person think. I would rather that the application look at interactions with police in a more complete way.

  27. - Nagidam - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:55 pm:

    I voted yes but I would qualify my yes vote. I don’t think gun owners should be singled out for increased scrutiny of their social media accounts, but I do believe police should be able to monitor social media accounts in general. You lose a portion of your right to privacy if you are using an app like these. But there has to be verifiable metrics that the police are using to monitor these accounts.

  28. - Wonky Kong - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:56 pm:

    To add, I know we’ve all read stories about how the big data companies have algorithms that figure things out from the noise. An abortion post the other day mentioned Google knowing women are pregnant before they know it themselves. I think there is an opportunity for big tech to step up here, and to give us something real for all the data collection and analysis they do. But I don’t know how you implement it. Maybe a public private venture? I’m sure someone can figure out how to predict individuals propensity to commit violence before they do it. And then maybe you can get them the help they need. But again, I don’t know how you make it work without the ACLU and gun nuts jointly killing it, or how to keep it from becoming a Minority Report type situation. I can understand some people’s fears about restricting a constitutional right before someone commits a disqualifying action.

  29. - Thomas Paine - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:57 pm:

    I would contract that out, I am sure that some tech company has or could quickly develop an App with an algorithm that could search all FOID card owners accounts and IP addresses routinely and flag concerning posts for review.

    You surrendered your privacy when you agreed to the end user agreeement.

  30. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:57 pm:

    Voted no. Completely impractical. How many people would it take to do this? How would the authorities even know which accounts to monitor? Etc. The opportunities for abuse are large and the practical benefits are pretty small.

    Also, a wannabe gun purchaser can simply cross the state line and buy whatever they want.

    All that said, such a law would have cost Bailey his right to possess guns years ago.

  31. - 30th ward liberal - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:58 pm:

    Yes - Our laws have to change with the times and social media/technology has changed everything with how we communicate and interact with each other. Our concept of speech/actions has to adapt. You can no longer rely solely on actions that occur in the tangible world to stop a crime before it happens.

  32. - SWIL_Voter - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 12:58 pm:

    Never totally understood the uproar about this stuff. Your public posts are public. I wouldn’t support police surveillance of private accounts for something like this, but publicly posting death threats on your Facebook isn’t too much different from doing it in the newspaper or on the street corner. If the public notices you doing it, the servants of the public should be able to act

  33. - Nick - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:01 pm:

    I have to vote no because it’d be such a political s**t storm to try and possibly struck down by the courts anyway

  34. - Red Ketcher - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:02 pm:

    Amending an already flawed FOID system is illogical.
    So voted No.
    But have no solution suggestions.

  35. - sulla - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:04 pm:

    Voted no.

    States have the ability to set age limits for buying guns, according to Jon Vernick, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research.

    Set the age for buying or possessing any firearm capable of accepting a detachable magazine at 30 years old. That eliminates young people having black rifles, semi-auto handguns and some semi-auto shotguns.

    Citizens could still own guns at 18. 2A would still be upheld. Shooters under 30 would just be restricted to revolvers and shotguns. Your average 19-year old 4chan spree-killer is going to do a whole lot less damage if they’re stuck with a wheelgun that has to be reloaded every six shots or a pump 12-gauge that holds five rounds.

  36. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:10 pm:


    People who are falsely under the impression that somehow their public posts, aren’t public, need to have that shattered quickly.

    When this bill came out I had the same reaction. Back then it was pointing out all the people on social media who were surprised they were getting arrested for the illegal things they posted themselves doing on social media.

    There is no distinction between online and offline, and a handy little reminder I’ve internalized by now is the following;

    “Don’t post anything online that you wouldn’t want to see posted on a highway billboard.”

    I even use this when I post under an ‘anonymous’ name. Because on the backend, it’s not actually anonymous.

    == It seems much more likely to end in profiling of people ==

    Yes. That’s exactly the point. The police will profile and be able to watch people who are demonstrating violent anti-social tendencies online. If they have proof of threats of violence, it should be no different than if someone makes threats of violence over a telephone.

  37. - The Doc - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:12 pm:

    Voted no. Without knowing the specific, concrete details of the criteria that constitutes “information that would disqualify” a FOID card applicant, it’s more likely than not to be ineffective at best, and ripe for abuse at worst.

