Law enforcement use simulated guns but take steps to protect against accidental shooting
ATLANTA - People who handle weapons every day in their professions are paying attention to the accidental fatal shooting that occurred on a Hollywood set.
Actor Alec Balwin shot two crew members -- killing one -- when he thought the prop gun used in the scene contained all blank rounds.
But one bullet was live, carrying enough force to pierce the bodies of two crew members.
At the Atlanta Police Academy, instructors do not use the term prop gun but they deploy simulated weapons for practice in mock drills.
Various companies manufacture ammunition that is not live but give officers the sense of dealing with dangers. One company produces its rounds in the colors of candy.
Supervisors take the extra precaution of altering the weapons to ensure no live rounds can be fired by accident.
But there are times when police fire live rounds in practice. It is once a year when every officer must complete target shooting at the range to demonstrate their firearm skills are still sharp enough to do the job in a real-life situation.
There are strict safeguards during these times, as well.
The officers line up in rows and the direction while holding the gun must always be downrange.
A violation of the rule brings discipline.
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