Chapter 3

  Weapons Policy and Safety

1. The GhostRiders will require and insure that all members abide by all local, state and federal laws or ordinances that concern firearms or weapons.  Members should be supplied with a copy of and be familiar with sections of Title 21 of Oklahoma Statutes, that relate to firearms.

2. The GhostRiders will require and insure that all members are familiar with and operating in accordance with Oklahoma Historical Society Policy and Guidelines for Blackpowder Usage. The OHS Policy shall be considered a minimum standard by the GhostRiders, and further safety standards developed by the Company may apply in areas where it is determined by the membership that OHS Policy is insufficient, vague, or outdated.

3. Only weapons appropriate to the time period being portrayed shall be allowed onto the set or into a camp.

4. Blanks can kill.  The GhostRiders shall treat all firearms with the respect that one would if it were to meet the legal definition of “loaded.”  (Primer, Powder and Projectile.).

5. Projectiles may not be fired, loaded, or made readily accessible to be loaded at any event or gathering of the GhostRiders unless the event is for the specific purpose of doing so, such as a live-fire demonstration.  Under no circumstances will live ammunition be permitted on your person or on location during a living history gathering that is not specifically a live-fire event.  Only previously-approved blank blackpowder ammunition may be used that conforms with OHS and NPS safety guidelines (listed in Appendix).

6. Live firing of a weapon, i.e., discharging a weapon loaded with Live Ammunition, shall be done only in compliance with all local, state and federal regulations, and only at an event that is scheduled specifically for live-firing.  No weapon used for live firing shall be used for any blank firing unless inspected and released by the Armorer.  Live ammunition shall not be used in Motion Picture and Television production under circumstances where a desired special effect can be achieved using conventional special effects techniques.

7. The term “Live Ammunition,” as used herein, does not include those projectiles (regardless of the material or manufacture), which are intended solely for the purpose of creating bullet hit type special effect; such as:    Projectiles fired from Air Rifles, Air Pistols, Air-operated capsule guns, Paintball Guns, Blow Guns, Squib-fired Trunion Guns, Crossbows or Crossbow-type devices, Slingshots, or any other type of special effect device designed to propel any projectile intended to create a bullet hit or recoil type special effect.

8. Wadding is not permitted if it maintains a solid integrity upon exiting the gun barrel. This includes but is not limited to wax, glue, grease, staples or felt.

9. Ramrods will not be used during any combat scenario unless specifically scripted, but are permitted for scheduled firing demonstrations.

10. Consumption of, or being under the influence of Alcoholic Beverages or controlled substances before or during the public hours of a living history function, or while wearing firearms is forbidden.

11. Members must not carry or allow to be carried any firearm into any establishment or serving area that dispenses alcoholic beverages.

12. The company event coordinator should appoint a qualified Armorer prior to any living history function.  The Armorer is responsible for the education and the exact observance of all Safety Requirements of the company, and for the inspection of all weapons on the set or in camp.  The position of the Armorer should be considered a safety ambassador and not a police officer, but that the Armorer has the authority to require that an weapon, procedure or participating individual be brought into compliance with safety requirements or be removed pending compliance. The Armorer is responsible for any test firing of blank ammunition.  It is the responsibility of each member to abide by the Safety Requirements whether or not an Armorer is present.  The Armorer or company event coordinator should contact the Police Dept., Sheriffs Dept., Parks Dept. or any and all municipality that is in jurisdiction where you will be discharging your firearms. The duty officer or officer in charge should be advised as to the details of the Living History function, and asked if there are any restrictive ordinances or permits required.

13. The Armorer shall require any participant to demonstrate prior knowledge, if any, of the safe handling of a firearm.  Conversely, members are expected to consult the Armorer if there are any doubts or questions in the proper handling of weapons.

14. Upon arrival at an event, every individual wearing a firearm must check-in with the Armorer.  All firearms must be empty and remain in holsters at all times except during the performance, practice or preparation.  Firearms as a part of any static display shall be inspected by the Armorer and remain unloaded, and not be used for any other demonstration, scenario or blank firing.