  38. - twowaystreet - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:14 pm:

    Voted no for a lot of the reasons already mentioned. I’m not sure any police department has the resources to comply with this scale of online monitoring for gun purchases and I think tackling at the transaction point should be the way to go on cutting back on weapon availability. Could be wrong, but that’s my initial thought.

    Not that this is a catch all solution, but up the liability on co-signers for gun purchases so that they really have to put some skin in the game to get guns in the hands of young adults and kids. You sure your kid is going to be responsible with that gun? Then you become an accessory to murder if anything bad happens with that weapon.

  39. - Shibboleth - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:16 pm:

    =You surrendered your privacy when you agreed to the end user agreeement.=

    Agreeing to give information to a private company and agreeing to let the government search it are two different things, and the idea that the first should equal the second is concerning.

  40. - Flapdoodle - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:17 pm:

    Voted no.

    Like it or not, gun ownership is currently recognized as a constitutional right. The exercise of a constitutional right should not automatically trigger monitoring by law enforcement (even though this seems historically to be a long-standing practice). To harden this point a little, monitoring is a synonym for surveilling. What is it about having a FOID card that warrants being under surveillance by law enforcement? Getting a FOID card complies with the law. Why should complying with the law place one under law enforcement surveillance?

    There are practical difficulties that could limit the effectiveness of such monitoring efforts, but I’ll stick to the argument on principal for the moment.

  41. - Thomas Paine - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:18 pm:

    @pot calling kettle

    If Facebook has the tech to know that I want to buy tube socks, they sure have the tech to identify folks who are whackadoodle. Homeland Security is probably already doing it, we can piggyback their technology.

    @sulla -

    Pretty sure the Supreme Court is going to be tossing age restrictions soon, there is no reasonable cause to deny someone a firearm solely because of their age. That’s why Dems are shying away from an assault weapon ban for 18-21 year olds, which was just tossed in CA.

  42. - The Doc - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:21 pm:

    ==There are many other ways of committing mass destruction that do not include firearms==

    I see a straw man has entered the chat.

    I’d be interested in hearing some of those “other ways” we’re seeing this level of violence and terror imposed at the same or similar scale.

  43. - Anyone Remember - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:24 pm:

    ===The idea automatically assumes gun owners are likely to commit violent acts.===

    Actually it’s the opposite - people who want to commit violent acts are more likely to be gun owners.

  44. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:30 pm:

    * Agreeing to give information to a private company and agreeing to let the government search it are two different thing *


  45. - JM - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:35 pm:

    A logical and reasonable step might be for the state police to check with the local police department or sheriff’s office on foid applications and renewals as is currently done with concealed carry licenses in il already. This would be very useful on first time issuance. Current reporting processes will catch issues between renewals. The legislators can easily add this to current the foid law and leverage a process that is already in place for ccl’s.

  46. - Blue Dog - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:36 pm:

    Voted yes. But would like to see stop and frisk added.

  47. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:37 pm:

    I think it’s an easy one to support as a concept. No idea how you implement it. You’d need an army of people to do that sort of research for every single applicant and even then, there would have to be a clear standard as to what would be disqualifying. It would have to be one of those “you know it when you see it” standards.

  48. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:38 pm:

    == monitoring is a synonym for surveilling ==

    I think the opposition framed in this manner is a result of people usually posting from a ‘private’ location, like their home or in a car. At the time of posting, it seems like you are conducting yourself privately. It gives the impression that in that situation any type of surveillance would not be appropriate because of the ‘private nature’ of the activity.

    But you aren’t doing this privately. You are reaching out and making yourself publicly available to a few billion people.

    Do you get ’surveilled’ if you drink to excess, drawing attention to yourself at a public festival? Of course you do, because it’s not a private activity, and you are out in public.

    Do you get ’surveilled’ if you try to harass a public official by repeatedly calling and threatening them over the phone at their home?
    Of course you do. It’s not a private activity.

    Why should you not be surveilled if you are making public threats to groups of people or individuals on a social media site?

    Once you get rid of the false barrier of online/offline, and see posting online no differently than walking out in a public space, a lot of these concerns don’t exist. They were only created by the false view of privacy when posting online, that never actually existed.

  49. - Anyone Remember - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:39 pm:

    Yes. In New York, they are considering similar legislation. Isn’t it a “best practice” from the private sector (reviewing social media accounts as part of the hiring process)?

  50. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:39 pm:

    ==Voted yes==

    I thought you wanted to get rid of FOID?

