The director of a small-town museum in Washington state was about to remove almost a dozen guns from a World War II exhibit due to the state’s strict new gun laws, until a firearms dealer stepped in to help make sure the exhibit was legal.
According to FoxNews.com, Troy Luginbill runs the Lynden Pioneer Museum in Lynden, a small town of 12,000 five miles from the Canadian border. Luginbill was looking over Initiative 594, a new gun control measure passed during this year’s midterm elections, and realized that an exhibit called “Over the Beach: The WWII Pacific Theater” might be in violation of the law. There are 11 vintage WWII guns in the exhibit which are on loan from numerous collectors.
“The museum will be returning these guns to their owners, because as of Dec. 4, we would be in violation of the law if we had loaned firearms that had not undergone the background check procedure,” a posting on the museum’s Facebook page stated. “Nor would we be able to return those firearms unless the owners completed the background check procedure.”
As FoxNews.com points out, the law requires background checks for all gun sales and transfers, which the firearms in the exhibit qualified under since they are on loan.
“We fall into this gray area,” Luginbill told FoxNews.com. “We are playing it better safe than sorry.”
I-594 makes an exception for antique guns, but those firearms are required to predate 1898. The law isn’t retroactive so no background checks are immediately required, but Luginbill said that it would be expensive to perform background checks in order to return weapons to owners when the exhibit ends in May.
That’s when a gun store owner came forward to help out.
“It’s a financial hardship for them to pay for the fees to register the guns,” Melissa Denny, owner of Pistol Annie’s Jewelry and Pawn in Bonney Lake, told FoxNews.com. “So we decided to step up and help. It’s normally a $40 fee for each weapon. We just waived it for them.
“I like to champion for the underdog because we are one of them,” added Denny.
Luginbill told FoxNews.com he was erring on the side of caution when it comes to the new law.
“The fact of the matter is that we do not have a lot of money,” he said. “We would not be able to afford to defend ourselves in court.
“Our first and foremost duty is to preserve history,” he added.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com
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