Safety! Locked

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Strangefinder Senior Member • Posts: 1,184
Prop firearms should be incapable of killing

Craig Gillette wrote:

The shooting on the movie set in New Mexico should be a reminder that sometimes the activities we are photographing can be extremely dangerous and we all have a responsibility to ourselves and everyone else involved to always have safety in mind. As it happens, I also drove by the Arroyo Hondo bridges near Gaviota/Santa Barbara, CA, today, where a group of "photographers" were struck by an Amtrak train in 2014.

Being involved with re-enacting and living history and the use of firearms in those activities, I'm not going to conclude much yet from the information that's been presented in the news. I think the terms "prop gun" and "misfire" as I've seen them used lack clarity. I do think it's not just a "single point" failure - that there was more than one "problem" that worked together to have this result.

There’s no reason to use actual firearms when replicas can look identical, and safe practical or computer effects can mimic (or even out-perform) the flash.

At this point, law should mandate the use of prop firearms which are incapable of being loaded with ammunition or causing harm by any projectile means. It would not impede anyone’s expressive rights, nor intersect with gun debates, and there is no technical limitation.

Would there be any objections?

Jon-Erik Hexum was killed whilst filming a 1980s action series. The gun was loaded with blanks, however, the impact at point-blank range to the head was sufficient to kill him anyway. Brandon Lee, too, of course.

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