In Hong Kong, no genuine firearms are allowed for filming purpose. Modified firearms and blank ammunitions to be used for filming purpose must be licensed or exempted from licence by the Commissioner of Police.
Anyone wishing to use or handle modified firearms and blank ammunitions for location filming shall contact the Police Licensing Office to obtain an Exemption Permit and a Limited Licence for Possession controlling the use and its conveyance, at a prescribed fee, at least ten working days beforehand. A separate approval notice issued by PPRB is required for the use of modified firearms and blank ammunitions for location filming on each occasion. To obtain an approval notice, the applicant shall submit an application in writing by the completion of a prescribed application form* and submit to PPRB three working days prior to the intended filming of every scene with details of the date, time and location, details of modified firearms used and their users and estimated number of shots fired. If the shooting is going to take place inside a private or government property, a copy of the agreement for such use is
Although there is no requirement to obtain any licence for the use of simulated firearms (toy guns) in filming, the films/television/production companies are encouraged to notify the Police (PPRB) in advance for referral to the division concerned for rendering assistance if necessary.
Points to consider when processing applications
Upon receipt of applications, PPRB and the division where the filming will take place will consider the following: -
Use of modified Firearms and blank ammunitions for location filming:
Whether all data required and supporting documents (i.e. Synopsis, script pertaining to the use of modified firearms and blank ammunitions and an exemption permit issued by the Police Licensing Office) reached PPRB at least 3 working days before the intended filming;
Whether the location is suitable for the subject filming;
Whether the proposed filming time will cause inconvenience and possible hazard / nuisance to other road users if filming is conducted in public places, or to nearby residents if filming is conducted in private premises
Whether positive police image is projected in the film.
Whether excessive noise will be caused to nearby residents.
Result of applications
For all successful applications, PPRB will issue a permit / approval notice to the applicant before the intended filming. For refusal cases, the applicant would be verbally informed at once. Written reply will only be provided upon the applicant's request.
Should the applicant be aggrieved by the issuing officer's decision in respect of his / her application, he / she could appeal to the next senior officer in writing one working day before the intended filming.
After reviewing the application taking into account all relevant information, the reviewing officer will verbally inform the applicant(s) of the final decision.