15. All ammunition and gunpowder must be controlled and under the supervision of the Armorer at all times. It should be loaded just prior to performance. Any unused ammunition should be unloaded or safely and courteously discharged after each performance.  Weapons discharging should not take place in a manner that is likely to disrupt or disturb another nearby living history program or livestock unaccustomed to gunfire, and must always be done only after shouting the warning “FIRE IN THE HOLE!”.  Except for firearm loading demonstrations, powder must be stored and handled out of the public view, such as in a tent or covered area protected from sparks from nearby campfires.

16. Dummy bullets must have the powder removed and the primers discharged prior to an event.  No dummy bullets will be loaded into any weapon that will subsequently be used for or may be expected to be loaded with a blank round.  No blank round will be loaded into any weapon whose barrel has not been first inspected for and cleared of debris or other obstructions.

17. Minors (15 years and under) are not permitted to carry or discharge a firearm.

18. A safety perimeter must be defined both in front and behind the sets or performing area. A device (rope, fence etc.) must be in place to separate the show area from the spectators.  When possible, safety officers should be in strategic locations to protect the safety perimeter from being crossed by unaware spectators or small children.

19. Assurances for the care and maintenance of the animals must be demonstrated. The animals must be constrained or under control at all times. Animals must not be allowed to run into the spectators area.  Non-members may be allowed to approach horses only under the supervision of a member, and a sign or other warning should be posted or maintained at picket lines or stockades to remind spectators of the hazards in approaching livestock.  Unless scripted, never ride horses through camp or around tentage.  Spectators may not ride a members horse at an event unless special arrangements are made and any liability or insurance requirements are met.  Members shall have current negative Coggins (Equine Infectious Anemia) certificate for every animal brought to an event or gathering.

20. No member shall allow a non-member to handle any firearm used or expected to be used in any demonstration or combat scenario.  A member may display such a weapon only while holding and maintaining firm control of said weapon.  Members must immediately summon the Armorer or company coordinator before any request by a law enforcement officer or overall event coordinator to consent to search or surrender control of any weapon may be complied with.  The Armorer or company event coordinator has the responsibility to ascertain the competency of the person making the request (to handle the weapon), and should summon additional supervision if there is a legal or safety question. Members should be implicit in explaining that this is for their safety as well as yours.  No member shall express or imply consent to, nor physically resist an illegal seizure of a weapon by a law enforcement officer.

21. No member shall point a firearm in the direction of a spectator or non-member.  No member shall fire directly at an opponent or animal (this includes horse’s legs).

22. No member may lay down a weapon or leave it unattended.

23. Any weapon to be discharged in an enclosed space must be in conjunction with proper safety precautions, including but not limited to hearing and fire protection.

24. Members shall use the lightest load of blank ammunition consistent with the needs of the scenario.

25. Members may carry a firearm onto the property of any public or private school only with the express written permission of the principal officer or school board, and must have on his person a copy of said permission at all times.

26. If a member is injured and requires immediate Emergency Medical attention, he should use the safeword “MEDIC” to signal his situation to other reenactors.  The safeword is never to be used under any other circumstances other than to summon help and to immediately halt a scenario that could further endanger or impede aid to the injured.

Revised 14 August 1998
GhostRiders Stunt Co.


19th Century Small Arms
Max Blank Load
US Rifle, 1841 .54/.58  60 grains ffg
US Rifle Musket 1861-64   .58  60 grains ffg
British Enfield Rifle  .58  60 grains ffg
Rifle Musket, Musketoon   .69  60 grains ffg
US Musket, 1842  .69  75 grains ffg
19th Century Metallic Cartridge
US Springfield Rifle  .50      70 grains ffg 
Sharps Carbine  .50      55 grains ffg
US Springfield Rifle   .45      70 grains ffg
US Springfield Carbine  .45      55 grains ffg
M1873 Colt Revolver   .45      28 grains ffg