Journalism licensing bill meant to start conversation on constitutional carry, lawmaker says

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indiana state Rep. Jim Lucas, a Republican from Seymour, says he’s working on a bill that would require journalists to have a license so he can start a conversation about constitutional carry in our state.

Lucas says if you need a permit to exercise your Second Amendment rights, you should need one to exercise your First Amendment rights.

“If we are doing it for one constitutional right, then that means the door is open for other constitutional rights,” said Lucas.

Lucas says his constitutional carry bill has been misrepresented by the media for four years, so now he’s working on this proposal.

“I thought this was an appropriate time to introduce the exact same requirement that the media is demanding be held for the Second Amendment,” Lucas said.

The bill would require journalists to obtain a license through Indiana State Police. Journalists would have to fill out an application, pay a fee and submit fingerprints.

The same requirements for carrying a handgun.

“I want people to talk about this,” said Lucas.

“It seems like something that comes out of a dystopian novel,” said Hannah Weaver, an IUPUI student.

“I think it is a little bit of a ridiculous legislation,” said Vanessa Padilla, another IUPUI student.

“Licensing journalists is something that we stopped doing in the United States in the 1720s,” said Jonas Bjork, a professor and chair of the Department of Journalism and Public Relations at IUPUI.

He said he doesn’t think a bill like this would pass or hold up in court.

“This is the kind of stuff that they do in dictatorships where they want to control the press, and they want to control journalists,” said Bjork.

When asked about government control over the media, Lucas brought the conversation back to constitutional carry.

“If we are OK with licensing one amendment, I’m highlighting — and I’m doing a very good job because we are here talking about this — the absurdity of licensing a right and the slippery slope that can open,” said Lucas.

So what would happen to this bill if constitutional carry passed in Indiana?

“It would die. It would die the death that it deserves,” said Lucas.