Saying “goodbye” to Maine’s weirdest gun store

Gulf of Maine gunsmithing has closed. The shop, whose sign adorned U.S. Route 302 in Raymond (roughly halfway between Portland and the lauded Fryeburg Fair), operated for thirty-two years before shuttering back in May, but it wasn’t until recently that the sign was taken down for good.

In 2019, Mainer described the sign as “Maine’s most hateful roadside attraction.” Here’s an excerpt from their article about it:

Bill chuckled when I followed up by asking about the sign. “I keep each post up for a week, but if I hear it pisses people off, then I keep it up for a month,” he said. I asked why he was using the sign to provoke people instead of attracting customers of all political persuasions. Bill said he does it because it’s his “right” to do so, and if people don’t like it, they can “shove it.”

Darling doesn’t own a computer or a cell phone — “they steal your time and money,” he said. He has no access to the Internet, so he uses the sign the way others use Facebook or Twitter to troll political adversaries.


The sign’s peak probably came when it warned, “BEWARE THE BEAST HILDABEAST CLINTON AND ITS VAGENDA OF MANOCIDE,” which became a popular meme in 2016 during the presidential election because “vagenda of manocide.” It was co-opted by the Clinton campaign as an alternative web address and now, five years later, redirects to a Democratic Party ActBlue donation page.

Anyway, let’s celebrate the sign coming down with a throwback to some of its greatest hits.