Prop Firearm Movie Set Alec Baldwin
(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
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By Lee Williams

Richard Collins owns more than 1,000 machine guns and 4,000 other firearms. He stores his massive collection in two safes. Each is 1,000 square feet – the doors weigh 5,000 pounds.

Collins is president of Movie Armaments Group. Founded 40 years ago, MAG supplies guns, tactical gear, uniforms, military equipment and lashings of expertise to the film industry. All of his armorers are veterans of elite police and/or military units.

Some of the films he’s worked on include: “Suicide Squad,” “Total Recall,” “Robocop,” and “xXx,” with Vin Diesel.

Collins’ team does much more than supply guns.

“If a stunt guy knocks a gun out of someone’s hand, we made the gun out of latex. It has the consistency of a soft rubber sponge, not hard rubber,” he said Tuesday. “We build soft-rubber fire extinguishers, pipes if someone is going to be hit with a pipe. We have five full time artists and 3D printers. We make molds and build stuff, too.”

His business is booming, especially after Netflix and Amazon began producing their own movies.

“We’re based in Toronto, which they call ‘Hollywood North.’ We have major studios here and the Canadian dollar is cheaper – 25% cheaper than Hollywood. You’ll get a bigger bang for your buck,” he said. “Hollywood directors and producers come up here and are shocked at how much depth of film production talent is here. We can do everything Hollywood can do, except for less money.”

Few people know more about gun safety protocols on a movie set than Collins, who’s been in the film industry for more than 40 years. An experienced armorer himself, Collins was troubled by the news stories he read about the recent shooting death on the set of Alec Baldwin’s low-budget film, “Rust,” which left cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead and director Joel Souza wounded.

“The information I’m getting is third-hand, mostly stories I’ve read in the press,” he said. “They don’t seem to understand what they’re reporting and they’re screwing it up. You have to be wary about whether what they’re saying actually happened.”

Collins reached out to the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project to set the record straight.

“Everything that was done there is against protocols,” Collins said. “There is no law that governs what armorers do on set, but there are safety protocols set by the film union.”

Anyone working with firearms on set is required to read the safety rules, Collins explained, and the producers and directors have to be aware of the rules.

“The number one rule is no live ammunition can come to the set – period,” he said. “The second rule is that firearms used for live fire are never brought to the set. We have firearms dedicated to blank fire.”

Ultimately, the armorer is responsible for safety when firearms are used, which on the “Rust” set was the responsibility of 24-year-old Hannah Gutierrez Reed.

“In this case the armorer was a young girl and she didn’t know how to put her foot down,” Collins said. “No one should touch guns but the armorer.”

Armorers are required to keep all firearms in their “custody and control” at all times. Crew members or others not working with the guns are not allowed to touch them. If the armorer needs to go to the bathroom or take a break, they’re supposed to contact another armorer to relieve them. In this case, Collins said, since it was a low-budget film, Reed was the only armorer on set, so she should have asked someone from the props department to look after the guns so no one handled them if she needed a break.

Alec Baldwin’s fatal shooting occurred during a “cold gun” scene involving a real firearm, which has its own safety protocols.

Reed should have cleared the revolver herself to ensure it was not loaded. Then, she should have cleared or “proofed” the weapon for the assistant director. Then, she should have proofed the weapon for the “talent,” in this case Baldwin. After acknowledging the gun was clear, only then should Baldwin have accepted the gun from her.

“None of that was done with Baldwin,” Collins said. “He’s been on gun movies before. He knows the procedures. You don’t accept the gun from the assistant director, which was done here. You accept the gun only from the armorer.”

Clearing a single-action revolver like the one Baldwin used is a tedious process.

“You open the gate. The gun is on half-cock. You check each chamber – you check seven chambers to make sure you didn’t miss one. Then, you bring back the hammer and drop the hammer seven times, and then you do the same for the actor before you hand it to them,” Collins said.

