Rep Lucas' Journalist Licensing Bill Is More About Guns Than Reporters

Rep Lucas' Journalist Licensing Bill Is More About Guns Than Reporters”

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.

This comes amid Trump's attacks on what he calls "fake news" media outlets.

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

For now he said he plans to just "hold on" to the draft bill requiring journalists to get licenses.

Lucas reportedly drafted the bill earlier this year, and said he is "a year ahead of President Trump", referencing the president's latest threats to "challenge" and try to "revoke" the licenses of national broadcast networks like NBC, whose reporting he does not like.

"If you're okay licensing my second amendment right, what's wrong with licensing your first amendment right?"

"The truth is that there are already a number of restrictions on the First Amendment", he said.

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

The proposal has riled many free speech and first amendment backers from all sides.

Gregg Leslie, a legal defense director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Washington, D.C., told the Indy Star, "The obvious problem is that it means the government gets to decide who gets to practice journalism".

The draft nearly directly mirrors Indiana's handgun license legislation, which Lucas has fought to repeal. "I wanted to force people to talk about it, and so far it's worked", Lucas said.

Lucas told the paper that he drafted the bill previous year but decided not to file it then.

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