US Lawmaker drafts bill to license journalists in Indiana

03:31  13 october  2017
03:31  13 october  2017 Source:   usatoday.com

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His proposal would require professional journalists to submit an application to the Indiana State Police. Journalists would be fingerprinted as part of the Lucas said he originally had the journalism licensing requirement drafted during the last legislative session, but decided then to keep it in reserve.

In Indiana , a Republican state lawmaker drafted a bill that would require professional journalists to be licensed by the state police. The legislator reportedly said he might file the bill to make a point about gun rights.

Indiana state Rep. Jim Lucas, a Republican from Seymour, Ind., has been in office since 2012 and the state House's assistant majority whip since 2017.© Charlie Nye, The Indianapolis Star Indiana state Rep. Jim Lucas, a Republican from Seymour, Ind., has been in office since 2012 and the state House's assistant majority whip since 2017.

INDIANAPOLIS — A lawmaker in the vice president's home state has drafted a bill that would require state police to license professional journalists.

Rep. Jim Lucas, a Republican from Seymour, Ind., had the measure drawn up earlier this year and said he may file it to drive home a point about his signature issue — gun rights.

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

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A state lawmaker in Indiana has drafted a measure to require licenses for journalists akin to those that pertain to handgun owners, a proposal legal Jim Lucas, a Republican from the southeastern part of Indiana and a vocal critic of his state’s gun restrictions, drafted the bill by copying language from a

INDIANAPOLIS — A lawmaker in the vice president’s home state has drafted a bill that would require state police to license professional journalists . Rep.

His idea isn't new.

The most recent proposal came in January 2016 from a Republican lawmaker in the South Carolina General Assembly, Rep. Mike Pitts of Laurens, S.C. He proposed to create a Responsible Journalism Registry that would allow fines and prison time for any person who works as a journalist without registering, Columbia Journalism Review reported.

Pitts also filed his bill to make a similar point about gun rights.

(South Carolina House Bill 4702 was referred to a state House committee where it never was heard from again. It's now dead, like a lot of other bills in state legislatures across the USA, because the two-year legislative session in which it was filed ended.)

In Indiana, Lucas has been critical of media coverage of his efforts to repeal an Indiana law that requires a permit to carry a handgun. He said reporters, columnists and editorial boards frequently mischaracterize the idea, which is sometimes referred to as "constitutional carry."

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- An Indiana state representative has drafted a bill that would require journalists to acquire licenses from state police. News Politics. Lawmakers rush legislation to allow DACA recipients to obtain professional licenses in Indiana .

An Indiana lawmaker has drafted a bill that would require professional journalists to be licensed by state police. Under the bill , journalists would be fingerprinted as part of the process and would have to pay a fee for a lifetime license .

“If I was as irresponsible with my handgun as the media has been with their keyboard, I’d probably be in jail,” he said.

His proposal would require professional journalists to submit an application to the Indiana State Police. Journalists would be fingerprinted as part of the process and would have to pay a $75 fee for a lifetime license. Those with felony or domestic battery convictions would be prohibited from getting a license.

The proposal is almost an exact copy of Indiana’s law requiring a license to carry a handgun, which Lucas has tried to repeal unsuccessfully for several years.

"Every so often legislators try to introduce these types of bills as attention-grabbing stunts," said Andrew Seaman, ethics committee chairman for the Society of Professional Journalists. "The truth is that there are already a number of restrictions on the First Amendment. We have libel laws, copyright laws and countless others that rein in the speech and press rights under the First Amendment."

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-snip-. His proposal would require professional journalists to submit an application to the Indiana State Police. www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2017/10/12/trump-slams-media- indiana - lawmaker -jim-lucas-threatens- license -johas- drafted - bill - license - journalist /757157001/.

Lucas' bill would force reporters and others in the news business to apply for a license via Indiana State Police. By late Thursday, the notion of " licensed journalists " -- however serious -- had become a point of national attention, with media outlets taking note of the draft bill and critics

A requirement that puts state police in charge of licensing members of the media could have a chilling effect, said Gregg Leslie, legal defense director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Washington.

"The obvious problem is that it means the government gets to decide who gets to practice journalism," he said. "When you undermine the press, you’re ultimately preventing people from becoming informed."

Lucas' proposal to license journalists is only his latest in a long line of efforts to seek publicity on social media or bring attention to hot-button issues.

Among them: He posted a Facebook meme in December showing a woman in a car trunk with the words: “Wanna know who loves you more your wife or your dog? Lock them both in your trunk and see who’s happy to see you when let them out.”

The post drew condemnation from advocates of domestic-violence victims, and Lucas issued an apology.

Follow Tony Cook on Twitter: @indystartony

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