By: Teresa Mull

Maine’s incoming Democratic governor has appointed an anti-gun activist to lead the state’s Department of Public Safety.

Gov.-elect Janet Mills announced her appointment of former Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck to the post last week.

“Sauschuck sits on the Board of Directors for the ‘Maine Gun Safety Coalition,’ a gun control advocacy group affiliated with NYC billionaire and gun control advocate Michael Bloomberg,” state Sen. Eric Brakey’s office reports. “As Portland Police Chief, Sauschuck has regularly used his position to advocate for stricter gun laws, often putting him at odds with others in Maine’s law enforcement community.”

Specifically, Sauschuck (along with Gabby Giffords and Michael Bloomberg) supported Question 3, a 2016 ballot initiative which, had it passed, would have required background checks for almost all gun transfers in Maine.

Sauschuck also opposed the Constitutional Carry bill that passed in Maine in 2015. Sauschuck said at the time, “When this legislation goes into effect tomorrow – police officers and sheriffs around the state – their lives will be in danger. Our citizens, their lives will be in danger.”

“It’s worth noting that Sauschuck’s predictions did not come true,” Brakey’s office pointed out in a press release. “Since the passage of constitutional carry, Maine actually became safer, climbing the rankings to be recognized as the ‘safest state in America’ by US News and World Reports — with the #1 lowest overall violent crime rate. But Sauschuck has never retracted his statements.”

"The appointment of Maine’s chief gun control activist, Mike Sauschuck, to lead the Department of Public Safety suggests an aggressive gun control agenda from Janet Mills when the new legislature convenes," Brakey told Gunpowder Magazine.

"If confirmed, Sauschuck would have the ability to obstruct the issuance of concealed weapon permits," Brakey said. "And further, if proposed ‘red flag’ legislation becomes law, but Sauschuck would have the authority confiscate firearms from targeted Maine people without due process of the law. There are plenty of qualified choices to lead the Maine Department of Public Safety who are not anti-gun ideologues."

Sauschuck will undergo confirmation hearings in the new year.

Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at [email protected].