These guidelines are intended to give recommendations on the safe handling, use, and storage of firearms. Firearms include prop guns, rubber guns, plastic guns, non-guns, flintlock guns, pistols, machine guns, rifles, and shotguns that shoot “Blank Ammunition.”

The Property Master (or, in his/her absence, the weapons handler and/or other appropriate personnel determined by the locality or the needs of the production) will be the individual acting in the interest of the Producer for obtaining, maintaining and handling all firearms for the production. He/she will work in conjunction with the production’s designated Safety Representative to assure that the following standards are adhered to.

Before any use of a firearm in a rehearsal and/or on-camera sequence or off-camera use, all persons involved must be thoroughly briefed at an on-site SAFETY MEETING where the firearms will be used. This meeting shall include an “on-site walk through” and/or “dry-run” with the Property Master (or, in his/her absence, the weapons handler and/or other appropriate personnel determined by the locality or the needs of the production), designated production representative, and anyone that will be using and/or handling a firearm. An understanding of the intended action, possible deviations, plans to abort, emergency procedures, and chain of command should be made clear.

No one shall be issued a firearm until he or she is trained in safe handling, safe use, the safety lock, and proper firing procedures. If there are any questions as to the competency of the person who will use the firearm, the Property Master (or, in his/her absence, the weapons handler and/or other appropriate personnel determined by the locality or the needs of the production) shall determine if additional training is required.

A SAFETY MEETING for the cast and crew shall be conducted. If there are any questions as to the safety of firearms being used in the sequence or if any changes are made from the original sequence, another SAFETY MEETING shall be held.

Additionally, this Bulletin should be attached to the call-sheet each day firearms will be used.

GENERAL SAFE USE AND HANDLING OF FIREARMS:

– Refrain from pointing a firearm at anyone, including yourself. If it is absolutely necessary to do so on camera, consult the Property Master (or, in his/her absence, the weapons handler and/or other appropriate personnel determined by the locality or the needs of the production) or other safety representative, such as the First A.D./Stage Manager. Remember that any object at which you point a firearm could be destroyed.

– NEVER place your finger on the trigger until you’re ready to shoot. Keep your finger alongside the firearm and off the trigger.

– KNOW where and what your intended target is.

– DO NOT engage in horseplay with any firearms.

– NEVER discharge a firearm when the barrel is clogged. The Property Master (or, in his/her absence, the weapons handler and/or other appropriate personnel determined by the locality or the needs of the production) should inspect the firearm and barrel before and after every firing sequence.

– UTILIZE all safety devices until the firearm is ready to be used.

– NEVER lay down a firearm or leave it unattended. Unless actively filming or rehearsing, all firearms should be safely secured.

– ONLY a qualified person shall perform hand loading or altering factory loaded blank ammunition to work on firearms (either licensed or experienced). Check with local, state and federal regulations to see if a specific license is required.

– NO PERSON is to be coaxed, coerced, or otherwise forced into handling a firearm.

– The jamming of firearms or any malfunctions must be reported immediately to the Property Master (or, in his/her absence, the weapons handler and/or other appropriate personnel determined by the locality or the needs of the production). Do not attempt to adjust, modify, repair, or un-jam the firearm. Malfunctioning firearms should be taken out of service until properly repaired by a person qualified to work on firearms.

– Protective shields, eye, and hearing protection or other appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shall be issued and utilized by all personnel in close proximity and/or directly in the line of fire.

– The Studio Safety and Security Departments are to be notified prior to any firearm use on studio property.

– All personnel should remain a set safe distance from the weapon firing area (to be determined by the Property Master (or, in his/her absence, the weapons handler and/or other appropriate personnel determined by the locality or the needs of the production), Stunt Coordinator and/or designated Studio Safety Representative) to ensure personal safety from blank debris and hot ejected blank casings.

– All local, state and federal laws and regulations are applicable and can override these guidelines if they are more stringent.

The Property Master (or, in his/her absence, a weapons handler and/or other appropriate personnel determined by the locality or the needs of the production) is responsible for the following:

– Ensuring the control and distribution of all firearms on the set.

– Ensuring that all firearms which will be used on the production (whether company owned, rented, or privately owned) are given to and are in possession of the Property Master (or, in his/her absence, the weapons handler and/or other appropriate personnel determined by the locality or the needs of the production).

– The designation of experienced persons working under his or her immediate supervision to assist as necessary.

– Their own qualifications for working with the type of firearms being used, the knowledge of their safe handling, use, and safekeeping, and familiarity with the “BLANK AMMUNITION” to be utilized.

– Seeking expert advice if he or she is not familiar with the firearm to be used.

– Ensuring current licenses and permits have been obtained for the possession and use of production firearms.

– The knowledge of the applicable laws governing transportation, storage, and use of firearms and be in compliance with those laws.

– The knowledge of and adherence to all manufacturers’ warnings, expiration dates, storage, and handling procedures for “BLANK AMMUNITION” and firearms.

– Ensuring that a sufficient amount of time has been allotted for training and rehearsal.

– The ability to demonstrate prior knowledge of the safe handling of firearms and “BLANK AMMUNITION.”

– The personal loading of firearms or the personal designation of an experienced person working under his or her immediate supervision to load the firearms. Firearms are to be loaded just before they are used in a scene.

– Ensuring that any actor who is required to stand near the line of fire be allowed to witness the loading of the firearms.

– Using the lightest load of “BLANK AMMUNITION” consistent with the needs of the scene and advising the Director and other involved personnel.

– The notification to all those present including the Sound Mixer, First Assistant Director and/or Stage Manager prior to any firing of “BLANK AMMUNITION.”

– The possession of all firearms except during actual filming or rehearsal. Afterwards, the Property Master (or, in his/her absence, a weapons handler and/or other appropriate personnel determined by the locality or the needs of the production) will immediately unload the “BLANK AMMUNITION” from the firearm.

– Checking all firearms before each use. All firearms must be cleaned, checked and inventoried at the close of each day’s shooting.

– Ensure all firearms have been accounted for before personnel are allowed to leave the area. The Production Company needs to allow time in its shooting schedule for this procedure.

– The utilization of replica or rubber prop guns whenever possible.

Ensuring that an inspection is made of the set (location) and all spent “brass casings” and unspent “blank ammo” have been picked up and disposed of properly.