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Indiana lawmaker shows sidearm to student activists: 'I'm carrying a gun right now'

Video shows Rep. Jim Lucas showing holstered gun to high school students from Muncie.
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Posted at 5:17 PM, Jan 31, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-01 16:41:44-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Rep. Jim Lucas says he was demonstrating that firearms are everywhere when he showed his holstered handgun to a group of teens at the Statehouse Tuesday.

A 10-minute video of the Seymour Republican's debate with Muncie high school students was posted on social media Wednesday.

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Rep. Jim Lucas is captured on video showing his holstered handgun to a group of high school students at the Statehouse Tuesday.

Lucas told WRTV he was trying to show "that guns are among us, and living in fear of them does not make sense."

Lucas says he met the students in an elevator Tuesday and stepped off to speak with them. The students are from the Burris Laboratory School in Muncie and are members of Students Demand Action.

They were in Indianapolis to urge lawmakers to do more to prevent gun violence as part of a day of action, a spokesperson for event organizers said.

Student Makynna Fivecoats took a video of the encounter, which was shared on social media and first reported by the Franklin College Pulliam School of Journalism's The Statehouse File. Another student, Alana Trissel, is seen in the video debating the lawmaker.

About six minutes into the video, a student tells Lucas that Australia banned guns and hasn't had a mass shooting in years.

"They're not free," Lucas says in the video. "You’re not truly free if you can’t defend yourself."

"So, do you mean by carrying?" a student asks.

"I’m carrying a gun right now," Lucas says, opening his suit jacket and showing a holstered weapon on his hip.

In the video a student's voice says, "See, and nothing about that makes me feel safe."

Lucas told WRTV he was trying to have an "adult conversation" with the students and didn’t know he was being recorded.

When asked if he would do anything differently regarding his meeting with the students, Lucas said, "Maybe not falsely assume that they were ready to have an adult conversation."

Contact WRTV reporter Vic Ryckaert at or on X/Twitter: @vicryc.