And then I found this.
It's long, so I'll give the short version.
Maxsell is one of the companies I go to for my prop firearms. It's a small business in Florida run by a older gent named Vico who sounds like he walked off the set of the Sopranos. They sell imported prop guns (usually from Italy and Turkey), blanks, and assorted other stuff. He's pretty much stayed out of the news, outside of being sued hard by Glock a while back.
And now his shipments of stock are being seized by U.S. Customs. It's hard to tell with no opposing statement and Vico's curmudgeonly belligerence, but it looks like there's at least a degree of bureaucratic shenaniganry going on in Miami. Paperwork, fines, fees, incompetence, belligerence, you know, government stuff.
It may be another copyright and trademark suit going on (The only firearm manufacturers I know of that license their frames for blank-fire versions are Colt and Walther. Maxsell sells neither.) It may also be related to good old Chapter 76.
I'm personally inclined to believe it's the latter, if nothing else because Front firing weapons are rapidly disappearing off of various commercial sites, while top and side venting ones are staying in place.
It's really too early for me to even see what's going on, let alone make a judgement call over what should be done. But I will point out a few things.
Despite what if-it-bleeds-it-leads excuses for journalism may make it seem, there's a huge world of law and regulation hovering in the background of anything having to do with a firearm in the U.S., real or simulated. It doesn't take public outcry to change the world of guns, it takes lawyers and money.
There are indie directors and performers around the country now who have no idea of the bigger picture, in which the manner in which they fire off blanks before audience or camera is too small to even be noticed. Hell, if the state of New York can pass sweeping firearms legislation while giving no creed to their own entertainment industry (New York! For fuck's sake, New York of all places!), it's entirely possible for a small potatoes prop gun business in Florida to be paperworked off the face of the earth with scarcely a byline to note its passing.
I get hired a good bit because film culture only talks to gun culture through those who can translate between them. I'm fortunate enough to have the skills and tools to do so, and tell awesome stories and keep my people safe at the same time.
I filmed Just Blanks using weapons bought from Maxsell.
You've sold me worthy tools in the past, Vico. Here's hoping you're around long enough to sell more.