    ==would like to see stop and frisk added==

    Certainly nothing nefarious about stopping people randomly and frisking them and there certainly wouldn’t be any risk of racial discrimination in the process. /s/

  51. - thisjustinagain - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:44 pm:

    Voted NO on Constitutional grounds. To assume that gun owners need to be monitored as if we were criminals violates the rights established in the First (freedom of speech), Second (individual’s right to keep and bear arms), and Fourth Amendment (unreasonable searches and seizures without probable cause or any valid SCOTUS-recognized exception). Furthermore, what the criteria be for initiating action based on postings? Who will make those decisions? What due process will be involved BEFORE taking these actions (due process after the fact is far less effective at stopping over-zealous and improper actions than after; SCOTUS is also really big on “before action” due process).

  52. - NickNombre - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:45 pm:

    I think ISP should have the ability to use social media posts as evidence to prevent someone from possessing firearms, but to expect them to review every firearm owner’s social media account is impractical. The standard they would use to evaluate those posts would also be problematic. I think the money it would cost to run this type of program would be better spent on different ways to mitigate gun violence.

  53. - Nick Name - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:47 pm:

    I strongly support strict gun control, but I voted no. I don’t want Big Brother looking over our shoulders.

  54. - ANON - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:49 pm:

    ISP just ended a FOID application review program using retired state police officers. AFSCME complained it was taking work away from AFSCME bureaucrats. Who would you rather have reviewing FOID applications?

  55. - Peter Griffin - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:50 pm:

    Voted Yes, but don’t really think it should be limited to gun owners either. Most people probably have access to a firearm (or a vehicle).

    With technology these days, there’s no reason that all threats on major social networks shouldn’t be detected and forwarded to law enforcement for investigation.

  56. - FormerParatrooper - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 1:51 pm:

    JS Mill…. considering the vast amount knowledge here I thought I would ask here. I will take your suggestion and send an email and ask my questions.

    Am I for or against it? In theory I am against it because of the potential abuse that it could lead to. Whoever makes the determination could decide the OFWG who posted a photo is ok and the same photo posted a person of color could be dangerous.

    I could be for it if safeguards are built in a mechanism for challenging a decison is not overtly erroneous.

  57. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 2:04 pm:

    It looks a lot of people are going to be surprised to learn their local law enforcement is already monitoring social media.

    None of you live anywhere where the local police department has made the announcement *on their own facebook page* “we are aware of the rumors of threats on social media…”?

    When you go out walking in public, do you yell at police officers to not look at you as you are walking by?

    Insisting public behavior is somehow private, doesn’t make it private.

  58. - cermak_rd - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 2:05 pm:

    All social media accounts should be monitored. And yes, upon finding a message calling for violence or lawbreaking, the pseudonym should be broken so the government knows exactly who they are dealing with. If the account is making threats or organizing illegal meetups for the purpose of threats or intimidation, then that should be reason to not issue or require surrendering of a FOID card. Should also be a reason to get search warrants etc.

    Many of the shootings, for instance, in Chicago start with social media. Start prosecuting people for incitement in their social media postings.
    Once you post, it’s public knowledge unless you limitted it to friends. Even then, if anyone can become a “friend” by becoming a “friend” of a “friend” then it’s still public.

    Under all the social media accounts, a warrant will be acknowledged and the email coughed up for the person (they can then trace that email back and etc. also pictures can identify).

  59. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 2:06 pm:

    ===yell at police officers to not look at you as you are walking by? ===

    You need to learn some reading comprehension. Not talking about casual observance of things in front of their faces. This is about proactive surveillance of Illinois gun owners’ social media accounts.

  60. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 2:12 pm:


    I’m not sure you are aware of this but the government surveils people’s Facebook accounts all the time and they don’t need a warrant to do it. It’s public information.

  61. - Flapdoodle - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 2:13 pm:

    @Invisiblle Man 1:38

    With respect, I don’t see the distinction between public/private as very relevant here. Regardless where it occurs, law-abiding activity, especially involving exercise of a constitutional right, should not automatically generate monitoring by law enforcement. That road leads to nowhere good.

  62. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 2:21 pm:

    ==I don’t see the distinction between public/private as very relevant here==

    The Courts kinda do. Be careful what you put in your trash because it’s fair game for the police. Same way your public posts to Facebook are fair game.

