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Indiana Lawmaker Says Proposal To License Journalists Makes Point On Gun Control

Posted On October 13, 2017

By Mike Perleberg

State Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour). IN.gov photo.

(Indianapolis, Ind.) – In an attempt to prove a point about licensing citizens’ Second Amendment rights, an Indiana state lawmaker says he’ll bring forward a bill that would require Indiana journalists to be licensed.

Representative Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) drew up the bill as a rhetorical strategy while trying to repeal a state law that requires a permit to carry a handgun. He asserts that he likely won’t actually introduce the journalist licensing bill during the 2018 legislative session.

“Everyone should be appalled,” Lucas said on WFYI’s “No Limits” program on Tuesday. “I’m highlighting the licensing of a constitutional right. Society has become accustomed to that exact very thing. But if we allow the licensing of one constitutional right–even one–that means the floodgates are open for something like this to happen.”

Lucas’ draft bill would require professional journalists to be fingerprinted and pay $75 when they applied for the lifetime license with the Indiana State Police. Journalists who are convicted felons would not be approved for a license.

The proposal has riled many free speech and first amendment backers from all sides.

“All of a sudden, many people hate the thought of licensing a Constitutional right!!!,” Lucas posted to his own Facebook page Thursday.

The uproar over Lucas’ proposal comes just a day after President Donald Trump suggested that NBC’s broadcast license should be pulled for unfairly covering the White House.