Oh my gosh, that is exactly who I thought it was Barney Phillips and now we find out it is not Barney Phillips but a cop who is a lookalike. That is freaky that this cop ends up looking like a character actor at that time. Yes it would be strange to be teaching anything about guns to Audie Murphy. I'm sure it must have been a highlight of that policeman's career or maybe that is just me.......LOL!! Thanks Christie for finding out who he was and I guess who he was not!!
The weird thing was, I wasn't looking for David's pic, I read your post about it, and thought, "yeah, Sharon's probably right, he does have that character actor look...I'm not going to look into it it any further...but I might do a google news search on Murph's name and the Gun-Runners shooting location, just to see if he got up to anything while filming." And then I found David's pic almost immediately. There's a chance that it is
some actor from a deleted scene, and the newspaper just published it out of laziness with the news item about Murph studying gun safety with a local policeman, but if that is in fact the actual cop he sure looks like he ought to be playing cops and blue-collar types in the movies!
As for Murphy and gun safety, I think it's fair to call him an expert on guns, and fair to say that he tended to give other people a hard time when they did unsafe things with guns. But he was not faultless about gun safety himself; I think he had a lot of confidence in his skills and tended to believe that some of the rules didn't apply to him. There's that story about him going out hunting with that jockey who was a friend of his, and Murph shooting some birds way too close to his friend, and when the friend did the same to him, he went and jumped in a dry creek or something. The friend kind of gave him a hard time about his reaction, in a good natured way, and Murphy retorted: "I don't think your aim is as good as mine." Or words to that effect.