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Illinois House passes bill shielding gun owner names

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Illinois House passed a bill on Friday that would allow gun owners to have their identities shielded from public disclosure.

The legislation, sponsored by Republican Rep. Richard Morthland passed by 98-12 with wide bipartisan support in the Democratic-majority House.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has contended that the names and expiration dates on firearm owner identification cards should be available under the state's Freedom of Information Act.

"We did our job to interpret what is the current law," said Natalie Bauer, spokeswoman for Madigan. "It's up to the General Assembly to weigh in on the larger policy issues that are raised."

Illinois lawmakers are also considering legislation that would allow concealed carry of handguns -- Illinois and Wisconsin are the only states which do not allow it.

The legislation could come for a full House vote next week.

(Writing by Mary Wisniewski, Editing by Tim Gaynor)