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House Speaker Huston says Lucas shouldn't have flashed holstered gun at students

Jim Lucas gestures while speaker on the House floor. Lucas is a White man with dark hair and beard, wearing a suit and tie.
Lauren Chapman
/
IPB News
Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) has repeatedly attracted controversy in his nearly 12 years at the Statehouse.

House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) should never have flashed his holstered handgun during a conversation with students at the Statehouse.

First reported by The Statehouse File, a video shows Lucas talking with students from Muncie who were at the capitol for a gun safety rally. The controversial Republican lawmaker briefly opens his suit jacket to reveal his firearm.

Huston said he reviewed the video and spoke to Lucas about it.

“I thought the kids and Representative Lucas engaged in a civil discussion about a very sensitive topic,” Huston said. “But I told him how I felt and we’ll move forward.”

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Rep. Sue Errington (D-Muncie), whose district includes the students’ school, called on Lucas to apologize. Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) said Lucas’s action was in “poor taste.”

“Unfortunately, it’s a signal to the kids that maybe you’re not welcome here,” GiaQuinta said. “And that should never happen in the Statehouse.”

Lucas has faced scrutiny several times before in his nearly 12-year legislative career, including for racist and sexist social media posts and a DUI last year.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.