Miller's Nomination Under Fire Over Gun Rights

Topeka Police Chief Ron Miller

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The Kansas Libertarian Party says making Topeka Police Chief Ron Miller the U.S. Marshal for the state would threaten gun rights.

But, Miller told 13 News their concerns are unfounded.

The party released a statement Monday opposing Miller's nomination for the position. They say Miller has, on several occasions, backed banning and restricting carrying of firearms.

The news release from the Libertarian Party refers to New York and Connecticut, where they say there is "imminent possibility" that law enforcement will enter homes of legal gun owners and confiscate their firearms.

"With a track record of opposing the second amendment and other civil liberties we believe that if Chief Miller were given the order to seize firearms he would participate and give the order without hesitation," the news release stated.

In a phone conversation with 13 News, Miller said that, as a law enforcement officer, he would follow federal law. However, he says he has worked with the Libertarian Party in the past to safeguard second amendment rights.

Miller did recently ask the Topeka City Council to ban carrying of loaded firearms in vehicles because he said it is an issue of protecting officer safety. The council declined to make the change.

President Obama nominated Miller for the U.S. Marshal's position in early March, saying, "Miller has dedicated his career to protecting his fellow citizens. He has displayed courage and persistence in the pursuit of justice, and I am honored to nominate him to continue his selfless work on behalf of the people of Kansas as a U.S. Marshal.”

The nomination drew large praise from many Topeka area leaders.

Miller joined the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department in 1972 as a patrol officer and became chief of that department in 2000. He took the reins of the Topeka Police Department nearly eight years ago. His law enforcement career spans 40 years, dealing with issues on the local level which made him a strong candidate to serve at the Federal level.