New Maine Dem Gov. Won't Back Universal Background Checks

Governor Mills promises to uphold the will of the people instead

Published Friday, January 11, 2019
Gun Rights Watch article by GRW Chief Editor

On Tuesday, newly elected Maine Governor Janet Mills, a Democrat, made a statement that she had no interest whatsoever in signing a bill to create a universal background check law for the state — no doubt disappointing her supporters, some of whom most likely voted for her hoping for more gun control. Mills had a reputation before the 2018 election for being involved in gun control measures that had been passed in Maine in recent years, but we reason that her involvement may have been overstated.

In 2016, a ballot measure for universal background checks was defeated in 13 out of 16 counties, which Mills spoke about as her reason for not wanting to defy the peoples' will, stating, “The people have already spoken on background checks and they spoke pretty loud and clear.”

It's interesting to note that on Mills' website, gun control does not even make the list on her Issues page. Could it actually be that Maine elected a Democrat into office that isn't also a gun-grabber?

In late September Mills gave an interview with the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine in which she stated that she would not seek bans on "assault weapons", semi-automatic weapons, or "large-capacity" magazines in Maine. Presumably, for those comments, the organization rated her an -A on their scorecard — even though she received an F from the NRA. She also has stated that she doesn't support banning any particular weapons outright, also going so far as to say that she does not support banning any firearm because of its cosmetic design or appearance.

On the flipside of that coin though, Mills did voice support for a bill in the Legislature in 2018 that would have made it easier for police to confiscate firearms from people judged mentally defective following a judge’s review. That measure was vetoed by then-Governor Paul LePage, and no other gun bills were passed that year.