The AEAA was founded by a group of companies that share the common goal of being able to compete in business with our foreign counterparts. U.S. companies find it nearly impossible to compete on a global scale in the area of theatrical weapons. The United States federal government, and the various state and local governments have made it exceedingly difficult to acquire sufficient inventories for theatrical use. This prohibits many U.S. theatrical armorers from being able to supply weapons for a modern war picture or television series.
The film and television industry employs 2.1 million people and is responsible for $137 billion in total wages to American workers. The film and television industry is a vital part of the nation’s overall economy. Our country cannot afford to lose one job, let alone an entire industry to foreign competition. If we cannot compete with our foreign counterparts, we will lose jobs.
Foreign competitors are licensed in nations that generally have strict gun control laws, yet those same nations provide their theatrical armorers with special exemptions that give them wide latitude to properly assemble equipment and firearms needed for film productions. These nations have provisions for, and an understanding of, the difference in gun control and making movies. The laws of foreign nations frequently enable their local companies to acquire and supply weapons at market price. This is at a level that is often one twentieth of the cost of what U.S. companies must pay for the weapons, assuming sufficient weapons can even be located, due to serious impediments in U.S. laws.
The AEAA represents the vast majority of theatrical armorers that still exist in the United States. We have hired Washington, D.C. counsel to lobby on our behalf. Through our counsel, we will work hard to enact changes in legislation to improve our ability to compete globally. We are also working with the MPAA, AMPTP, ATF, DOJ and local authorities to keep the use of weapons in films safe and legal. To succeed in our goals we will need the help of organized labor, state and local governments, and other companies and industry professionals to make these changes become a reality. We urge others to join us in the fight to keep the United States a competitive and viable location for theatrical productions.
- Gregg Bilson Jr.
President of AEAA