Firearms

This section details steps you can take to care for firearms in your collection, from accessioning to handling and storing. It also provides links with materials to research firearms, display them with thoughtfulness, and ensure the safety of your staff and guests.

Best Practices

How are firearms safely stored in museums? How should they be displayed and handled? Find the answers to those questions and more in this webinar on firearms in museum collections from Connecting to Collections Care

The Spurlock Museum of World Culture at the University of Illinois explicitly states in its handling policy that any individual handling collections firearms must attend a safety course, and repeat that course every five years. If your institution has firearms in its collections, consider what safety policies you would like to put in place at your organization.

This recent think-piece from HyperAllergic challenges us to think deeply about displaying, storing, and handling guns in museum settings in modern-day America, where gun violence is in the news more frequently than ever. 

This blog post from the Cody Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West also considers ways of representing firearms in a museum setting. 

Speaking of blog posts, do you have questions about firearms in your collections? The Cody Museum’s blog has entries on different aspects of firearms and specific models.  

Did you find live ammunition in your collections? The Museum of Florida History has a webpage detailing steps to take if you find certain kinds of World War II memorabilia, including live ammo, in your collections: 

If you’re looking for help handling firearms in your collection, Tyler Putman put together this video to help: