Advise on how I can film using a fire arm prop without getting arrested (UK)


New member
Hey, I was hoping maybe some of you on this forum could help me out. So for some of my film course as a student I had to write a couple of scripts and without going into much detail I had to do one involving horror. Well I chose a post apocalyptic environment and so it involves the use of weapons (as I am sure most post apocalyptic films do) and as it was just recently results day I thought about it and decided it might be a good idea to film one of my drafts for the script. Now its a very interesting subject for me when using gun props as one of my hobbies actually includes using 1:1 scale imitation guns in a similar fashion to paintball. Its more complicated than that but I don't want to go into details, and may I add that it requires licences and you need a valid defense to own some of these so its nothing dodgy I 100% legitimately own the Props.

However my real problem comes when I want to try and film. I think more obvious than not my back garden is not a option and I don't know anyone who owns a large quantity of land. With the threat of terrorists all in the news I don't think it would be the best of ideas to walk to my local park with a gun that looks like something out of the latest action movie so I was wondering. Does anyone know how you begin to get permission to shoot footage using gun props legally in the UK? Or am I going to have to adapt my script. I was hopping maybe I could green screen some things in but I feel like it would come out looking super cheesy not to mention this is just a project for fun and completely non professional or non profit with literally 0 budget.

Jared Isham

I actually got in trouble a few times when in school for having prop guns. The one thing I found to be most useful, at least in the U.S.A. is to just call the local authorities and tell them you are shooting a short scene that will have some prop guns. If you are going to be shooting with blanks, tell them you will be shooting with blanks, if there isn't any guy fire, just props then tell them it is just prop guns. They will probably ask you how many guns and people you will have. The wort case scenario is they will tell you that you need to have a film permit, but if you say you are just doing it for fun or it is a school project you might be able to get away with it easily. I know there is a YouTube channel that shoots a lot of gun content in the UK - not sure if they are near you but they might reveal some stuff in BTS content on their channel if they have any.

Transparency will get you much further than trying to be secretive, especially when it comes to weapons and such.