Video shows Indiana lawmaker brandishing a pistol at students who were advocating for gun control


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Video taken by a high school student shows an Indiana lawmaker waving a gun at students who were visiting the state building to talk to legislators about gun control.

A student at Burris Laboratory School in Muncie told The Associated Press that she and four other students were at the state Capitol on Tuesday to participate in a day of advocacy with Students Demand Action, a branch of Everytown for Gun Safety. Alanna Trissell, 17, said state Rep. Jim Lucas asked the students what brought them to the Capitol and began defending gun rights.

Lucas, a Republican from Seymour, and the group chatted outside the elevator and one of the students filmed the conversation, as first reported statehouse fileA student journalism news site at Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana.

Discussing places where firearms are banned, Lucas said that people are not “truly free” unless they can protect themselves. Off camera, a student asked Lucas if he wanted to carry a gun. Just over six minutes into the 10-minute video, Lucas said, “I’m taking it right now,” and opened his suit jacket to reveal a holstered handgun. It was not immediately clear what type of gun Lucas was carrying.

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“Nothing about someone carrying a gun makes me feel safe,” one student said off camera after Lucas picked up his jacket.

The Associated Press could not immediately reach Lucas on Wednesday and left messages with his press secretary and his Facebook page. The phone numbers listed with their names in public records were not connected.

in public facebook post On Tuesday night and Wednesday, Lucas did not describe his actions. He said the conversation was “respectful, but it was clearly facts, reason and logic versus outright emotion.”

He said in an article, “I fear and pity those who are being taught to fear the very thing that is their best means of self-defense.” post wednesday, in which he also linked to news articles about the Parkland and Uvalde murders in the comments section. “People are also being induced to depend on the government for their ‘safety,’ even when it has been shown that the government has clearly ruled that the government does not have a duty to protect us.”

Trissell said the conversation “took a turn for the worst” after the weapon was shown. When a student asked why he felt the need to carry a gun, Lucas said, “To be able to protect myself.”

Trissell refuted Lucas’s claim that the group’s argument was based on emotions, and said she felt it had been discussed.

“Since a state legislator brandished a weapon, I felt more powerless,” she said. “I was feeling scared. I felt lonely. I was timid and almost paralyzed with fear.”

Indiana lawmakers and their staff are allowed to carry handguns on the Capitol and complex grounds. A bill introduced this year would expand that right to some statewide elected officials And their employees.

The video shows Lucas telling students to go to a gun range and learn to shoot, before Trissell stops him and asks if he has lost anyone to gun violence. Lucas said he has twice protected his family with a firearm and did not elaborate.

Eventually Lucas started to walk away and asked, “Does anyone else have any legitimate concerns they would like addressed?” When the conversation resumed, he left.

Trissell said that after speaking to Lucas and other state representatives about gun control, she left the Capitol feeling unheard.

Lucas was in the news last summer when he pleaded guilty Police said he crashed his pickup truck through an interstate highway guardrail and drove off. Lucas, who was first elected to the Legislature in 2012, was allowed to retain his position; State law only bars people convicted of felonies from holding elected office.

According to a report by Republic Lucas, of Columbus, Indiana, told students at an event in 2020 that gun control laws would not stop mass killings in schools and that he is doing so now. The report states that he then asked whether this scared anyone in the audience.

Copyright 2024 The associated Press, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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