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Indiana lawmaker drafts bill that would require journalists to be licensed by state police

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An Indiana state representative has drafted a bill that would require journalists to acquire licenses from state police.

Republican Rep. Jim Lucas drew up the bill earlier this year and told the IndyStar he may file it to raise a point about his signature issue, gun rights.

Lucas, from Seymour, has been critical of the media’s coverage of his efforts to repeal a state law that requires a permit to carry a handgun.

He has stated reporters, columnists and editorial boards mischaracterize his idea, which is sometimes referred to as “constitutional carry.”

“If I was as irresponsible with my handgun as the media has been with their keyboard, I’d probably be in jail,” Lucas said.

The proposal would require professional journalists to submit an application with Indiana State Police. They would be fingerprinted and would have to pay $75 for a lifetime license.

If journalists have been convicted of a felony, their application may not be approved.

Lucas’ proposal is almost an exact copy of the state’s law requiring a license to carry a handgun, which Lucas has tried to repeal unsuccessfully for several years.

A panel of lawmakers is now reviewing the idea ahead of next year’s legislative session. The proposal, however, may be more rhetorical than serious. He is coy about whether he actually plans to file it.

“It depends on you guys,” he told IndyStar in June. “It depends on how egregious and irresponsible you are between now and then.”