IN GOPer Drafts Bill To Force Journalists To Get Licenses Like Gun Owners

Indiana Rep. Jim Lucas listens to opening remarks at a balanced budget planning convention at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix on Sept. 12, 2017. Lawmakers from 19 states are trying to develop a plan in Arizona this week for carrying out a growing, but unlikely, national effort to amend the Constitution to require a balanced U.S. budget. The plan is to add an amendment through a convention, a long-shot effort that has never been successfully done. (AP Photo/Bob Christie)
Bob Christie/AP

An Indiana state lawmaker wants to see journalists obtain licenses with state police the same way handgun owners are required to do in the state, the Indy Star reported.

Rep. Jim Lucas (R-IN) wrote the bill earlier this year and said he may file it soon to make a statement about gun rights.

If you’re OK licensing my Second Amendment right, what’s wrong with licensing your First Amendment right?” he told the Indy Star.

Lucas’ frustration with the media stems from local coverage of his efforts to repeal a state law that requires handgun owners to have a permit in order to carry it. He said if he was as “irresponsible” with his guns “as the media has been with their keyboard, I’d probably be in jail.”

His draft bill would require journalists to submit an application with state police, get finger-printed and pay a $75 fee for a license. Any person with a felony or domestic battery conviction wouldn’t be allowed to get a license, according to the draft bill obtained by the Indy Star. 

The proposal reads almost the exact same as the Indiana state law that requires a permit for handguns, according to the Indy Star.

The draft bill may be more of a stunt than a serious piece of legislation state, as Lucas told the Indy Star that his plan for filing it “depends on you guys.”

“It depends on how egregious and irresponsible you are between now and then,” he said. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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