“The talent has got to see that. They’ve got to know you’re safe. Lots of talent are afraid of firearms. You have to hold their hand a bit and keep them safe. You have to overdo it. When an armorer does everything they’re supposed to, the gun’s empty. Everyone’s checked it. We all know it’s safe. There’s no problem. We can relax. Everyone’s always in a hurry on set. They’re always behind schedule. They will try to rush you. You can’t allow that.”

During the “Rust” production, the armorer, Reed, was reportedly not allowed on set because of COVID-19 regulations.

“That’s bullshit if that’s true,” Collins said. “She screwed up and didn’t hand the gun to the talent because she wasn’t allowed to be there. There’s a cardinal rule: The armorer is responsible to clear the gun, clear it again, go to the talent and clear it again. That rule is never broken.”

Collins learned that someone may have used the revolver for after-hours plinking off set, which is never allowed.

“Nobody ever does that. There’s no live ammo allowed on set. Someone was shooting live rounds, didn’t clear it and brought it back to the set. This is insane. No one is allowed to take a gun that’s been shooting live ammo and bring it back to the set,” Collins said.

“These are ironclad rules. Every armorer I’ve spoken to is in shock. What were they thinking? What were they doing?”

Dummy rounds

When the camera focuses tightly on a revolver, you can see the cylinder is empty, so armorers will use dummy rounds that look like real bullets, Collins explained.

Hollywood dummy rounds each contain a small ball bearing, and they have their own safety protocol.

“If a firearm is supposed to be loaded with dummy rounds, my armorers are trained to take each round and shake it to hear the ball bearing rattle. They will go through every round and demonstrate to the talent that they can’t be real because real rounds don’t rattle,” Collins said. “These rounds have been around for a few years and they’re a fantastic solution.”

As a result, if the safety protocol was followed, there is no way a live round could be mistaken for a dummy round.

No training

Depending upon a film’s budget, Collins’ firm may be hired to provide firearm training to the actors.

“We will do safety training with them first, and get them used to the guns. It’s very hard to act like a professional killer if you’re afraid of the gun, so we train them. We have curriculum, depending upon how much they need to know. In this case, the big problem is that the movie was extremely low budget, so they didn’t want to pay for training or even a second armorer.” Collins said. “I heard one of the other major armorers said he was asked to take the contract, but he said no. Because of the extremely low budget, he refused to accept the job. They were not following the protocols.”

Attendees at a candlelight vigil for the late cinematographer Halyna Hutchins look at an image of her at work, Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, in Burbank, Calif. A prop firearm discharged last Thursday by actor Alec Baldwin, while producing and starring in a Western movie in Santa Fe, N.M., killed Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Placing Blame

On the “Rust” set, there is a lot of blame to go around.

“As far as the blame goes, the armorer is the number one person to blame,” Collins said. “Baldwin would have known you don’t take a gun without it being cleared by an armorer. He’s responsible as a producer. Producers know no one accepts a gun without the armorer proofing it first. I can’t believe this happened. Who would do this? Protocols are not complicated. You’re supposed to follow them and never break them.”

Like after any shooting, Collins suspects anti-gunners will use this death as an opportunity to call for more gun bans.

“They want to ban real firearms from film sets and replace them with Airsoft,” he said. “They want to put me out of business.”

 

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This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with their permission.

 

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93 COMMENTS

  1. The media has repeatedly said that Baldwin was rehearsing his draw and then used the phrase, “…and the gun went off” or similar phrasing. Is this even possible? My understanding about older single shot revolvers is that the trigger must be pulled for it to fire. It seems important to establish this fact.

    • This 63 year old veteran actor is, stupid on purpose, when it come to handling firearms. He goes out of his way, to not learn, about guns. That is how he ended up shooting two people and killing one.

      The “gun community” should start an ad campaign. Using Alec Baldwin as the reason everyone needs to learn about, handle, and shooting firearms safely. And if he is arrested and charged they can use the booking photo, as an example in a lesson plan for a training class.

    • Single-action revolvers cannot just “go off”, the hammer must be cocked, and the trigger pulled.

      (Assuming a modern SA revolver. A classic SA could discharge if dropped, but literal ‘Lady-Killer’ Baldwin didn’t drop the revolver…)

      • Cocking the hammer in order to fire a single action firearm, is a premeditated action. He knew what he was doing.

