Museum trying to save guns during Australian amnesty program
By Chris Eger
Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum volunteers with Swedish Ljungman rifle brought in as part of the national firearms amnesty. (Photo: Phoebe Moloney/Lithgow Mercury)
While the first nationwide firearms amnesty since 1996 is bringing in thousands of illegal or unregistered guns to police, a firearms museum trying to save what they can.
The Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum opened its doors 20 years ago in the home of the historic Australian firearms works that made Enfield and Steyr rifles for the military. Staffed by volunteers, they are now working during the three-month National Firearms Amnesty to keep some of the more interesting pieces from the scrappers.
“A lot of the firearms being handed in have been passed down through families or just found in a property’s garage,” volunteer Kerry Guerin told the Lithgow Mercury.
Among the historic guns brought to the museum since the turn-in event kicked off last month are a Webley .455 revolver with three notches cut into the grips — reportedly used by a Gurkha unit soldier in World War I, as well as a Slazenger 1B sporting rifle with intricately carved stocks and a 1902 Winchester. Other weapons, saved from likely destruction if turned over to police, include a Swedish AB