Gunnedah Rural Museum is fighting against new laws brought in by the NSW government to make historical firearms "permanently inoperable".
Volunteers at the museum will be raising the issue at the next Gunnedah Shire Council meeting in the hopes of gaining council support, and have also gathered 6000 signatures on a petition to change the laws back to the "temporarily inoperable" rules.
Under the new laws, the museum has had to take about 40 unique firearms off its display, which has caused "a significant drop in visitor numbers".
Gunnedah Rural Museum volunteer Trent Donoghue said if the museum was to make its collection of over 260 firearms "permanently inoperable", it would cost between $10,000 to $15,000.
"The money just isn't there to do that, and there's no compensation involved from the government," Mr Donoghue said.
Mr Donoghue said all of the museum's firearms were "temporarily inoperable", meaning the main components to make them work were stored in a different location away from the firearms themselves.
"The temporary inoperable laws have been in place for the last 19 years and that hasn't been an issue; there hasn't been any incidents," he said.
"All of our firearms are temporarily deactivated and there's no ammo stored with the firearms."
The volunteer said that while the firearms would still look "externally similar" when rendered permanently inoperable, it would mean "defacing artefacts and defacing pieces of history".
"Permanent deactivation should be considered an act of vandalism as these historical artefacts were used in shaping and defending this great nation in both world wars," Mr Donoghue said.
"We hold some of the most fascinating historical pieces from WWI and WWII, [and] display some historically significant items from the Gunnedah RSL club and many firearms that have been used over the last century in our local area which have been generously donated by local families.
"Some of the items we have had to remove are very rare and only on display in the Australian War Memorial, and other items are not known to be on display anywhere else in the country."
"We're seeking the protection of these historical artefacts and the legacy they stand for."Gunnedah Rural Museum's Trent Donoghue
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party member Jeff Bacon said he was backing the museum's call to change the laws.
"Museums are a glimpse into our past and items from our past should never be erased," Mr Bacon said.
"It's ridiculous that the government would conceive that antiques could somehow be stolen and turned back into working firearms, and there's no precedent; it's never happened."
Mr Donoghue said if the laws did not change, the museum would be forced to sell the collection to other museums or private collectors interstate.
"If we can't get the laws to change I can't see any other option at this stage," the volunteer said.
"We're not seeking the NSW government to water down gun laws across the board but we're seeking the protection of these historical artefacts and the legacy they stand for."