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This Man Feels His ‘Black Rifles Matter’ Sign is OK

A Maine resident is being criticized after posting a “Black Rifles Matter” sign on his property.

Boothbay Harbor resident Linc Sample erected the hand-painted sign that reads, “Black Rifles Matter: Yes, we have ’em. No, you can’t take ’em” in support of Second Amendment rights several weeks ago.

City officials have received complaints about the sign, with many criticizing Sample for disrespecting the Black Lives Matter movement.

Sample, who reportedly is no stranger to posting controversial signs on his lawn, defended the display saying it was about gun rights, not race.

“We have AK-15s, or what the press generally calls assault weapons. Everyone knows I’ve got guns,” Sample told Bangor Daily News. “The sign never had any meaning in it, it was never meant to be a reflection on race or a threat to Black Lives Matter. This is just a tongue-in-cheek way of saying, ‘You’re not taking them.’ It’s a rallying cry for the Second Amendment.”

Rick Prose serves as executive director for the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce. He lives five doors down from the sign, and finds it to be problematic.

“It’s insensitive and it’s certainly not welcoming,” he said. “I think it’s racist.”

Prose produced a handwritten anonymous letter addressed to him and Boothbay’s town manager dated July 25, 2016, from a family who has been vacationing in the area for five years. In the letter, the family said they were leaving early due to the “shocking” sign.

“With regret, we are cutting our vacation short because we do not agree with this brazen signage and feel the security of our family comes first,” the writer stated.

Prose said he’s heard many complaints about the sign, along with Steve Madden, whose store Mung Bean is just blocks away.

“Customers just can’t believe it’s there, and they don’t think it’s appropriate,” Madden said. “It’s very controversial in today’s climate. It’s not an inviting sign.”

But Sample told the publication that people are reading too much into the display. In fact, he says the local paper published a half-page ad a few months ago signed by more than 100 people advocating for a ban on assault weapons. He says in response, he and more than 100 others signed a half-page ad supporting gun rights.

“In the meantime, I put up my sign,” he said. “It really revolves around the term ‘my black rifles,’ which has been around for a couple of decades.” According to Sample, his rifles “matter just as much to me as your antique rifles.”

Boothbay Harbor Town Manager Tom Woodin also said he’s received several complaints about the sign, but that it’s entirely legal.

“If you’re threatened by a 40-square-foot sign that says ‘Black Rifles Matter’ with a silhouette of a rifle, perhaps you better look at [your] own self,” Sample said. “This is the overly sensitive place America has come to.”

Photo: Linc Sample, Facebook