AUGUSTA – Despite some opposition from gun rights advocates, members of a legislative panel on Friday confirmed Democratic Gov. Janet Mills’ nominee for public safety commissioner.
Mills’ nomination of Michael Sauschuck proved controversial because of Sauschuck’s views on gun control. He faced a large test from his opposition during his confirmation hearing.
“We wanted to voice our opinion to Janet Mills’ nomination for the Maine Department of Public Safety Michael Sauschuck,” said Bucksport resident Bruce Ashmore. “There’s a lot of people here in Maine that are not happy and don’t think that he’s the right person to be up there and we wanted to come down here today and make sure that the people’s voice is heard as well.”
In his six years as Portland police chief, Sauschuck voiced concern over Maine’s open carry and concealed carry laws. He also showed support for more extensive background checks to obtain firearms, stating that there should be conceivable limits to gun rights.
“The Second Amendment is no different. It is not unlimited, you can’t buy a sawed-off shotgun, you can’t buy a machine gun from the corner store,” Sauschuck said. “You can’t carry a firearm within this building today, why because it is not unlimited. We have to work within those bounds and the Supreme Court has made those decisions very clear.”
Sauschuck also had some supporters, including the president of the Maines Chiefs of Police Association.