In a previously unforeseen turn of events, the sweeping gun control legislation signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and hailed by Democrat leaders across the nation could prevent the movie and television industry from using lifelike assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in upcoming productions.
According to officials in the entertainment industry, the new laws would force them to manufacture fake weapons that could fire blanks, which is impractical. Ultimately, the Motion Picture Association of America believes it is unfair that their industry should be penalized by a law intended as a response to a mass shooting.
“Weapons are part of our history as a culture as humans,” said Ryder Washburn, a leading supplier of firearms for productions in Manhattan. “To tell stories, you need them.” And with news the state is on track to break its record for the number of television pilots shot in a year, genuine firearms are essential.
Among the restrictions passed in January, were a broad expansion of banned weapons, tighter rules around their ownership and bans on high-capacity magazines. The hastily developed laws present the possibility that fake police officers on television could be treated as real-life criminals.
That being said, the industry wants a special exemption in regards to the use of prop guns and magazines that hold more blanks. But apparently lawmakers aren’t interested in revisiting the controversial vote. Feelings stung by conservative and upstate voters over the gun control law, many legislators oppose immunity for movie productions. “I don’t believe they should be treated any differently,” said Republican State Senator, Dean G. Skelos.
An entertainment industry study found that television and movie production brought in over 46,000 jobs to New York in 2011 – jobs that may be in peril if the new legislation remains intact.