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Firearms museum

The entrance of the Cody Firearms Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, features an impressive array of firearms.

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Cody Firearms Museum is bringing international firearms experts and museum professionals to Cody, Wyoming, for a July symposium on "Arsenals of History: Firearms and Museums in the 21st Century."

The symposium opens July 17 in the Center’s Coe Auditorium. Sessions that day are open to the public and free. The July 18 program is only open to and designed specifically for the museum community and requires advanced registration, which is open through Cody Firearms Museum assistant curator Danny Michael.

“Museums with firearm collections face unique challenges and interpretive questions,” said Ashley Hlebinsky, the Robert W. Woodruff Curator of the Cody Firearms Museum. “This symposium brings together authorities in the field to begin creating practical guidelines for museums with firearms.”

Early this year Hlebinsky received the prestigious Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award, awarded annually at the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas. She and Michael organized the symposium. They both serve as presenters along with several additional experts from museums across the country and Britain that maintain firearm collections.

July 17 will feature speakers and session leaders from the following institutions: Cody Firearms Museum, National Rifle Association’s Museums Division, Autry Museum of the American West, Springfield Armory National Historic Site, United States Marshals Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Smithsonian Institution National Firearms Collection, Colonial Williamsburg , Royal Armouries Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A highlight of the July 17 program is the participation of Anne Strainchamps, host of the radio show "To the Best of Our Knowledge," which airs on Wisconsin Public Radio and National Public Radio. She moderates a lunchtime session on remaining neutral with firearms that will be broadcast using Facebook Live!

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On July 18, open only to museum professionals, the cost for the day is $15, and advanced registration is required to attend. Contact Michael at dannym@centerofthewest.org or 307-578-4099 with questions and to register. Sessions take place in the Center’s Coe Auditorium and lunch on July 18 is included.

Discussion topics and session moderators for July 18 include: Firearms Perception with Historic Arms, Richard Moll, Autry Museum of the American West; Education, Public Access, and Answering the Press, Ashley Hlebinsky, Cody Firearms Museum; Shooting the Collection, Jonathan Ferguson, Royal Armouries Museum; Legal Issues for Museums with Firearms, David Kennedy, United States Marshals Museum; Conservation, Storage, and Handling, Beverly Perkins, Center of the West; Online Accessibility of Collections, Danny Michael, Cody Firearms Museum; Forming an Association and Publishing, Ashley Hlebinsky.

For more information on the symposium as well as the detailed program schedule for each day, visit centerofthewest.org/firearms-symposium.

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