Jim Lucas

The National Constitutional Coalition of Patriotic Americans, a newly-formed grassroots organization, hosted pro-gun rallies simultaneously at every state capitol Saturday. 

Pro-gun protesters weren’t allowed onto statehouse property. The gun-friendly statehouse is a gun-free zone with the exception of lawmakers and staff. Protesters instead crowded on a wide sidewalk in front of the steps, listening to lawmakers and advocates.

The House approved legislation Monday to eliminate the fee for Indiana’s lifetime handgun carry license.

Cash from gun carry permits typically goes to local law enforcement agency budgets. And some expressed concerns eliminating the fee would cut into police funding.

Rep. Tim Wesco (R-Osceola), the bill’s author, says the fee elimination doesn’t take effect until July 2019.

House Adopts Resolution To Study Medical Marijuana

Jan 25, 2018

The Indiana House voted Thursday to urge the federal government to loosen its grip on marijuana so the drug can be more effectively studied.

A unanimously-adopted resolution also pushes for a state legislative study committee to examine medical marijuana legalization.

Committee Scales Back Bill To Eliminate Gun Permits

Jan 24, 2018

A bill that would have removed Indiana’s permit to carry a handgun was scaled back Wednesday.

A House Public Policy Committee approved the bill that keeps the handgun carry permit system but lifts some barriers. It extends a permit from four to five years and eliminates a fee for a lifetime permit.

Beth Sprunger with Moms Demand Action says since the permit stays, it’s a win.

“We feel pretty positive that they are not going to move forward with removing the permitting systems which was what our goal was here today,” says Sprunger.

Medical Marijuana Advocates Rally, Legislation Filed

Jan 3, 2018

As the 2018 Indiana General Assembly gets underway, a bill to legalize medical marijuana has been filed. But this year’s proposal may have more momentum.

Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) spoke at a rally at the Statehouse to announce his bill to legalize cannabis for anyone with a serious medical condition. This is not the first bill filed with that aim, but Lucas is hopeful and says he started researching cannabis after the legality of CBD was questioned.

“Why aren’t we one of the 29 states that don’t criminalize its citizens for seeking a better quality of life?” Lucas says.

The American Legion and AMVETs want the Indiana General Assembly to push forward with legislation decriminalizing medical marijuana. The groups join marijuana advocates and Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) in calling for action.

Veterans made a direct response to challenges from Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council for their lack of support on the issue.

The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council wants the state drug commission and drug czar to formally oppose marijuana legalization in any form. The group sent a letter to the Commission to Combat Drug Abuse this week.

The council says marijuana legalization would be bad for workforce development and community health.

A special study committee to consider the elimination Indiana’s handgun license requirements took more public testimony Thursday. It was the second of three scheduled meetings on the issue and reports the debate played out largely unchanged from the past several years.

Dozens of Hoosiers on either side of the debate showed up to testify about allowing people to carry guns in Indiana without a license.

A special legislative study committee discussed whether to eliminate Indiana’s license requirement to carry a handgun. The proposed move is part of a nationwide shift known as “constitutional carry.”

Twelve states currently have laws allowing people to carry guns in public without a permit. Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) proposed a bill to eliminate Indiana’s restrictions last session. He says the right to carry is clear in the U.S. Constitution and in Indiana.

Barnaby Wasson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/barnabywasson/27991131

Some Indiana corporate leaders are urging legislators to double down next year on a preschool pilot program. In January, the state will begin financial aid for low-income pupils to attend preschool in five counties.

PNC Bank regional vice president Connie Bond Stuart urged legislators not to sit still while they‘re awaiting the results of the pilot program. She says there‘s work to be done to expand Indiana‘s preschool capacity, through program expansions, teacher training, and parental outreach.

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