A lawmaker in Indiana is proposing that the media be required to apply for a ‘journalism license.’
Indiana State Rep. Jim Lucas (R) proposed that journalists should meet the same requirements as gun owners, who have concealed carry permits, and drafted a bill that would mandate a license to practice it.
“If you’re OK licensing my Second Amendment right, what’s wrong with licensing your First Amendment right?” Lucas told the IndyStar.
His bill would require that journalists apply for their license with the state police. The application process would cost $75, and each reporter would be fingerprinted. The lawmaker’s bill would reject journalists, who have a felony or domestic battery conviction.
The Indiana lawmaker equates the need for the media permit with the obligation for gun holders to have concealed carry licenses. Lucas has been a staunch opponent to gun permits and fees, but says that the media contributes to the negative stereotypes associated with gun laws. He thinks if gun owners are required to have permits, then the media should be held to the same standard saying that journalists play a significant role in the negative stigma associated with firearms.
“If I was as irresponsible with my handgun as the media has been with their keyboard, I’d probably be in jail,” he said.
Rep. Lucas, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, has been vocally against the state’s permit laws. To Lucas, Americans have a constitutional right to carry that should not require a permit.
Cynically, the lawmaker wants journalists to abide by the same rules that gun holders do to emphasize the inappropriateness of permit requirements.
“I’m a year ahead of President Trump on this,” he said.
Lucas believes that Trump, who has had consistently criticized by the mainstream media, would support his agenda. Red Alert Politics asked the White House press team if the president would, in fact, support legislation like Lucas’. The White House declined to comment.