John Fox - Motion Picture Armourer and Weapons Specialist for the Film and Television Industry


Enjoy the images covering 25 years of film and television history.

  The role of the Motion Picture Armourer explained here.

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Answer to Question 7.
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7. We don't have the budget for a Professional Armourer but a friend has a gun we can use and he has a gun licence.
Will it be OK to use his gun or use him as our armourer?

A. The simple answer is No,

Firearm Licences are specific to the person named on the license and are issued for a specific purpose - No other type of firearm licence holder can hand a firearm ( loaded or otherwise ) ( working or not working ) to an unlicensed person and as most actors would not be licensed for that type of firearm, an additional offence would be committed (and as it would be recorded on film, would be evidence for a prosecution). Only a Licensed Film Armourer can hand a firearm to an unlicensed person

The development of the Film Industry Armourer licence system worldwide was to eliminate firearms accidents on film sets and provide an exemption for actors so that they could use any type of firearm in the course of the film production without contravening any firearms laws. 

Refer to:-

Film and Television Safety Guidance Notes
Firearms Act (VIC)
Firearms Act (NSW)
Firearms Act (QLD)
Firearms Act (SA)

Toy Pistols, Imitation Pistols,Water Pistols painted black,
The use of SWAT Team outfits or Para-Military Outfits are also of concern to the police when they are used in public places or used in such a way that the public might mistake you for a "Bad Guy".

If you intend to use such items in your film it is most important that you contact a Licensed Armourer and the Police Film Office in advance of your production so that they can advise you of what is required and the police can advise their other various departments about your filming locations and thus avoiding any unnecessary Police call outs.

The Police have been known to charge film makers for the cost of these call out's, when film makers have not informed Police of their use of Firearms or Explosions in public places.

Police have also charged Un-Licensed persons working as Armourers on film sets as well as the film's producers and have shut down the film production.

The Victoria Police are Very Supportive of Film Makers and the Police Film Office should be considered to be part of the production's behind the scenes team..

The Police provide a service to help you achieve these Action and Special Effects shots.

They will Not Hinder you, but you must advise them of your intended filming.


Media & Corporate Communications Division

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