When Indiana State Rep. Jim Lucas (R-69th District) recently introduced legislation that would repeal the state’s concealed carry structure and replace it with so-called “constitu­tional carry,” it did not seem out of step for the Marine Corps veteran who was first elected in 2012.

Lucas’ House Bill 1144 would amend state law to allow the lawful concealed carry of a sidearm with­out a permit by anyone who could legally own or possess a handgun. According to a report by WRTV in Indianapolis, there are more than 570,700 carry permits in Indiana. With a population of 6.5 million, that makes the state one of the top in terms of per capita concealed carry.

This is not Lucas’ first foray in the gun rights arena. He sponsored leg­islation that would allow a citizen to store firearms in their vehicles, out of sight, while on school property. This would benefit parents who might have occasion to come to a school for a parent-teacher conference, or in the event of a student illness or injury.

He also sponsored an amendment to remove restrictions on guns in schools and allow trained school employees to carry firearms during school hours. At the time, Lucas observed that so-called “gun-free zones” were actually “defenseless zones,” where people cannot defend themselves against a criminal attack.

Constitutional Carry is not a new concept. Other states, including Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and most of Montana, allow unlicensed carry, openly or concealed. Indeed, before state governments got into the permit business, citizens did carry openly or concealed. There is a growing advo­cacy for the concept.

Re-elected last fall, Lucas represents portions of Bartholomew, Jackson, Jennings and Jefferson counties, according to a brief biography on his website. He is vice chair of the Government and Regulatory Reform Committee, and he also serves on the Education and Public Policy commit­tees.

Before being elected to the Gen­eral Assembly, Lucas served on the Seymour City Council. He’s got a business background as the owner of The Awning Guy, Inc. His biography also notes that the right to bear arms is one of his legislative priorities, and so far, his record shows that to be true.

He lives in Seymour with his wife, Lynn. They have three children.

Upon introducing his carry legisla­tion, Lucas told WRTV/ABC6 news that, “I want to remove one more obstacle” in the path of law-abiding citizens so they can defend them­selves.