Lawmaker wants licensing requirements for journalists

Rep. Jim Lucas (R- Seymour)

SEYMOUR, Ind. (WTHR) - One lawmaker has an interesting perspective on the subject of journalism.

Rep. Jim Lucas of Seymour says he wants journalists to be licensed and fingerprinted. He's talking about a bill he might present in the upcoming legislative session, but he is actually referring to a bill currently being heard in study committee.

"To be a journalist you have to go through, you have to fill out forms, schedule a day to get fingerprinted, but the nice thing is I am keeping a lifetime license available to you so that we only have to do it once but you have to pay $140 to get your little pink card that says 'yes you are licensed to practice journalism in the state of Indiana,'" he explained Thursday.

"I think the intent is to make an argument or point by Rep Lucas concerning his belief on the attacks on the Second Amendment on it by illustrating what it would look like if a similar attack was applied on the First Amendment so I think in that fashion it is clever," Steve Key from the Hoosier Press Association observed.

Lucas is no stranger to controversy. In January, he tweeted a picture that got him in hot water following the national women's march in Washington D.C. and he was strongly criticized for writing a letter saying women are learning how not to be a victim of rape - and now this.

"Sometimes you have to highlight the absurdity of something that is blowing it wide open," he said.

He is getting plenty of reaction. The Society of Professional Journalists has issued a reaction talking about libel laws and copyright laws that journalists already have to abide by. Lucas says he is getting plenty of other attention as well.

And if you think this is something, he has another bill that he has not filed: one that would also require a license to attend church.

LISTEN: Rep. Lucas talked about the licensing proposal on an October 10, 2017 broadcast of WFYI's No Limits.

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