Governor Janet Mills' nominee for Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, Michael J. Sauschuck, was approved by the Joint Standing Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety by a vote of 8-5, with all Republicans on the committee voting against his confirmation, and all Democrats voting in favor.
The full Senate refused to override the committee's action by a vote of 21-13, once again with all Republican present voting against confirmation, and all Democrats voting in favor.
Despite unprecedented public opposition to a nominee to head the Department of Public Safety, including thousands of calls, letters, emails and petition signatures and hundreds of individual gun owners flooding into the State House to attend the public hearing, the public outcry fell on deaf ears with too many legislators.
Mr. Sauschuck is a high-profile anti-gun activist who has used his position as Chief of the Portland Police Department to promote all manner of gun control, including banning private sales and transfers of firearms, bans on standard-capacity magazines and semiautomatic firearms, gun confiscation without due process, and so on.
While the Mills Administration maintains that Commissioner Sauschuck cannot make law, it is the role of commissioners to function as advisers to the Governor and to the Legislators on matters within their purview. Commissioner Sauschuck will be the prime adviser to the Governor and the Legislature on matters of gun control, and will direct the State Police, the biggest issuer of concealed handgun permits in the State.
Governor Mills has placed a committed anti-gun advocate at the head of Maine law enforcement, and given him a leading voice in the making of gun policy in Maine. Gun owners should be very wary.