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The One Strict Rule Law & Order Actors Must Follow When Filming With Weapons

With over two decades on the air and multiple spin-offs, the most well-known and popular television franchise holds quite the place in the entertainment industry. It is the rare actor that has not appeared in "Law & Order" and the series has capitalized on the talents of Jerry Orbach, Sam Waterston, Christopher Meloni, and Mariska Hargitay, among many others. But more than making the likes of Jack McCoy (Waterston) and Olivia Benson (Hargitay) household names, "Law & Order" is well known for another aspect.

For better or for worse, the influence of the family of shows is indisputable. "Law & Order" is so widespread in pop culture that the series has caught well-deserved political heat time and again. But as heavy-handed the pro-law enforcement narrative is, there is one thing that the show takes seriously. With half of every episode dedicated to bringing down perps, standards on set are of the utmost importance and there is one strict rule regarding weapons that everyone must abide by.

Actors do not point weapons directly at anyone

It is due to the tireless efforts of the on set crew that shows such as "Law & Order: SVU" have enjoyed such longevity. Michael Saccio is one of these crew members who has worked on the same show for almost 20 years. In his capacity as the prop master, he is the one who makes sure the conditions on set are as safe as they can be, and he even helped create a weapons safety class in conjunction with the Local 52 union. Some safety precautions are self-explanatory.

"There must be an armorer present to ensure they're being used safely and properly by actors and stunt performers," Saccio detailed in an essay for Insider. But in addition to general safety measures, the forces behind "Law & Order" don't take any chances when it comes to the handling of guns, as Saccio went on to explain.

"When you see a TV show or film where someone is pointing a gun directly at someone, that's what we like to call movie magic because in reality, the person is either pointing the weapon at a different angle or toward a camera that doesn't have anyone behind it," he concluded. These clever camera tricks are just one way that the film industry has progressed. With the help of technology, shows can go above and beyond with their production value.