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If I use fake guns in a public place am I leagally obligated to inform the local police?

Internet Filmmakers' FAQ

Although in most countries you are unlikely to find a law which requires filmmakers to notify the local police if they are shooting scenes in public which involve fake guns (or other weapons), it is usually a good idea to get them involved. Shooting scenes with any sort of fake weapons needs careful planning and management - the last thing you want is for some old lady to call the police on you because she thinks she sees a bunch of guys with guns running around outside her house. It is very much within the power of most police forces to arrest people who appear to be causing public distress.

It's always better to have the police on-side so keeping them in the loop will help all concerned.

Answer by Benjamin Craig  |  Last updated 06-Sep-2007


Older Comments

Peter Hilger  |  26-Nov-2007
I am a retired police officer now working in the movie business. I have had experience with a small indie company shooting a movie, involving guns. Every one holding a gun was confronted by us, at gun point, put on the ground, handcuffed and searched. Eventually the camera man and director came over (after filming the ordeal) to explain what was going on. One actor was crying and terrified, the other quiet and embarassed because he deficated on himself. If you ever want to shoot any footage involving weapons, ALWAYS TELL THE POLICE. It will save you some agrivation. The police might even watch you as you shoot so you're not bothered with several police responses.
Stefan  |  28-May-2007
Rofl aht a coincidence this actually happened to me and my friends. We were in my friends yard filming the scene and someone across the street thought it was real and sure enough called the police and within 5 minutes we had three sheriffs car's outside of the house.