Gun control was one of the topics being discussed as the Sportsmans Alliance of Maine held its annual congress. Friday’s daylong meeting was held in Augusta and featured a review of the big issues facing sportsman in Maine.The group’s Executive Director, David Trahan, says the preeminent hunting and fishing group in the state has been quiet on the topic of gun control out of respect for the victims of last month’s school shooting in Connecticut. Friday they broke their silence, hosting a panel discussion featuring Maine Attorney General William Schneider, Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen and former Democratic State Senator Bill Diamond. “I think it is now time we engage and take a leadership role in this discussion,” Trahan said at the meeting. “We think that sportsmen need to have a discussion about what makes sense to them. What regulations they would consider, that type of thing. That’s really what today is, the beginning of the discussion. I think it’s important for SAM to lead it and we’re not going to shy away from the discussion.”Trahan says SAM members have expressed concern over proposed gun control legislation expected to be presented by Maine lawmakers during the upcoming session. “I suspect there’s between 40 and 50 bills, from what I’ve been told, that have been submitted. So there’ll be plenty at the state level, plenty at the federal level,” Trahan said. “We are genuinely concerned, though, that people will be making decisions based on emotion and not on fact. We really just want to be reasonable, smart and thought-based in any decisions we make around guns.”Gun control wasn’t the only thing discussed at Friday’s meeting. State game officials also updated the group on Maine’s ongoing deer management effort, which is designed to rebuild the deer herd in regions of the state where numbers have fallen sharply.