Matthew Vaughn has blamed the "mad, obsessive gun culture" in the US for the death of Halina Hutchins on the set of 'Rust'.
The cinematographer was killed and director Joel Souza injured when they were accidentally shot by Alec Baldwin on the set of the Western last week and the 'Kingsman' filmmaker believes the tragedy was part of a wider problem with America's attitude towards firearms.
He said: "It’s the state of the culture in America. And in America, the mad, obsessive gun culture is extreme. What happened is beyond any comprehension. Over there, they can just take a gun on set — because they believe it’s their right to do so.
"But, sad to say, it will have zero effect on US gun laws. Guns are ingrained...
"They’re gun nuts in America... That’s the mentality. That’s the culture in America. A gun — and showbusiness — killed Halyna Hutchins."
The 50-year-old filmmaker admitted he isn't even allowed to "tough" the various weapons - including a rifle, several handguns and numerous knives - on the set of his latest movie 'Argylle', with UK laws allowing only licensed armourers to carry them on to the set.
He told the Daily Mail newspaper columnist Baz Bamigboye: "I’m not allowed to touch them. The assistant directors don’t go near them, either.
"There’s a strict protocol. [The armourer] will check that the gun’s empty — and show you it’s empty — before they hand it over."
Damien Walters, stunt co-ordinator and second unit director, added: "After you’ve shot it, they come in and take it off you and say, 'Gun clear!'. Nobody else can handle it, except the armourer who hands it to the actor."
Matthew also confirmed: "You have to have an armourer for rubber guns, too."
And the director noted live ammunition is never used on set.
He said: "If someone brought a live round on to the set, they’d be arrested immediately."
He also explained how filmmakers "don't even need to use real guns" these days because the camera doesn't always catch the flash from a fired weapon, and Damian explained how special effects coverage is often just used over the top.
Matthew added: "Did Anthony Hopkins have to kill a few people to get into character to play Lecter? You don’t need to eat someone. It’s called acting."