Firearms Safety & Handling

“If an actor makes a mistake, they get another take.
If a weapons handler makes a mistake, you'll read about it in a thousand newspapers in the morning.”

Safety with firearms or replica firearms in film and theatre productions is not a place for amateurs or shortcuts. But how do you know for certain that the firearms and replicas are being handled safely? When are safety briefings necessary? What qualifies a person to call themselves an "armorer" or "weapons handler"? There is no guessing involved. As an actor, director or producer, one must know the right questions to ask, and know the right answers you should be getting.

Hands-on training from a firearms professionalisms far more than just keeping people safe. Even with the transition to replica firearms, there are critical issues, plus safe and effective training for cast and crew. One can't simply hand off firearms safety to a props assistant because "They're plastic. They can't hurt anyone."

It's not good enough to make sure cast and crew are safe around firearms and replica firearms. They also need to KNOW they are safe.

Hire professionals, not amateurs.

Road of Iniquity
Photo: Kistikan Pictures, "Road of Iniquity"

dave at work1
With 30 years experience teaching military, police and government agencies on how to shoot firearms, and multiple articles published in national and international police magazines, Chief Instructor Dave Brown may be one of very few civilians considered an expert in police weapons training.

Dave helped design the Canadian Firearms Safety Course and Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course, literally “writing the book” on firearms safety in Canada. He has been recognized in courts as an expert witness, invited to address the House of Commons in Ottawa on handgun training for Canada Border Service Agency officers and presented to an audience of judges from across Canada on the science behind modern police firearms training.

As firearms safety coordinator in film and theatre, Dave has been entrusted with the safety of thousands of cast and crew. Known for a relaxed teaching style and a dedication to safety, he has coached some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

Dave has been invited to speak on the topic of firearms safety in film and theatre at webinars, workshops and conferences across Canada and the U.S. He helped design the firearms safety training module for IATSE theatre and film technicians in North America, and has been published in both Canadian Cinematographer and
American Cinematographer magazines.

Read the interview with Dave Brown on L.A. Talk Radio’s program “Film Courage”