Whoever willfully and knowingly uses, or attempts to use, or furnishes to another for use any such false, forged, counterfeited, mutilated, or altered passport or instrument purporting to be a passport, or any passport validly issued which has become void by the occurrence of any condition therein prescribed invalidating the same—

Shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 25 years (if the offense was committed to facilitate an act of international terrorism (as defined in section 2331 of this title)), 20 years (if the offense was committed to facilitate a drug trafficking crime (as defined in section 929(a) of this title)), 10 years (in the case of the first or second such offense, if the offense was not committed to facilitate such an act of international terrorism or a drug trafficking crime), or 15 years (in the case of any other offense), or both.

Taken literally, since fake passports are used as movie props, this means all actors and supporting staff should be imprisoned for not more than 15 years.

In laws like this is there some implied clause that damages must be incurred or is using a fake passport implied to be ok if you say it is a fake passport? Because I dont see that stated literally.

  • 1
    You seem to think that “literal reading” and “legalistic reading” are synonyms - you couldn’t be more wrong. Legalistic reading is inherently practical and pragmatic.
    – Dale M
    May 3 '20 at 2:34

The key word is "uses". What does it mean to use a passport? It means providing it as evidence of identity. No one acting in a movie is attempting to convince anyone else - in real life - of their identity with a simulated passport.

Nor is anyone impersonating a police officer or kidnapping anyone or falsely accusing anyone in the normal process of making a movie.

  • But using it as a prop is using it
    – user31975
    May 3 '20 at 0:44
  • Would applying a match to it it to start a fire being using it? You would be on to something if the law was against possession. May 3 '20 at 1:22
  • 1
    @user31215 They are acting as if they are using it for its indended purpose (identifying themsselfs to an authorized person). May 3 '20 at 2:30
  • 3
    @user31215 using it as a prop is not using it as a passport.
    – Dale M
    May 3 '20 at 2:33

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