New exhibition features ‘game changing’ weapon

Former Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer handing over his rifle

THE Enfield 303 rifle of former Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer will be on show at the Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD) as one of the key items in its upcoming exhibition “Democracy: are you in?”

Today, April 12, Mr Fischer formally handed the rifle over to MoAD in King’s Hall at Old Parliament House.

The rifle was one of the first firearms to be handed in for registration under the National Firearms Agreement, which was passed under the Howard Government in May of 1996 following the Port Arthur Massacre.

Reflecting on the handover Fischer said: “It was a good example that even the Deputy Prime Minister of the period had to strictly comply with the historic agreement and relevant legislation.”

There was strong opposition over the reforms from rural electorates and the Deputy Prime Minister soon found himself in a head to head with his own constituency.

“I salute the thousands of law abiding gun owning Australians who fully complied with the gun laws … this was a game changer and meant Australia walked away from drifting down the USA pathway of guns and more guns,” he said.

Director of MoAD Ms Daryl Karp said as a 21st century museum, MoAD is ideally positioned to talk about the relevance of democracy in Australia’s past and future.

“‘Democracy: are you in?’ will feature a selection of objects with significant ties to events in Australia’s democratic history. Visitors will be encouraged to do more than simply reflect on this history … they will be encouraged to identify current issues facing Australia’s democracy and how they can advocate for change,” she said.

The rifle will be one of many items that will be on display at the new “Democracy: are you in? exhibition” set to open on June 26. 

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