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Museum gets rid of vintage weapons to comply with Washington state gun laws

The Lynden Pioneer Museum in Washington state features exhibits on life in Victorian times, the area's natural resources, and the Pacific Theater of World War II. The latter display has gotten the museum in trouble with a new gun law approved by Washington voters in the recent election.

The law requires the recipient of any gun transfer not between family to undergo a background check. While it is unlikely that the museum would actually be prosecuted for retaining the guns, the difficulty of defining what would qualify as a background check on a museum — and the potentially ruinous legal fees if prosecution did occur — led to the decision to pull the weapons display by December 3.

Though there is an exception for antique guns in the new measure, the WWII-era rifles in the museum are too new to qualify. Exempted weapons must have been made before 1898.