The legal regulations covering the use of any weapons in a production require that a club take steps to ensure the safety of everyone.
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has produced an information sheet titled ‘Management of Firearms and Weapons in Film and TV Productions’ This covers all aspects of fire-arms use in both amateur and professional productions.
Here is a very brief extract that is particularly relevant to amateur theatre:
Replica (props) and deactivated weapons
Props and deactivated weapons should not be capable of discharging a projectile but could still inflict bodily harm if used to hit someone. However, the main hazards are theft or loss, public distress, breach of the peace or if the police respond to an apparent emergency. The police must therefore be informed.
The producer must ensure that the security arrangements for storage and transportation are adequate, in other words:
Whether you are just wearing it as part of a costume or using it in a fight or act of violence you must follow current legislation in consultation with the local police.
The definition of a weapon is ANY weapon that looks realistic to an audience, no matter what it is made of.
In addition to the legal requirements, there are a number of mitigations that are considered good practice
LINK TO HEALTH & SAFETY EXECUTIVE BRIEFING https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/etis20.pdf
Code of Practice 06 Weapons in Stage Productions 2019
Published by: The Association of British Theatre Technicians