In view of the recent tragic loss of a young female cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on a film set , I have never liked guns even though I carried a Smith & Wesson 38 for five years as a young police officer.
My first time on a movie set I was cast as a Mafiosa type and at the end of the film I was "shot in the chest", while shooting at another person. We had an armory expert on set ( he happened to be an ex cop and with years of experience on film sets). There were strict protocols with him checking and double checking and handing each person the firearm and us checking the barrell to confirm it was empty and then returning immediately to him at end of each scene. I was "shot in the chest" which was a remote control triggered small explosion squib that spurt blood out. Incidentally I had a tiny burn from a small shrapnel piece from the explosion, which I thought was dangerous in itself.
I am about to embark on directing my first feature that I wrote that does involve guns and shooting and I will be using fake guns. Or a completely disabled real gun where the chamber is disabled by filling the hole.
Being an ex cop and now an actress of several years I believe real fireable guns should not ever be on a film set. As actors our job is to "create reality in imaginary circumstances". An actor should be able to endow a prop gun as if it's real. Guns need to be treated with respect and the understanding of the power that they can administer in human hands.
Hopefully this tragic loss of a talented young female Cinematographer will pave the way for positive change in the entertainment industry.
Author of Sex, Love & Cops available at Amazon and various outlets