News & Politics

'Black Rifles Matter' Sign Causes Controversy

Tourists are complaining over a sign in the  Maine town of Boothbay Harbor. The sign reads “black rifles matter. Yes we have them, No you can’t take them.”

The sign’s creator, licensed firearms dealer Linc Sample, says his sign is about gun rights not about race. He painted the sign and placed it on private property after an ad appeared in a local paper supporting an “assault” weapon ban.

“That’s really a trigger for me — the assault weapons ban,” said Sample.

He chose the phrase as a play on the racial group “Black Lives Matter” to make a point. And Samples says imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

“If anything, they should be flattered I used the phrase,” said Sample.

“They’re being targeted for their appearance, well so’s my rifle,” he told NECN News.


The Boothbay Region Chamber of Commerce has been getting complaints about the sign. “We have received a few complaints from visitors to the region,” said Director Rick Prose.

Town Manager Thomas Woodin made the incredulous claim that “some of these people have cut their vacation short and left early.”

Unfortunately for the offended sign viewers, the town can’t do anything about the sign because Mr. Sample has First Amendment Rights.

“There isn’t much the town can do about it,” said Woodin.

“People are ignorant. They shouldn’t be putting things out like that,” said tourist Paul Mayor from gun-hating Connecticut. “It’s taking a shot obviously at Black Lives Matter.”

Is it really? Or does Mr. Mayor not like black rifles?

“I think they’re doing the right thing,” said tourist Jeremy Plasse, who opposes a weapons ban. “Massachusetts has a ban right now, and I think they should lift it.”

The good news for those with delicate, precious sensitivities is that Samples regularly changes the sign and he will put a new sign in rotation shortly.