Gun Rights Activists Balk At Maine Governor's Appointment

Governors appoint people all the time, and most of the time we don’t hear much about them. In fairness, there are 50 states in this great union, and most of those appointees are in roles we rarely hear anything about in the first place. Hell, most people in those states rarely hear anything about those appointees. Is it any wonder the rest of us don’t?


But in Maine, one of Governor Janet Mills’s appointees is drawing a lot of fire toward the Democrat.

It seems gun rights activists aren’t fans of her Public Safety Commissioner pick.

Governor Janet Mills is getting a lot of praise for her cabinet choices…except for one. Gun rights supporters are criticizing Mills’ nomination of former Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck to become Public Safety Commissioner.

Mills praised Sauschuck’s law enforcement and leadership experience. But gun rights advocates say the former chief has been a supporter of several gun control proposals, including the referendum two years ago to impose universal background checks.

David Trahan of Sportsmen’s Alliance of Maine says his support for gun control is a problem.

“Guns are viewed differently in Portland than in the rest of rural Maine. Guns are part of our cultural history and recreation in rural parts of the state so I think he’s got a vision of firearms that are not shared by all of Maine.”

Mills, however, believes that Sauschuck was the best guy for the job, calling him “superbly qualified” and arguing that he won’t be creating law, only enforcing it.

She’s not wrong in that, but she’s not right either.

Absent a specific law preventing it, a statewide appointee is in a unique position to advocate for changes in the law. While he or she may not be able to propose legislation, they can advocate for it, and their job gives them access to do just that in a way most people can’t.


Activists are right to be concerned over Sauschuck’s anti-gun views. Especially in light of his history of advocating in favor of infringing upon citizens’ Second Amendment rights. He has no issue taking on political causes while in office, and that’s something that has to be concerning to people in Maine.

Frankly, it concerns me, and I’m on the other end of the coast from Maine.

While Mills may well feel that there’s no one more qualified than Sauschuck–and honestly, I’m not going to argue about the man’s resume–she’s not acknowledging the fact that appointed officials are still officials who can wield a great deal of authority in any state.

People like Sauschuck are going to be opposed, and they should be. There is no place in this country for people to assume that an anti-gun official will remain quiet about their anti-gun views because their job doesn’t involve the crafting of legislation, and there’s even less reason to believe people in the state house won’t have a tendency to listen to people like that.

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