BOOTHBAY HARBOR, ME (NECN) – A large lawn sign that reads “Black Rifles Matter” is offending some tourists in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.
The sign’s creator, Linc Sample, said the sign is about gun rights, not race. Sample painted it and placed it on private property after an ad in the local paper supported an assault-style weapons ban.
“That’s really a trigger for me – the assault weapons ban,” said Sample.
He said he used the phrase “Black Rifles Matter,” a play on the phrase “Black Lives Matter,” to have impact.
“If anything, they should be flattered I used the phrase,” said Sample.
But some have been upset by the sign.
“We have received a frew complaints from visitors to the region,” Rick prose, the Boothbay Region Chamber of Commerce director, said.
“Some of these people have cut their vacation short and left early,” Thomas Woodin, Boothbay Harbor Town Manager, said.
However, town leaders say that all the permits for a sign that size are in place and that Sample is entitled to exercise his right to free speech.
“There isn’t much the town can do about it,” Woodin added.
Tourists visiting the area have had mixed opinions.
Jeremy Plasse, a tourist who opposes a weapons ban, doesn’t find the sign offensive.
“I think they’re doing the right thing,” he said. “Massachutsetts has a ban right now, and I think they should lift it.
“People are ignorant, they shouldn’t be putting things out like that,” Paul Mayor of Connecticut said. It’s taking a shot obviously at Black Lives Matter.”
However, the sign won’t be in place for long. Sample frequently changes his large sign and told NCEN that a new one will soon replace the polarizing Black Rifles Matter one.