After working for over nine months to get an amendment to the 2017 firearms regulation, Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum's (LSAFM) volunteers are disappointed with the outcome.
The regulation, which was introduced in November 2017, states that all pistols, self-loading long arms, sub-machine guns or machine guns were to be rendered permanently inoperable.
Last week, the NSW government released an amendment to the Firearms Regulation as it relates to museum firearm permits.
The main change was the provision allowing the Police Commissioner in certain circumstances to grant a museum an exemption from having its pistols and prohibited firearms permanently deactivated.
President of the LSAFM, Renzo Benedet, said that the museum volunteers fundamentally disagreed with the direction of the amendment.
The Lithgow volunteers have been arguing for the reinstatement of temporary deactivation, which existed prior to 2017, along with designated security systems being in place.
"In our view, it provides no certainty, it treats museums with tokenism and moreover, does not seize the opportunity to bring positive change to the regulatory environment," he said.
Mr Benedet said there are other worrying aspects of the amendment, including the fact that permanent deactivation remains the underlying rule in the amendment, the Police Commissioner has the absolute power over how a museum operates or doesn't, and there is no detail of the process and onus of proof which museums would be required to show to get the exemption.
"What we now have is an amendment that requires museums to argue their case as to why they should be given an exemption from permanent deactivation at the time of permit renewal for which there is no detail," he said.
Mr Benedet said that having no certainty was a worry.
"A museum could well provide details of onus of proof only to see the Police Commissioner 'revoke the exemption if satisfied the exemption is no longer reasonable in the circumstances' - whatever that means," he said.
"What disappoints us is that the last nine months has been futile and even though we were in a consultative period with the government, we were only given the opportunity to exchange views after the government had already made up its mind".
Mr Benedet said the regulation needed to avoid being open to interpretation.
"We put forward specific requirements around museum definition, security standards and conformance so that the rules were clear," he said.
READ MORE:Facebook have responded to the breech
Mr Benedet said the LSAFM would continue to actively press its claims for reform as it sincerely believed museum accountability was far superior and a better practice than regulatory paperwork.
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Lithgow Mercury. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, sign up here.