In the wake of the tragedy on the set of Rust this past week, in which the director of photography Halyna Hutchins was killed in an accident with a prop gun, we could end up seeing sweeping changes throughout the industry. There have been a number of early calls for productions to look more closely at their safety protocols and standards in an effort to ensure everyone involved with shooting a film is never put in any real-world danger. One of those calls is through a petition on Change.org that has garnered quite a bit of attention. It’s calling for the ban on all real firearms on movie sets.
The firearms petition on Change.org set a goal of reaching 50,000 signatures when it was posted by writer and director Bandar Albuliwi, a colleague and friend of Hutchins. In the petition, Albuliwi not only details how he and Hutchins were alumni from the same film school (American Film Institute) but also why he believes real firearms are no longer needed on sets of films. In addition to asking for signatures on the petition, he also is specifically asking Alec Baldwin to use his industry influence to make this a larger talking point going forward. The petition is currently sitting at a bit more than 45,000 signatures.
Of course, this petition to ban firearms comes after the horrific accident on the set of the Alec Baldwin film last Thursday. It has been reported that a prop gun was accidentally discharged prior to shooting a scene. Allegedly, the single-shot struck director Joel Souza and Halyna Hutchins. Souza was briefly hospitalized for his wounds and then released. Hutchins was airlifted to the hospital but died from her injuries en route.
An investigation is still underway on the set of Rust to determine exactly what happened with the firearm and just how such a horrific accident could occur in a day of protocols and rules surrounding movie productions. Firearms are supposed to go through a system of checks on the sets of movies to ensure there are no active live rounds in them. This latest petition calls for the industry to just move on from real guns altogether, opting for fake firearms instead that look “real” in order to avoid something like this ever happening again.
Unfortunately, this tragedy involving a firearm isn’t the first time something like this has happened. The petition also makes note of the tragedy involving Brandon Lee on the set of The Crow in 1993. The actor was struck and killed by a bullet fired during the shooting of a scene for that movie. That tragedy occurred because the prop gun on set was loaded with improperly made dummy bullets.
The tragedy that occurred on the set of Rust is still a developing story with local authorities currently still investigating the incident. There has been increased speculation about just how something so terrible could have happened. We are sure to get more information in the coming days. In the meantime, this Change.org petition likely reflects the tenor of the discussion about making meaningful changes regarding firearms on the sets of films.