ABC Cop Drama 'The Rookie' to Only Use Airsoft Guns on Set After 'Rust' Shooting

After the accidental death Thursday on the set of the film Rust, ABC's police drama The Rookie has announced that no live ammunition will be permitted on set, and the show will only film with airsoft guns going forward.

As reported by Deadline Hollywood, series showrunner, Alexi Hawley, sent a memo to the cast and crew stating that guns with live rounds would be banned on set, and that gunfire effects would be added post-production.

Deadline also stated that the new policy has already been approved by ABC and the show's production company, Entertainment One.

"The tragic events in New Mexico yesterday have shaken us all, and our hearts go out to the friends and family of Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza," Hawley's memo said.

"As of today, it is now policy on The Rookie that all gunfire on set will be Air Soft guns with CG muzzle flashes added in post," Hawley continued. "There will be no more 'live' weapons on the show. The safety of our cast and crew is too important. Any risk is too much risk."

Hawley also urged cast or crew members who felt unsafe to reach out to him and express their concerns.

Starring Nathan Fillion and premiering in 2018, The Rookie follows John Nolan, a 45-year-old man who joins the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and eventually turns into the department's oldest rookie police officer.

As a police drama, the show involves a significant use of firearms and gunfire throughout many episodes. While airsoft guns can still be harmful, the plastic pellets that are used are far less likely to cause permanent injury, and deaths are exceedingly rare.

The Rookie Nathan Fillion
The showrunner of ABC's 'The Rookie' has banned the use of live ammo on set one day after a prop gun caused the death of a crew member on Alec Baldwin's 'Rust.' Here, cast members of 'The Rookie' can be seen during a panel on the show in 2018. Frederick M. Brown/Getty

The new policy was put in place one day after the entertainment industry was rocked by a tragic death on the set of Alec Baldwin's upcoming movie, Rust.

While filming scenes for the movie at a ranch in New Mexico, Baldwin fired a prop gun that killed the film's cinematographer, Hutchins, and injured the director, Souza.

CNN obtained part of a crew member's 911 call after the accident, in which a woman states that the prop gun being used by Baldwin seemingly fired randomly. "I was sitting, we were rehearsing and it went off, and I ran out, we all ran out," the woman says.

Charges were not filed in the case, and the Santa Fe Police Department (SFPD) says that the investigation into the shooting remains ongoing. Baldwin has reportedly been cooperative with officials, and tweeted about the incident on Friday.

"There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours," Baldwin wrote. "My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna."

Concerns had reportedly been raised among the crew regarding safety regulations on the set of Rust, specifically the use of prop weapons. The Los Angeles Times reported that some crew members had even quit the project due to these concerns.

In the wake of the accident, it is unknown whether ABC and other networks will implement similar policies regarding prop guns as The Rookie, or if the decision by Hawley is a one-off.

Newsweek reached out to ABC, but the network declined comment.