Safety Tips for the Use of an Auxiliary Weapon

Use firearms safety or fictitious weapons wherever possible.

Treat all weapons as if they were loaded and lethal.
The recruiter must protect all firearms unless you are actually performing or practicing.
The recruiter or firearms specialist should carefully instruct you in the safe use of all firearms that may be handled. Be honest if you do not know your firearms. Do not overstate your qualifications.
Follow all instructions from a qualified instructor.

Never play with firearms or other weapons. Never let anyone else handle a firearm
Firearms may be loaded by a gunsmith or an experienced person working under their direct supervision.
Never point a firearm at anyone, including yourself, always aim the shot to the right or left of the target. If you are instructed to aim and fire directly at a live target, contact the propeller master or shipowner for necessary safety precautions.
If you are the target of a shooting, make sure the shooter has followed all safety measures.
If you have to carry explosive blood bags, make sure there is a bulletproof vest or other solid protection between you and the explosive bag.

Wear protective shields on all performers who are in close proximity to the blast.
Provide adequate hearing protection for performers and actors.
Check the firearm each time you pick it up. Before each use, make sure the gun is fired off stage and ask to fire it yourself. Make sure the prop gun host checks the cylinders and barrel to make sure there are no foreign objects or dummy cartridges stuck inside.
Empty cartridges are extremely dangerous. Although they do not fire bullets from the barrel, they still have a powerful explosion that can injure or kill.
Never attempt to adjust, modify or repair a firearm yourself. If a firearm is jammed or defective, only a qualified person can make repairs.

After completing the task, the facility manager must dismantle the firearms. All firearms must be cleaned, inspected and inventoried after each presentation.
Live ammunition may not be brought into the theatre.
If you are in a production where shots must be fired and there is no qualified prop master, go to the nearest telephone and call Actors’ Equity. A union representative will ensure that proper procedures are followed.
State and federal safety laws must be followed at all times.
If any of the above safety tips conflict with the instructions of a qualified instructor, follow the instructions of the qualified instructor. If you are still not sure, contact your department representative.

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