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Maybe Hollywood Shouldn’t Call Them “Prop Guns” if They Are Real Guns

Hollywood, I’m going to give you some advice instead of going the propaganda route you always try to go. Stop calling them “prop guns” if you’re using real guns. Real guns loaded with blanks are still real guns. You’ll see many leftist media outlets calling for the end of using real guns altogether, but you don’t need to stop. You just need to use them safely which starts with respecting them, and you can respect them by calling them what they are — real guns.

Since I’ve never worked in Hollywood, I never realized “prop guns” included real guns. I’m seeing now that a prop gun can be fake or real guns with blanks. It seems that, usually, real guns with blanks have their barrels stuffed with some kind of wadding. What is the wadding for? Real rounds are capable of firing through almost anything, depending on the gun, so that can’t possibly be the reason.

As a Marine, the first time I trained in movement exercises with an M16, blanks were used. The way an M16 is gas-operated requires a BFA (Blank-firing Adapter or Attachment) on the end of the M16. We didn’t then start calling the M16 a “prop M16” or “prop rifle.”

Look, its’s really very simple. If a gun you are using on set can have live rounds or blanks loaded into it, call it a gun. Leave out the word “prop” in either case. This will go a LONG way in changing the safety habits around firearms on set. Actors and actresses will be more likely to respect the safety process if you call them guns. Using a gun that can’t fire any type of round or blank? That’s a prop gun.

Stop calling guns with live rounds “hot guns” and those with blanks “cold guns.” They’re simply unloaded or loaded… guns. Stop calling them prop guns, hot guns or cold guns.

Treat, Never, Keep, Keep

Here’s a quote from the U.S. Sun that says it all.

Assistant director Dave Halls grabbed the gun from the cart, believing it was unloaded, and brought it inside to Alec, who was filming a scene, the warrant says.

– The U.S. Sun

The fact that this Assistant Director simply “grabbed the gun… believing it was unloaded” really tells you a few things. First, good job on noting it was simply a gun and not a “prop gun.” Second, this tells me you have absolutely no idea on how to safely handle weapons.

Treat, Never, Keep, Keep is a simple way to remember the following rules I’m about to tell you.

  1. Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.
  2. Never point a weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot.
  3. Keep finger straight and off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
  4. Keep weapon on safe until you intend to fire.
prop guns are real guns safety rules

These rules were instilled in me as a Marine and I continue to follow them to this day. That first rule would solve every incident like this that has ever happened in Hollywood. In fact, I’m shocked this hasn’t happened more often if this is the way firearms are handled in Hollywood. Maybe this shows just how wrong you are to speak down to American gun owners.

I completely understand that as you are making movies, some of these rules may be incompatible with a scene you are shooting. That being said, a REAL firearm should never be pointed at a living thing. I know after the Brandon Lee incident that regulations changed over pointing guns at actors. You are no longer allowed to point real guns (“prop guns”) directly at actors and that you must angle it off to the side. Camera angles can make it seem like you still are pointing directly toward the actor.

If you were to follow these 4 basic safety rules and call the “prop guns” what they really are, you’ll make these incidents disappear.

No Firearm is Clear Until You Clear it Yourself

Now that you know you should treat every weapon as if it were loaded, we’ll get into always checking and showing clear weapons. To check and show clear means to check the weapon for any rounds, including blanks, and then show that it is clear to the person you are handing it off to.

On a movie set, it should be the armorer that is always in control of the real weapons. They should be the one where the actor, director, prop master or whoever must get that weapon from. Those weapons shouldn’t really be sitting around unattended. If they need to be sat down, the weapons should be in an ‘open’ position. When I say open, I mean that if it’s a weapon with a slide then lock the slide back without a magazine inserted.

Since the Alec Baldwin situation occurred with a revolver, the revolver’s cylinder should be open and able to be seen. This would at least force the person being told to pick it up for a scene to have to close the cylinder, leading to a more likely check of the cylinder for rounds.

This entire idea of checking and showing clear should happen each and every time a firearm is exchanging hands. In reality, this also means that the person ultimately handling the gun for the scene would be the one loading the weapon.

Further, this should lead to more respect and understanding of firearms in general. In fact, in order to follow these rules and general safety measures probably means you would need to learn about the differences between things like live ammunition and blanks.

On top of this, make sure the barrel and chamber is clear of all obstructions before every shooting. This is especially after knowingly firing the weapon. This would have helped Brandon Lee besides the “shooting off to an angle” technique mentioned earlier.

Finally, Hollywood, shape up. Instead of constantly going after gun owners and trying to fund policies that will hurt gun owners, maybe start respecting them and fixing your own problems with guns because, apparently, they’re a plenty.

Of course, if the rumors of Halyna Hutchins’ husband being connected to the Clintons is true, then maybe this specific incident happens no matter what safety measures you follow…

Thanks for reading. Let us know your thoughts below.

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