State Watch

GOP lawmaker drafts bill requiring journalists to register with police


Indiana State Rep. Jim Lucas has drafted legislation that would require professional journalists to be licensed by police.

The Republican lawmaker is taking aim at journalists for what he says is “irresponsible” coverage, proposing that they are fingerprinted and licensed to practice.

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

But Lucas said the bill is really about gun rights — Lucas has tried unsuccessfully to repeal an Indiana law that requires a permit to carry a handgun.

The journalist licensing bill, which he said he may file to make a point, is almost identical to the handgun bill. He has been harshly critical of the media’s coverage of the handgun bill.

{mosads}“If I was as irresponsible with my handgun as the media has been with their keyboard, I’d probably be in jail,” he said. “Why wouldn’t I push for it? If one constitutional right is OK to license, then they all are.”

Lucas’s draft legislation comes the same week that President Trump has threatened to revoke the licenses of news networks for unflattering coverage, but Lucas said he originally drafted the bill last year.

“I’m a year ahead of President Trump on this,” he said.

Tags Donald Trump first amendment Gun control Handgun Jim Lucas Journalism media

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