Prop Weapons



PROD 390 / 490 /600 /650 AND SCWR 680 PRODUCTIONS 

The use of prop weapons poses significant risk to student filmmakers therefore the policy on the use of prop weapons must be strictly enforced. The penalties for failure to comply with the policy are severe. 

Here is the link to request a security detail. Please complete, with the exception of the budget number section. In this section, put all zeros (i.e. 00-0-00000-00000-0000). You as a student are responsible to pay DPS for the officer’s full amount of time with either check, money order, or cashier’s check. Payment should be made out to LMU.

Before you receive approval to begin production, you must present any prop weapon to the Production Administration office. They need to inspect any and all prop weapons.  

Blanks, squibs and other pyrotechnic devices may never be used. 

Only non-firing (plugged barrel) replica firearms or rubber guns may be used. No prop weapon may be used that is capable of propelling any sort of projectile. This includes blanks, arrows, darts, pellets, bb’s, etc. 

If you obtain the services of a licensed special effects person, you may hire them to discharge air propelled objects (dust pellets, spark hits, etc.) You must request and receive permission from Production Administration of your intention to do so during your approval meeting. 

The prop weapon can be rented either from LMU Prop Shop (free of charge) or an approved rental house. 

Knives and Sharp-Edged Props

Scenes making use of knives, swords, bayonets, etc. are required to use props made of rubber or similar material (normal eating utensils are exempted). They should be kept in a secure place and only taken out for rehearsal and filming. There is rarely, if ever, a need to have a sharp-edged prop in a film. All knives, swords and the like should have blunt edges. Keep in mind that wood, plastic or rubber weapons may be hazardous if used in a stabbing or lunging mode – in these cases, soft-tipped weapons are more appropriate. 

No other real weapon can be used on set, i.e., tasers, nunchuck, police baton etc.  

Filming On-Campus With A Prop Weapon

Fill out the Mazevo On-Campus Filming Request. Bring the weapon(s) to Public Safety for inspection. Depending on the location and activity to be filmed, you may need to hire a Public Safety (DPS) officer.  

(4-hour minimum)

$31.63 for officers (more than 72 hours notice)

$34.83 for supervisors (more than 72 hours notice)

$38.03 for all (less than 72 hours notice)

Note: Cancellations within 24 hours will incur a four-hour charge per officer at the contracted rate.

Filming Off-Campus With A Prop Weapon

Your permit from the appropriate agency must specify the use of a prop firearm or weapon. Check for restrictions from your specific location. The guidelines given here are accurate in Los Angeles County, which has a fair amount of regulative structure in place because so much filming happens here. 

Notifying the Police

Once you have selected your location, you must determine which police station patrols that area (see the Police Station Locations section). One week before production, meet with either the desk sergeant or the Watch Commander of the precinct covering your location and notify them of your plan for filming with any prop weapon(s) including firearms, knives, etc. They will notify their patrols of your planned activities. They may tell you that you will need to hire an off-duty officer on-set with you. Depending on the particular city, an off-duty LAPD officer gets between $60-$70/hour, usually with at least a four-hour minimum. Visit this link below for a list of approved off-duty police officers for productions. Scroll down to see the police contact list. We recommend Walker Location Services or Pacific Production Services inc. (PPS). Be sure to tell them that you are a student, and ask if they have a student rate.  

Production Administration REQUIRES CONFIRMATION YOU HAVE CONTACTED THE POLICE REGARDING YOUR PROP WEAPON ON SET (usually a business card signed by the officer or an email will work to verify). 

You will also be required to have your crew wear LMU Safety Vests during this portion of your production. These will be provided to you. 

Notify the Neighborhood

It is important that you alert any surrounding residents and business owners of your plans. All the precautions that you take are designed to minimize the danger of someone misunderstanding what’s happening.  


Meet with the Head of Physical Production or Associate Head to have your project approved. 

  1. Fill out the Mazevo On-Campus Filming Request (if shooting on LMU Campus).
    • You must bring the prop firearm to Public Safety for examination.
  2. Fill out FilmLA Permit Application (if shooting in Los Angeles).
    1. Anytime you have a PROP weapon on set, it must be noted on your permit request.  There may be an extra level of police or PSafe notification and paid monitoring 
  3. Rent your prop firearm either from LMU’s Prop Shop or outside vendor.
  4. Meet with the law enforcement authority of the area where you will be filming and receive written confirmation of the meeting. 

The following is the proper procedure for use and handling of prop firearms and must be observed at all times: 

  • A member of the crew shall be designated Prop Master or Weapons Handler and have responsibility for transporting, handling, control, distribution and securing all prop firearms. 
  • The use of prop firearms shall be noted on the Call Sheet. 
  • Before use on set, an announcement will be made to cast and crew that a prop weapon is about to be used. 
  • Treat all firearms (including non-firing replicas and/or rubber guns) as though they were loaded. 
  • Never engage in horseplay with prop firearms or weapons. 
  • Unless being used for rehearsal or filming, the prop must safely be secured. Never leave a prop firearm unattended. 

All city, state and federal guidelines are applicable to LMU student use of prop firearms. 

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