Veteran Owned Firearms Company Explains How to Avoid Rust Film’s Gun Disaster

Ryan McDonald the founder and CEO of Iron Horse Firearms shares his views on gun safety on film sets.

What happened on the set of Rust is first class hall of fame negligence. As we say in the Marines, when doing any kind of work with weapons, everyone involved is a safety officer, anyone at any time can call a cease fire. The reasons for this are simple, people are not replaceable, everything else can shift. When safety isn’t the first priority for everyone involved in using weapons, weapons handling should stop until training can correct that gap.

Had proper safety procedures actually been in place, the odds of this happening are almost zero. At a high level there are some core essential. There are nato recognized international hand and arms signs for indicating a cease fire. This information and all the weapons safety rules should be presented by an assigned range safety officer prior to a range or set going hot with a weapon. This includes dry fire training. The range safety officer is an important position. It doesn’t have to be the same person every time, but anyone who’s filling that position should be properly trained to do so. The safety officer is dedicated to nothing but monitoring safety. This person doesn’t do anything else, they don’t film, they don’t work on the range or participate in training/work, they only monitor for unsafe behavior and stop it immediately. They are the designated driver of activity that involves weapons.

Lastly, if the range safety officer does their job, the weapons safety rules should be understood and observed by everyone. How could they not be if you go over them in a group huddle before any activity that involves weapons? Every single time. Safety is a mindset. The four rules are as follows.

1. Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.

2. Never point a weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot.

3. Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you’re ready to fire.

4. Keep the weapon on “safe” until you intend to fire.

With remote filming options, I see zero reason why a functioning firearm or “prop” that has the capacity to act as one should ever violate these rules. If we treat every weapon as if it is loaded to harm someone, there is no reason to point a gun at a living person on a movie set. The same logic follows with movie sets and the other rules as well. Simply put, there was no reason that anyone should have been in the line of fire. Everyone involved should have been following these rules, especially on a movie set, so everyone is accountable.

Iron Horse Firearms is a veteran owned and operated business named after the Iron Horse Marines of 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. Founded and proudly residing in the Beehive State, Iron Horse was born from Charlie Company Camp Williams Utah, where many of the officers and members of the Iron Horse board served together in the battalion the company is named after.

With a 90% veteran staff, including active members of the National Guard and Marine Corps reservists, Iron Horse continues to focus on hiring and training Americas current and prior service members. Our mission is broken into 3 main focuses:

1. Be a reliable, long-term partner to our customers, and partners recognized for the quality, innovation and value of our American made products and the reliability of our commitments.
2. Creating a company culture that promotes self development, discipline, work satisfaction, and flexible career paths focused on growth.
3. Be a successful operation for our investors by being dedicated to our fiduciary responsibilities, and delivering a fair return on their investments.

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Contact: Scott Kelly

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