Gunnedah Rural Museum members are pleased that their long fight to keep it's collection of historical firearms 'temporarily inoperable' has been won.
NSW Governor Margaret Beazley today gazetted the Firearms Amendment (Museums Firearms Permit) Regulation 2019 to allow NSW Police Force Commissioner Michael Fuller to make exemptions for museum collections of firearms.
These exemptions will allow historic and unique firearms to stay on display at museums across the state.
"We're thankful for the common sense approach taken by the NSW government," Gunnedah Rural Museum member Trent Donoghue said.
"These changes will ensure the preservation of historic military firearm collections."
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said the decision followed concerns raised by some museums, including the Gunnedah museum.
"This decision demonstrates that the NSW government acknowledges the significant safe storage requirement that historic firearms collections maintain while displaying historic firearms items for public viewing," Mr Elliott said.
"After speaking with a number of museum operators and the police commissioner, I believe we have achieved the right balance while ensuring pistols and prohibited firearms remain subject to regulation."
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson was supportive of the changes.
"This is fantastic news for collections like the one in Gunnedah. I've been working hard with the supporters of the Gunnedah museum to get an outcome [from] the minister that will safeguard the integrity of the display," Mr Anderson said.
"I want to thank the Minister for his efforts and appreciate his attention to this important issue. I am pleased we have been able to get a quick resolution to this important concern."
The museum's members have been fighting for changes to the laws to occur for months. The changes meant historical firearms needed to be rendered 'permanently inoperable', which, to many, would mean "defacing pieces of history".
They had verbal confirmation that the changes would go ahead in July, but were hesitant to talk until written confirmation was provided.
Over the upcoming weeks, the Firearms Registry will write to all holders of museum firearms permits to advise them of the regulatory changes and the process to apply for an exemption.
More information is available through the registry's call centre on 1300 362 562.