  63. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 2:33 pm:

    == This is about proactive surveillance of Illinois gun owners’ social media accounts. ==

    Accounts which contain a willingly provided public timeline of a persons activity. The police didn’t ask anyone to publicly post this information, people are willingly doing it on their own under no duress.

    Most social media companies already have a ‘law enforcement portal’ with specific tools to gather public posts based on custom filters.

    Law enforcement looks at *private data* currently for FOID applicants, like mental health history.

    This is public info. There’s no expectation of a search warrant being needed for publicly available info.

    Yes, the police should be able to look at and make decisions on publicly available info.

    My reading comprehension is just fine. What I’ve repeatedly been stressing, and communicating badly it seems, is that social media is public information. Not private.

  64. - Concerned Observer - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 2:40 pm:

    I voted Yes, but what I would prefer is that this be done for all gun purchases. A one time check. And I think there should be an appeals process if someone feels wrongly denied. I don’t think officers should ‘monitor’ but if you attempt to purchase a weapon, I say they should be allowed 48 hours or so to determine if you are a threat.

    I say this because…the guy in Highland Park? Took me 10 seconds to determine ‘Oh, he should never have been allowed a weapon’. And five of those seconds were because I mistyped his name into Google.

    Now…I know my opinion on his social media and what the law says about who should be allowed a weapon don’t match up. But I am not trained in police work or the law. Which is why I say an appeals process. Police show their work, you go defend it, a judge decides.

  65. - T.S - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 2:40 pm:

    I voted no!. I see accounts hacked and copied very frequently. How is this practice going to be policed? Russian troll farms will create great divides with this opportunity for them.

  66. - Jimmy Cricket - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 2:47 pm:

    wow, there seems to be a lot of people with authoritarian tendencies on here, some surprising, some not.

    I voted no. Any behavior on social media that should be reported, should also be egregious enough to require a warrant to obtain the private info of an anonymous account.

  67. - Dysfunction Junction - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 2:47 pm:

    +1 for what Cermak_Rd said above. As I stated in an earlier post (which apparently didn’t make it through Rich’s filter), I actually had a coworker who made threats of workplace violence and self-harm on his public social media feed. These posts included intent to apply for a FOID card and purchase firearms. Yes, I am all for authorities monitoring such public statements and hope they are keeping a “list” somewhere of people who make threats of violence. I don’t want to be the next person talking to a reporter after a tragedy, saying how everyone here at work knew our colleague was troubled but we never thought it could happen to us.

  68. - Pundent - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 2:49 pm:

    =Regardless where it occurs, law-abiding activity, especially involving exercise of a constitutional right, should not automatically generate monitoring by law enforcement.=

    I always thought the term “social media” was rather implicit. There’s no presumed privacy.
    And there’s nothing that prohibits law enforcement from monitoring it today other than the resources to do so. The question is are they in the best position to do so? And on what basis would they choose to act or not act? Which is why I say put the onus (and the consequences) on the platforms where it belongs. And if they don’t get it right let them defend their actions in civil court.

  69. - SWIL_Voter - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 2:50 pm:

    My main takeaway here is that older people don’t really understand what social media and the internet are or what they do. Just imagine somebody writing on op Ed to their local newspaper threatening to kill somebody. Why is anybody here talking about warrants? You don’t need a warrant to read the paper or anything else transmitted to the general public

  70. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 2:54 pm:

    ==to obtain the private info==

    Why is it that some of you cannot seem to grasp the whole concept of Facebook being public? There is absolutely nothing about Facebook that is private.

  71. - Jimmy Cricket - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 2:56 pm:

    * social media is public information. Not private. *

    Obviously the content is public, the personal info of the poster isn’t.

  72. - Dotnonymous - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 2:58 pm:

    In my youth, the admonition in my crew was, ” Don’t say anything on the phone you wouldn’t say to a Federal Judge…

  73. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 3:03 pm:

    ==the personal info of the poster isn’t.==

    What personal info? Most people’s Facebook accounts are under their name. That’s pretty much all you need.

  74. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 3:06 pm:

    ===Most people’s Facebook accounts are under their name===


    Social media goes well beyond Facebook. You could make a valid point that the comment section here is a form of social media.

  75. - Flapdoodle - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 3:11 pm:

    @Demoralized 2:54

    That FB and other social media are public is not the issue. That’s undisputed. But it’s also not the question being asked here, which is instead whether getting a FOID card should automatically trigger such monitoring. Why is this distinction so hard to understand? What about obeying the law by getting a FOID card merits being automatically monitored by law enforcement?

