MilSpec Armoury Statement Regarding The Tragedy On “Rust”

Statement from Lance Peters Senior Armourer MIL.SPEC. Armoury & Props Cape Town – Ex British Army and working in the International Film Industry for 27 years

“In response to the sad and shocking news reports of the tragic incident involving a firearm that occurred on the set of Rust involving Alec Baldwin and the death of the DOP Halyna Hutchins and the injuring of the Director Joel Souza – we would like to issue a statement to reassure those in the industry here in South Africa.”

“We extend our condolences to the family of Halyna Hutchins, a tragic loss of life.”

“Firstly, I would like to say that the apparent circumstances (some of which are still to be confirmed), which led to this incident were a progressive breach of the most basic safety protocols. I would like to assure all crew that we would never allow LIVE ammunition to be used on a film set.”

“To be clear; a LIVE round is a cartridge with a bullet head (or such in the case of shotgun rounds), that when fired sends a projectile.
A BLANK round is a cartridge containing gun powder where the front end is either crimped shut, or may have a light-weight sponge wad sealing the gun powder inside (most commonly seen in shotgun blanks).”

“There are of course risks involving the firing of blanks on set, but these risks can be greatly reduced or even eliminated with the correct safety protocols. These protocols are stricter by LAW here in South Africa than in the USA. Here in SA it can only be an Armourer from a registered armoury company that handles and supervises firearms and blanks on a movie set. Armourers on set must maintain strict controls over the firearms when in use and will often be seen as being overly cautious when in fact we have everybody’s safety in mind.”

“Please remember this the next time an armourer asks you not to be in a certain place on set or asks you not to interfere with an actor who is holding a firearm. Basically, no one should handle a firearm on set without express permission from the armourer. I have been running our sets this way for 27 years and we have an excellent safety record because of it.”

“I would hope that this tragic incident, which is extremely rare, will not adversely affect the realistic production value of action movies worldwide. The use of BLANKS in movies is a valuable asset to the energy of an action movie and has been achieved safely for many years with millions and millions of blanks being fired on movie sets without incident.”

“Mil.Spec. is happy to answer any questions relating to concerns you may have regarding Movie or TV productions here in South Africa involving Firearms.”

“You can contact me by email – [email protected]
Wishing us all a safe and great Summer season ahead.”

Lance Peters – CEO Mil.Spec. Armoury & Props

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers. Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry. Catch him on Twitter: twitter.com/andrewgerm_za Instagram: instagram.com/andrewgerm_za IMDb: www.imdb.com/name/nm5390453/