Replica Guns are far safer on film sets than real firearms. Sabre is also a Film Armourer on the Gold Coast Australia.
The recent shooting tragedy on the set of the US film production ‘Rust’ has thrown a spotlight onto firearm safety in the film and television industry for film makers and film armourers.
Sabre is also a Film Armourer, and operates 'Safe Hands Armourers' providing non-lethal movie guns to the film and TV industry.
Sabre has been involved as an Armourer with everything from student films to feature films with Hollywood 'A List' casts since 1988. We hold a QLD Weapons Act Theatrical Ordnance Suppliers License. By law in QLD this license must be held to be a Film Armourer and to take any weapon or replica of a weapon onto a film, stage or TV set. This law includes weapons, replica weapons, de-activated weapons and gel blasters.
Recent tragedies overseas and here in Australia are changing the way that film-makers think about guns on their sets.
Amongst the first pledging never to use real firearms on set ever again, only replicas, is Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and his own production company ‘Seven Bucks’. A recent article in Forbes is indicative of the high-level movement to make this industry practice.
His decision will likely “kick-off a domino effect of safe decision-making across Hollywood productions,” according to Variety.
Many leading Actors, Cinematographers and Directors are adding their weight to the movement with numerous petitions in motion, and legislation is also on the cards to limit if not ban the use of live firearms onset. Similar moves are afoot on major TV and streaming productions.
For years we have advocated for the use of high-quality non-firing replica guns wherever possible in film, TV and stage productions. With quality post-production effects this is now a viable alternative to the real weapons and the risks that they entail. This is what the above-mentioned players plan to do moving forward.
As anyone with military training will be well aware, blanks are dangerous. Risks from real guns on set can include injury from unburned propellents, proximity to muzzle blast or ejection ports, hearing damage, components of internal blank fire devices coming loose from corrosion and acting as projectiles, and in extreme cases, death from incorrect usage / loading / aiming of blanks or from actual live ammunition turning up on set. Whilst highly professional armourers work to remove these risks, nonetheless there have recently been too many tragic instances where it has not been the case.
Sabre maintains our own Theatrical Ordnance Supplier’s License for the use of both real and replica weapons in film, TV and stage productions. The replicas that we use are screen and museum quality, so have great screen accuracy when properly prepared, but are very safe to use onset. We also have some great models that have realistic working actions onscreen powered by C02 gas.
Irrespective of how things turn out with regards to practices and legislation, let's hope that there is never another onset tragedy like the one that sadly took a life recently in the US.
Australia has very high standards of firearms safety on film sets, and many wonderful armourers, but will inevitably be impacted by these moves as well. We stand ready to provide safe and highly effective replica guns to our friends and connections in the film and TV industries.
We enjoy being a Film Armourer on the Gold Coast in sunny Queensland Australia.