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Old 10-26-2021, 04:03 AM
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MoviePropMaster2008 MoviePropMaster2008 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: California
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Originally Posted by MT2008 View Post
With that being said, you do acknowledge that a licensed handler was not ALWAYS required on set until recently in California?
September 2010 , CA changed the requirement for all firearms to be received by an actual FFL to the creation of the Entertainment FIrearms Permit (EFP) to take the place of the FFL, because the ATF was complaining that CA had all these propmasters applying for FFLs who had no intention of selling anything. Also there is no requirement for ANY licensed person or FFL if the firearm was personally owned. As long as the legal owner was present, there was no transfer involved. The days of people just walking in a getting live firearms has been long over. But no UNLICENSED person can have a firearm shipped to them if the armorer is not bringing their own inventory. Say if a movie was filming and needed weapons from ISS, they still had to ship to an FFL and then given to the production and then returned to the FFL to ship back to ISS when they were done (the EFP did away with this in 2010). Prior to 2014 you could handle all long guns (rifles and shotguns) that weren't banned by the state, you just couldn't transfer handguns to the set without someone being licensed. After 2014, good Old California made ALL transfers require a license (ffl or EFP), the only exception being pre 1898 weapons (and any cartridge revolver was still restricted, regardless of whether it was pre 1898 or not). Technically you still needed a licensed person, but you're correct in that for un'restricted' weapons, that person does NOT have to be on set 24/7 when the guns are there. But you can't get the guns to set unless you're licensed, if that makes sense (I hope I didn't write it in a confusing manner).

Originally Posted by MT2008 View Post
That is something I have been told many times by the armorers that I know - when I've discussed shows with them, plenty of them have told me that they only handled the NFA weapons on-set and that the propmaster's team handled all other (non-NFA) firearms.
Just curious were those California Armorers? In CA, if the Propmaster's team handled Title 1 firearms, the Propmaster's team MAY HAVE already had "permitted or FFL" folks in their ranks. Most high end armorers are usually only pulled out to set for the NFA guns, but there are many ways for the NON NFA folks to still get the weapons, but it's not like the 1980s when any random person can just check out a live firearm. And if you have a CA defined 'assault weapon' forget it. You needed an AW permit to rent out ANY CA classified weapons from ISS or Cinema Weaponry, etc. And those are just plain jane semi auto guns with evil scary features.

Originally Posted by MT2008 View Post
It has been widely reported that the incident on "The Crow" happened, in part, because the production decided to send the armorer home, since the scene involving Brandon Lee's death didn't require any NFA weapons and they were trying to save money by not having to pay somebody whose presence wasn't required on-set. So they left one of the assistant propmasters in charge of the guns (all pistols and revolvers) that were being used, and the particular propmaster who handled the .44 Magnum revolver used to kill Lee was not experienced enough to know what he was doing. While "The Crow" was shot in my home state of North Carolina (as you mention), I've heard similar stories about propmasters handling the non-NFA firearms from other armorers who are working (or worked) in California.
Not true. The armorer would have been in charge of ALL weapons, if they were following the established SAFETY rules, particular those of the unions. They sent the armorer home at midnight because the guns were 'wrapped' for that shooting day. Apparently some NON ARMORER was fucking around with the .44 special (Charter Arms bulldog) locked up in the props trailer. They loaded up dummy rounds (which they initially did not have, so they went to a gun store, bought real ammo, popped the bullet off with a bullet hammer, and dumped out the powder, but sadly, kept the primer intact and reloaded the round. Some idiot dry fired the dummy round and the active primer popped and lodged the bullet an inch into the barrel. It wasn't an armorer who did that because when they dumped the cartridges they didn't notice that one of the bullets was missing. This would have been the FIRST THING I would have noticed and I would have been pissed at anyone dry firing the dummy rounds since it would indent the primers and thus make them unsuitable for a closeup shot. So the gun was put BACK into the prop trailer.

Then at 4:30 am they had extra time and decided, "Hey let's film the scene where Funboy shoots Eric" So an untrained prop handler grabbed the gun, did not check the barrel for obstructions and loaded full power hot blanks into it. The rest is history, but all footage of that scene and any image of the .44 special Charter Arms Bulldog were edited out of the movie.

If you're talking to California Armorers about NON armorer propmaster handling live firearms, are they handling things like bolt action rifles, black powder weapons, etc. because there are TONS of weapons (Assault weapons, handguns, etc) that are not NFA federally but are still strictly controlled by California law. I would also be interested to inquire as to how long ago where their recollections of this happening? For example, the props dept took care of all the weapons that ISS shipped to the set of Hemingway & Gelhorn (2012) but they were ALL inoperable (over 300 weapons). All the propmasters on that set were licensed by ISS directly and were on their permits.

Originally Posted by MT2008 View Post

Out of curiosity, are most revolvers nowadays being plugged? I know that revolvers don't need a BFA to cycle, the way that semi-autos do, but not sure what safety measures are taken even with those guns. I do find it interesting that all of the deaths that have occurred in Hollywood with prop weapons happened with revolvers.
No, the only plugged revolvers are those that are dewatted so that we can hand them off with no paperwork to anyone or they're the blocked barrel blank fire only fakes that you can buy online. We would never 'destroy' a real revolver by blocking the barrel. It can fire blanks and doesn't need to be converted back to fire live (when it is sold .... well except to those folks at the London Propstore, where they have to literally destroyed the weapon in order to make it legal, but you can't argue with all those rich Brits willing to spend their cash on screen used weapons that are ruined by being rendered permanently inoperable. ) The reason why all gun accidents ARE revolvers are because all semi and full auto firearms required a barrel restrictor device (BFA) in order to cycle. Lever or bolt actions rifles or lever/bolt/pump action shotguns are similarly UNMODIFIED. I think it's always revolvers because it's easier for crew and actors to fuck up with a handgun than a long gun. I'v screamed at more cast and crew than I can count when I catch them horseplaying with firearms. Ugh.

Hope this answers some questions
The trouble is, one requires a specific thing to understand Liam, that thing being "serious head injuries." (Evil Tim 09-09-2011)

Last edited by MoviePropMaster2008; 10-26-2021 at 04:25 AM.
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