Photo via Pixabay

In some places, such as Australia, guns aren’t common. For many, the only place they may see a gun in real life is in a museum.

Now, one museum is faced with the possibility of having to turn their collection of firearms into little more than scrap.

A last haven for guns that would have otherwise been scrapped by authorities, an Australian firearms museum is now confronted with the possibility they may have to mutilate their own collection. The Lithgow Small Arms Factory, which crafted Australian Lee-Enfields from 1912 into the 1950s when they switched to making inch-pattern semi-auto FAL rifles, is an icon in the country.

Now, Lithgow’s collection is the subject of a regulation passed in the Australian state of New South Wales to have museums that store arms make them “permanently inoperable.” Previously, Lithgow and others could just remove the firing pin to deactivate weapons, a temporary move that largely kept the gun intact, just not fireable. What the government wants now is a more drastic method.

“Permanent inoperability involves inserting a steel rod down the barrel of the firearm and welding the muzzle and chamber, welding the barrel to the receiver, removing the firing pin and welding the hole, removing all internal springs, welding internal components and welding the bolt, magazine, external hammer and trigger in a fixed position,” Lithgow said. “By doing this, the firearm will be reduced to a metal blob rather than a genuine firearm.”

Ah, erasing history in the name of public safety.

Australia must be so proud.

I mean, these are Enfields. While I have a fondness for the old rifles–I killed my first deer with a Jungle Carbine–they’re not exactly cutting edge technology. These aren’t the guns criminals are going to be looking for, by and large. If anyone is, it’s collectors, not street thugs. At this point, they should be treated more as works of art than deadly weapons.

Don’t get me wrong, they can still kill, but my point is that these are about as safe as you’re going to get as they are. Criminals would be forced to steal antiques, replace the firing pin, and still not have a weapon that would be desirable by criminals or those interested in hurting others.

Australia doesn’t seem to care, though.

Instead, they prefer to see historical weapons turned into gun-shaped slag rather than run the ridiculously small risk that someone might do something.

Meanwhile, there are an estimated 260,000 illegal firearms in Australia as of 2016, of which none appear to be museum pieces stolen and turned into functioning guns.

Yet this is the world some gun grabbers want for us. They want us to replicate Australia’s draconian and radical gun control scheme, which would then turn even museum pieces into illegal weapons. I don’t know about you, but I’m not about to roll over and let that happen. If for no other reason, my inner historian rebels at such a notion.

I’m just resentful as hell that it’s happening in Australia.