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Lawmaker Wants to License Journalists in Indiana

Lawmaker Wants to License Journalists in Indiana

Indiana state Rep. Jim Lucas, a Republican from Seymour, Indiana. (indianahouserepublicans.com)

By    |   Friday, 13 October 2017 11:05 AM

Rep. Jim Lucas, a Republican lawmaker from Seymour, Indiana, wants to draft a bill to license journalists in the state.

The proposal would require all professional journalists to be licensed via the Indiana State Police. As part of the application process, they would have to be finger printed and pay a $75 license fee, The Indianapolis Star noted.

Licenses would not be granted to any journalists with previous convictions of felony or domestic battery.

The bill is based upon current Indiana legislation that prohibits the carrying of an unlicensed handgun. Lucas has campaigned for several years to have this law repealed to no avail and is now considering filing the measure requiring state police to license journalists to drive home his point on gun rights, USA Today noted.

“If you’re OK licensing my Second Amendment right, what’s wrong with licensing your First Amendment right?” he said, according to USA Today.

The bill is under review with a panel of lawmakers ahead of next year’s legislative session however, whether he goes ahead with the filing is a different story.

"It depends on you guys," he told IndyStar earlier this year. "It depends on how egregious and irresponsible you are between now and then."

Lucas further stated, per RTV6, "The only thing this draft does is it puts in perspective how horrible and reprehensible it is to license a constitutional right."

His most recent remarks came around the same time that Trump attacked the media, suggesting that the broadcast license of network new channels be revoked for reporting "distorted" and "fake" news.

John Krull, director of the Pulliam School of Journalism at Franklin College, has said press freedom was vital for a democracy regardless of whether Lucas and Trump were serious about their proposals.

"I can’t imagine that the courts would stand for something like that, or that, I would hope, members of either party in Congress would abide by something like that," Krull said about licenses for journalists, according to RTV6.

"In Rep. Lucas’ case, the fact that he thinks this is something between a joke and a debating point is just regrettable… he’s not even comparing apples to oranges. He’s comparing apples to dumbbells."

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Rep. Jim Lucas, a Republican lawmaker from Seymour, Indiana, wants to draft a bill to license journalists in the state.
lawmaker, license, journalists, indiana
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2017-05-13
Friday, 13 October 2017 11:05 AM
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