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Anti-gun billboard coming down, replaced by dozens elsewhere

March 31, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — A giant anti-gun billboard that’s stood along the Massachusetts Turnpike for 20 years is coming down, but its message is being spread to three dozen new locations.

New highway signs being installed around the state this week will read, “We’re Not Anti-Gun. We’re Pro-Life. Massachusetts Gun Laws Save Lives,” and feature an assault rifle with a white flag in the barrel, said John Rosenthal, founder of the Newton nonprofit Stop Handgun Violence.

“It will be huge coverage,” Rosenthal told The Boston Globe (http://bit.ly/1GIAUM5 ). “Having billboards all over the state that are literally positioned to have maximum exposure from the highways is a huge win.”

Several billboard companies donated the space.

Rosenthal put up the original 252-foot-long billboard in 1995 on the garage he owned near Fenway Park. It was seen by an estimated 150,000 drivers per weekday and has featured several gun control messages over the years.

He sold the garage to the parent company of the Boston Red Sox and under the agreement must remove the billboard.

Rosenthal said he hopes to bring the billboard back when he completes a new development in the Fenway area that will span the highway.

Jim Wallace, executive director of the Gun Owners’ Action League, the state affiliate of the National Rifle Association, said the billboards don’t work.

“The billboards are ineffective,” he said. “I don’t think they have any effect at all, and I don’t think they’ve had any effect on firearm safety in general.”

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Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.bostonglobe.com

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