Thursday, January 20

Could a fatal shot like Alec Baldwin’s take place in Spain?

Experts like Alfonso Ruiz de Castro They say no, basically because the law does not allow carrying real weapons and ammunition on a shoot. “Here it is prohibited that any weapon that is used may have the ability to propel a projectile,” says the head of the special effects company Soldiers Atrezzo, which has provided this type of material in productions such as ‘The paper house’, ‘The unit’, ‘Red Sky’, ‘Paco’s men’ and ‘While the war lasts’.

Safety distance

At most, it points out that the accident can be caused by a flash at a short distance. “The barrel is clogged, the casing does not have a projectile but it does have a piston that when it burns ignites the gunpowder and that produces a flash.” But to avoid any type of injury, previous tests are carried out. “Normally you take a sheet of paper and you shoot at different distances to see what it produces on the sheet. A flash a foot away from the flesh burns, because what comes out propelled is the incandescent gunpowder,” he warns. That is why the safety distance, “which is strictly followed”. “When an actor has to shoot another, the master gunsmith has to indicate that measure and, above all, where to shoot. The distance depends on the load that is put” into the weapon, he says.

Emilio A. Pina, executive producer of series such as ‘Serve and protect’ and ‘Disappeared’, agrees with De Castro that something like what happened in Baldwin’s film could not occur here, where the regulations on the use of weapons in filming are set out in the Arms Regulations approved in 1993, especially in its Article 153 modified in November 2020. “In Spain we shot with disabled weapons [que fueron reales pero que ahora tienen el cañón obstruido] O detonating weapons [de fogueo], We never use weapons or real ammunition, except to appear … And this, for a year with the new regulations, either, since real weapons right now cannot be used even for that purpose “, he indicates. In ‘Servir and protect ‘, for example, they use mockups [armas simuladas o también llamadas de atrezo] and they only resort to detonators in very specific scenes, where the master gunsmith always has to be present. Digital technology is the one that is in charge after giving the necessary veracity to the sequence.

Permission of the Government Delegation

With ammunition there are also many restrictions. “In Spain and in much of the world it is impossible to have live ammunition in a shoot. As far as I know, there are only three countries that allow it: USA, France and the UK“, explains Pina.” The protocol to bring a weapon to a shoot in Spain is very long, “says De Castro.” We have to send a series of documentation such as the authorization of the armory and weapons and indicate the master gunsmith who He is going to attend and on what dates. “The producer is in charge after transferring all that information to the Civil Guard, although the one who gives the definitive permission is the Government Delegation.

On the day of filming, the weapons are under the responsibility of the Master gunsmith, “He only gives it to the actor when he goes to record the scene, and he always does it by reminding him of the instructions.” “No weapons are left on the set before or after the moment to use them and, of course, they are always supervised by this professional. The actors and members of the team can never manipulate them during breaks or at other times”, underlines Pina, alluding to to the hypotheses that are considered in the case of the Baldwin shoot.

De Castro points to a “cluster of nonsense“in that accident and remember that, in Spain, even” you have to go to a range that has security measures to shoot with a weapon, even if you have a license, “so doing target practice in any forest could be very expensive. “The basic rule when working with weapons is that you have to check their condition and check the ammunition. How could live ammunition appear there? “He wonders, addressing one of the questions that the US police have been investigating since last Friday.

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