The legal regulations covering the use of any weapons in a production have been seriously tightened. (The Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006) 


The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have produced an information sheet titled ‘Safe use of Fire-arms in productions’ This covers all aspects of fire-arms use in all productions, amateur and professional. 

You can download the information sheet, Click Below


Here is a very brief extract that is particularly relevant to amateur theatre:


Replica (props) and deactivated weapons

Props and deactivated weapons should not be capable of discharging a projectile but could still inflict bodily harm if used to hit someone. However, the main hazards are theft or loss, public distress, breach of the peace or if the police respond to an apparent emergency. The police must therefore be informed.
The producer must ensure that the security arrangements for storage and transportation are adequate, in other words:
         ■ there is a dedicated and named person responsible for the security of the weapon at all times                  (including the collection, storage, transportation and safe return);

         ■ the named person will accompany the weapon if it is to be moved, for example a courier cannot              collect it on behalf of the production;

         ■ when not in use, the deactivated weapon is locked in a secure case, which is stored in a locked                room with restricted access.


If you want to use any weapon in your production, either just wearing it as part of a costume or actually using it in a fight or act of violence, then both parts of the mandatory ‘USE OF WEAPONS’ form below must be completed.

You have to provide written ‘proof of need’, plus a risk assessment regarding safe practices, storage and supervision.  The definition of a weapon is ANY weapon that looks realistic to an audience, no matter what it is made of.


The Leatherhead Drama Festival will comply with the law in this respect. 


If any group taking part in the Festival tries to use or display any weapons without submitting the ‘USE OF WEAPONS’ form they will be disqualified from the Festival. 


Should you wish to discuss any problems regarding this or any other matter arising from staging your play in the Festival, please contact your Group Co-ordinator.  

Use of Weapons Policy