  76. - Jimmy Cricket - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 3:16 pm:

    Kinda where I was going with that Rich, does social media include internet forums as well? Whether its politics, motorcycles, fishing, etc, no one uses their real name.

  77. - Huh? - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 3:17 pm:

    “I’d be interested in hearing some of those “other ways” we’re seeing this level of violence and terror imposed at the same or similar scale.”

    Oklahoma City. Truck bomb killing 168, wounding over 680.
    Charlottesville. Car driven into crowd, killing 1, injuring 35.
    Sagamihara, Japan. Knife attack killed 19, wounding 26.

    Next time use the google key.

  78. - Aaron B - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 3:22 pm:

    I voted no to the poll mostly because I’m unsure of who would be doing the proactive monitoring and what the criteria would be for a concerning post. If the person doing the monitoring will get to be some random local police officer driving a desk who can see full names/photos attached to the posting profile then I absolutely do not trust them to not be biased. Some local cops would likely ignore concerning posts from their friends and also use it to harass other people who they may have some vendetta against.

    If the data was anonymized as much as possible (hiding the profile name and other profile information like profile photo) and the people monitoring the posts were viewed by people not in the local area then I would be much more likely to support this sort of monitoring.

    This may be the case already but it would also be my hope that social media posts can already be used by the police to take action against someone if said posts are reported to them.

  79. - Blue Dog - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 3:26 pm:

    demoralized. the question wasn’t if I wanted to keep the useless FOID process.

  80. - VoteUnion - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 3:45 pm:

    Will it help prevent mass shootings? Then yes. The vast majority of FOID applicants who don’t post threats or musings online about killing people have nothing to worry about, and shouldn’t mind waiting a little longer for a social media review to get their card.

  81. - bored now - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 3:58 pm:

    i can’t think of a single law enforcement agency that isn’t overtaxed right now. lots of empty spots to be filled, as well. hard to see how adding this responsibility to lea’s would make them more effective, or the public safer. and i am dubious it would work.

    alternately, we could really enforce the laws on the books, allow victims and their families to sue gun manufacturers and gun shops, fully fund the enforcement agencies on the books and get out of the way of their enforcement of existing laws…

  82. - cermak_rd - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 4:05 pm:

    Yes many social media are pseudonymous. But usually they have an email address on record. Plus photos posted by the very person in past posts or comments the people have made themselves could help authorities find the real perp.
    If the authorities come to facebook/twitter/yahoo/Rich and present a warrant asking for email info they are on the hook to provide the info. I mean, they can risk the bad PR and try to fight the warrant but it’s unlikely they will prevail. I enter my email in Rich’s site any time I make a comment, for instance. Also I use the same pseudonym each time, as do most of the people here because it makes communicating easier.

  83. - Pundent - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 4:05 pm:

    =the question wasn’t if I wanted to keep the useless FOID process.=

    It wasn’t about racial profiling either. But you do you.

  84. - Jimmy Cricket - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 4:16 pm:

    * sue gun manufacturers and gun shops *

    Both can be sued/charged with a crime if they actually do something wrong like manufacture a defective product or sell a gun to an intelligible person. They aren’t responsible for the misuse of their product any more than any other manufacturer.

  85. - Lefty Lefty - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 4:22 pm:

    No. The last thing we need is law enforcement making judgement calls about social media posts. There are plenty of other sources of information available, including the loser who shot up Highland Park.

  86. - MisterJayEm - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 4:28 pm:

    It’s impossible for me to believe that white police won’t view the social media posts of not-white people as more dangerous/troubling/suspicious than the posts of white people.

    So I voted no because the best way to avoid the inevitable misuse of police power is to stop giving the police more and more power.

    – MrJM

  87. - rtov - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 4:29 pm:

    I made a pitch for such monitoring in yesterday’s comments. First, law enforcement already relies on social media in criminal investigations. Second, for those who argue “reasonable suspicion” is required to do so, you are wrong. The law is clear that law enforcement need no suspicion of any level to view something that is in public view.

  88. - MisterJayEm - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 4:34 pm:

    “Obviously the content is public, the personal info of the poster isn’t.”

    I’ve said it before, I say it again: Don’t use your government name on the internet.

