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  • Writer's pictureMaddie Cohen

Safety Protocols for Firearms on Movie Sets

Michigan’s film incentive program is bringing an influx of TV and movie productions to our state.


Exciting stuff, right? But where there’s excitement, there must be safety protocols in place. In the wake of the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, which occurred on the set of Rust in 2021, crews need to exercise extreme caution.


This makes promoting gun safety on movie sets an essential priority. Here are some firearm safety protocols to consider for your next production.


  • Provide proper training

Handling a gun is a huge responsibility. This means that anyone who will be so much as holding a firearm on set should undergo extensive training. You want to hire experienced, certified professionals to oversee the safe handling, storage, and use of any guns. These experts should be responsible for educating and supervising both cast and crew members. The idea is for everyone to understand the basic principles of gun safety.


  • Prioritize communication

There’s no such thing as being too careful, especially where weapons are concerned. Plan to establish designated areas for handling weapons on set. In addition, continually verify that guns are unloaded, and be sure to oversee the proper storage and transportation of any firearms. Remember that clear communication is critical. None of these protocols mean anything if your cast and crew aren’t aware of them. Above all else, plan to keep everyone in the loop.


  • Schedule safety briefings

It may sound like overkill, but there’s no such thing as too much gun safety. Your production team needs to make sure that weapons are used responsibly, and safety briefings should play a key role in this. To promote a safe production, plan to hold briefings before every scene involving firearms. Reiterate safety instructions, highlight potential hazards, and remind everyone of their role in the process. Make time to address your team’s questions and concerns too.


  • Use props when possible

It won’t always make sense, but you can often create the illusion of gunfire without using an actual firearm. Non-lethal alternatives to guns like props and replicas are great solutions. With visual effects, sound editing, and clever camera angles, you can make a fake gun seem like a real one. By doing so, you can maintain the integrity of your film or TV production—without the safety risks actual weapons bring. Just handle these prop guns cautiously and make sure everyone feels safe.


  • Promote continuous oversight

By keeping a constant presence of trained weapon safety professionals around, you can make sure everyone feels safe. Security staff, for example, can monitor the set closely, make sure your team is following safety protocols, and double-check on weapons. By overseeing the safe use of guns on set, these personnel will quickly address any safety issues that come up. Our team can work with you to make this a reality the next time you film in Michigan.


Book Your Free Consultation with Umbrella Security Services

Umbrella Security Services works with film crews on a regular basis. We’d love to connect for your next production here in Michigan and make sure your team has the safe and positive experience they deserve.


Please contact us for more information or to schedule your free consultation.

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