A collection of guns once owned by legendary rocker Elvis Presley has sparked a battle between a British museum and the government.

Liverpool, England's FINGERPRINTS OF ELVIS museum - home to the largest collection of Elvis memorabilia outside the United States - wants to display the guns but has to prove it is complying with Britain's tough firearm laws.

However, the country's HOME OFFICE wants to know more about how the guns will be transported from the United States and how they will be safeguarded at the museum.

The six guns include a World War II COLT pistol, one of a set of three owned by Elvis.

The ALL SHOOK UP singer presented one of the other two to US president RICHARD NIXON on a visit to Washington, DC, in 1970.

JERRY GOLDMAN, the museum's director, says, "He was a fanatic for collecting and using guns. We've all heard the stories of Elvis sitting watching television and shooting the screen out if he didn't like the programme.

"But he also used to shoot at his cars if they failed to start and he used to shoot at squirrels from the comfort of his toilet seat at his home in GRACELAND."

Goldman says the American owner of the guns has already agreed to loan them to the Liverpool museum, adding, "They'll be on the plane as soon as we can get permission from the Home Office..."

The government has not indicated how long that will take.

07/10/2003 21:56