    – MrJM

  89. - Proud Papa Bear - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 4:44 pm:

    MisterJayEm beat me to it. In theory this would be great but as we’ve seen many times when police get expanded powers, it disproportionately affects marginalized groups.

  90. - don the legend - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 5:21 pm:

    ==Oklahoma City. Truck bomb killing 168, wounding over 680.
    Charlottesville. Car driven into crowd, killing 1, injuring 35.
    Sagamihara, Japan. Knife attack killed 19, wounding 26.==

    That’s 3. Compare that to 308 mass shootings just this year.

  91. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 5:23 pm:

    == when police get expanded powers ==

    Which police power is being expanded?

    Do police in Illinois currently have the power to take action against you if they can clearly see a crime happening in your front yard? That’s private property, right?

    Same situation, but you publicly post a picture of a crime in your front yard. But since you publicly posted it from your comfy couch inside your private residence it’s off limits to the police now?

    Doing something on the internet isn’t some magical cloak against consequences for your actions.

  92. - rtov - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 5:31 pm:

    I find it surprising that there are so many people on this page opposed to what is arguably a “common sense” regulation. The law should adapt with the times, social media is a prevalent part of our society that did not exist when the FOID Card Act was passed. I find the arguments in opposition to this legislation tenuous and uninformed. Law enforcement already “proactively” monitors social media on a daily basis (search warrants are often based off of information seen on social media), the standard for the issuance of a FOID Card is less than probably cause necessary to make an arrest, this is not a violation of privacy or the first amendment, and the law would allow for individuals to appeal FOID denials.

  93. - RNUG - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 5:52 pm:

    == arguably a “common sense” regulation ==

    It might be “common sense” to you, but the proposal as drafted has zero, repeat, ZERO, objectivity and is 100% subjective. SCOTUS would shoot that down just as fast as you could get a case to the court.

    Read the recent court rulings. Anything without impartial and objective guidelines is getting overturned.

  94. - Tim - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 6:25 pm:

    A bridge too far for me. FOID needs reform but this ain’t it.

  95. - Elmer Keith - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 6:45 pm:

    Voted no because this type of scrutiny, even if carried out by the presumably less biased State Police, would be accessible by biased good old boys in small towns to smear people they don’t like, as a previous poster figured out:

    “If the person doing the monitoring will get to be some random local police officer driving a desk who can see full names/photos attached to the posting profile then I absolutely do not trust them to not be biased. Some local cops would likely ignore concerning posts from their friends and also use it to harass other people who they may have some vendetta against.” 100%

  96. - Watchdog - Thursday, Jul 7, 22 @ 7:01 pm:

    This a good idea, but may be hard to enforce. A determined mass shooter could apply for a FOID card on day 1 listing all social media account, and on day 2 create new accounts, making threats. There would have to be a requirement to report new social media accounts, and penalties for failure to report an account or inform the ISP when you get a new account

  97. - LC Progress - Friday, Jul 8, 22 @ 8:01 am:

    NY just enacted such a process. For all the 2A supporters who say it is my Constitutional right join the well regulated militia called the Armed Forces they are looking for people.
    America has proven that it can’t handle weapons.

  98. - NorthsideNoMore - Friday, Jul 8, 22 @ 8:08 am:

    Seems to Orwellian, and would just get slogged through the courts immediately. 1st Amendment, 2nd amendment and possibly the 4th would be in play.

  99. - rtov - Friday, Jul 8, 22 @ 9:05 am:

    Well said RNUG… a more narrowly tailored statute with well defined regulations are needed. With that being said, the current law is outdated and essentially requires law enforcement avoid taking into consideration relevant publicly available information about specific individuals seeking to possession deadly weapons. A more thorough background check is clearly needed as individuals who have made their intentions to harm others clear, continue to be allowed to purchase firearms. This is not a problem limited to Illinois, the ATF should be held accountable as well, as they conduct the background checks for all firearm transactions made with licensed dealers.

  100. - rtov - Friday, Jul 8, 22 @ 9:09 am:

    I don’t know if people are still following this post, but for those who keep asserting that some local law enforcement agency will be tasked with conducting the background checks, you are simply wrong. The investigations would be done by the ISP, which is an office directly under the Governor, who could assure proper staff and training and protocols are in place to either prevent or identify and eliminate unconstitutional profiling. I am firearms owner and republican, but I too have had enough of dangerous people legally accessing deadly weapons. Complaining about ideas for change is easy, try coming up with practical solutions instead.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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