New York Tough Gun Laws Get Adjusted For Hollywood's Sake
In light of the devastating tragedies of Sandy Hook Elementary and Aurora, Colorado (just to name a few of way too many public shootings), lawmakers, filmmakers and each and every one of us has been forced to consider what is to blame for so many heinous massacres. Some are blaming the lack of gun control in our nation. The NRA says the problem is not enough guns. Mental health has been raised as an issue that must be addressed, while others claim that the problem is violence in cinema.
In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo is addressing the issue with a multipronged attack. The NY state legislature recently passed what's being called "the nation’s toughest gun control measure into law." According to Governor Cuomo's website, the new laws include a Mental Health Alert, stricter restrictions on assault weapons and ammunition, universal background checks, and higher penalties for certain gun-related transgressions. But in their eagerness to enact these new laws, there was something Cuomo and company overlooked, namely how these laws would impact the state's film and television production business.
It seems that some of these new laws could make filming a gun battle in New York illegal. While this might initially seem a sly attempt to lessen the amount of gun violence in television and film, Deadline reports it was actually just an oversight. So, the NY's state legislature is reassessing their laws to create an exemption that will allow for New York City's many cop dramas and action movies to continue to shoot in both senses of the word.
Previously, only fake guns would be allowed in such shootouts. But, fearing he'll lose the filmmaking business NY tax incentives have been set up to attract, this provision is being expanded to allow for the use of real weapons, but no real ammunition. Cuomo has described these changes as “technical corrections.” Politics aside, this is good news, not only for the many men and women who work in crew positions on the plethora of film and television projects that shoot throughout New York state, but also for all the surrounding communities that see an influx in money when film productions require hotel rooms, coffee, catering and so on.
Back to top