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Mills to nominate anti-gun activist with Bloomberg ties to head state police, public safety

Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck appears with gun control activist Gabby Giffords, Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree at a press conference supporting gun control efforts in 2016.

AUGUSTA – Janet Mills walked a fine line in her campaign for Governor when it came to the issue of gun rights, trying to appease anti-gun voters without offending voters who care about gun rights. But Mills’ choice to serve as Commissioner of Public Safety (including the Maine State Police) is an outspoken anti-gun activist.

Mills announced yesterday that she will nominate former Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck to the post.

Sauschuck’s record includes years of serving as a voice for groups and causes affiliated with Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun interests, including Moms Demand Action and recent efforts against Constitutional Carry and an anti-gun state referendum.

In 2016, Sauschuck found himself at odds with the Maine Sheriff’s Association on Maine’s Question 3. The proposal, billed as an expansion of background checks for gun transfers, was so restrictive it would have required a background check before one Maine hunter could loan a shotgun to a friend on a hunting trip.

Sauschuck appeared in uniform beside national gun control advocate Gabby Giffords in support of the measure, but Maine’s Sheriff’s opposed the proposal, and the Maine Warden Service said the proposal could have made criminals out of law-abiding citizens.

Senator Eric Brakey, who the year before had sponsored and shepherded Maine’s Constitutional Carry legislation into law, also expressed concern that Question 3 would create a back door to a gun registry.

Sauschuck had also opposed Brakey’s Constitutional Carry legislation, saying it would make Maine a more dangerous place. Since passage of Constitutional Carry, however, Maine has risen to be ranked the “safest state in America” according to U.S. News and World Report.

In addition to serving as an authoritative law enforcement voice for Bloomberg-backed anti-gun efforts, Sauschuck has also served on the board of directors of a group with ties to Bloomberg, headlined a fundraiser, and participated in a teacher walk out for gun control efforts in Portland, Maine in March of 2018.

In a written statement, Eric Brakey said, “With the appointment of Maine chief gun control advocate, Michael Sauschuck, to lead the State Police, it looks clear Janet Mills is getting ready for gun control.”

“There will be confirmation hearings for Michael Sauschuck scheduled in the early new year before the Maine Legislature’s Criminal Justice Committee. All Maine people will have a chance to let the legislature know what we think about putting a gun control activist in charge of our gun rights. And we should exercise it.”

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