Senate President Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook) has told Democratic activists that he will support gun control legislation he has previously voted against, a flip that comes only after the Maine Gun Safety Coalition hired his son and his former chief of staff to lobby for Second Amendment restrictions.
The payments from Maine Gun Safety Coalition to the Resurgam Group were first reported this weekend by Billy Kobin of the Bangor Daily News.
The Resurgam Group, a Portland-based lobbyist firm, was founded by Jackson’s former Chief of Staff B.J. McCollister, and Jackson’s son Chace is listed as a partner with the firm.
Kobin reported that “there is no evidence the elder Jackson’s posture has changed” since the pro-gun control payments started flowing into his son’s business; however, that’s not entirely true.
Jackson has, in fact, indicated that he is going to make a 180-degree turn on gun control.
At a Jan. 20 meeting of Food and Medicine, the 501(c)4 group that employs the elder Jackson, he told left-wing activists that he was going to support some of the very gun control policies that he had opposed during his 20-year career in state politics.
“So, you know, there’s definitely legislation that’s been, either introduced in the past, legislation that I voted against, time and time again, that we’ll deal with this session to try and make sure that, or try and make an attempt to make it so something like that won’t happen again,” Jackson said, according to audio of the meeting obtained by the Maine Wire.
Jackson’s remarks on gun control referred to the Oct. 25 mass shooting in Lewiston carried out by Robert R. Card, Jr.
“We need to do more, make sure that people like Robert Card doesn’t get, uh, you know, guns,” Jackson said.
“I mean, if you’re a gun advocate, if you’re someone, uh, comes from a hunting, you know, tradition, I would say that the best way to make sure that you continue to do what you you love and, uh, have done all your life, is to make sure that Robert Card doesn’t get, that people like Robert Card, doesn’t have weapons,” he said.
Although Jackson did not get into specific legislation in his remarks, his son’s newest client is backing an assault weapons ban, a so-called “Red Flag” law, a 72-hour waiting period for gun sales, and background checks for private firearm transfers.