      • you wonder if the gun was already cocked as in REAL single action COWBOY GUN it would be easy to “misfire” if cocked and it can not be fired with a trigger pull. If handed an unchecked SA with a cocked hammer that is more insanity than any lawyer can talk his way out of

      • It is common for trick shooters or speed shooters with a single action to hold the trigger back and just “fan” the hammer so that each time the hammer falls a round is fired without requiring a trigger pull.

        An untrained shooter like Baldwin who was reportedly “practicing his crossdraw” could easily have no trigger discipline at all. In drawing the pistol it is entirely possible that he had the trigger pulled before he cocked the hammer so as soon as he released the hammer the pistol would fire.

        Still no excuse for a real pistol loaded with real ammunition on set, but a probable explanation for an accidental (negligent) shot.

        If an actor only plays with fake or “cold” guns and has no hard-core armorer to beat the four rules of firearms safety into his Liberal skull trigger discipline could be a serious issue.

    • NONSENSE — find one “media” report claiming this BS.

      There have been lots of incomplete and probably inaccurate speculation, but this is the first time anyone has suggested either practicing drawing or a claim that the gun “just went off”

      • “practicing drawing or a claim that the gun “just went off””

        actually that was reported previously, but with different wording. Their previous “misfire” claim was them saying the gun “just went off”.

        There was a news article a few days back the day after this happened that said Baldwin was practicing the scene in which he was to draw the weapon and the gun “misfired” but later in the article the crew member said that it had “misfired” and “just went off”. Inexperienced misconception use of terms. like most people who don’t know anything about guns. Can’t find the link again right now but if I do I will post it for you.

      • I didn’t think I would have to document this, so I do not have the links, but I read it on Yahoo News, Google News Feed, heard this phrasing on MSNBC (Brian Williams), and on my local public radio station (KQED) on Morning Edition.

      • From the LA Times, “Baldwin removed the gun from its holster once without incident, but the second time he did so, ammunition flew toward the trio around the monitor. The projectile whizzed by the camera operator but penetrated Hutchins near her shoulder…”

    • revolvers can go off when you pull the trigger. Does that count?

      revolvers can go off when you cock the hammer then pull the trigger. Does that count?

      revolvers can go off when a person pulls the trigger. Does that count? Oh wait…

      hmmm, whats the common link here…

    • Not only must the trigger be pulled, this firearm, if historically correct for the film, would’ve been a single action revolver, requiring the hammer to be cocked prior to the trigger being pulled for the weapon to fire.

  2. Sounds like this crew broke a half-dozen standard movie protocols. If it is SOP to show clear to both the AD and the actor, then Baldwin and the AD share responsibility with the armorer. This procedure makes sense, since that’s what we do in the shooting sports, and ADs/NDs there are rare, considering the enormous number of rounds we shoot.

  3. Like everyone else Collins is regurgitating what he has heard, he acknowledged that. He should have stopped the blame game with Alex Baldwin. Why is that you ask? Because Alex Bladwin was not exactly going to be pointing a weapon at a tin can. Alec Baldwin’s failure to verify the weapon was safe in the vicinity of blood and bone excludes the armorer of sharing Baldwin’s incompetence. Ask yourself if you are dumb enough to trust anyone else other than yourself in such a situation where there is absolute zero room for error?
    With all due respect to Mr. Collins…You hand me a firearm that I watched you verify you can bet the farm I will repeat the process so even a lowly tin can gets a fair shake.

  4. Some follow-up questions for Mr. Collins:
    1. Some reporting suggested that the revolver was having issues with misfiring. How would you go about determining whether the revolver or the blank ammunition was the cause of the problem? How many copies of a given weapon do you bring to a shoot, to allow for a malfunctioning example to be taken out of service for the duration of the shoot and tested elsewhere?

    2. What special procedures do you have in place for gate-loaded revolvers to allow the actor to confirm for himself that the weapon is safe after being handed the thing by an armourer?

    Now, there’s more to the story than this (like the fact that they were apparently rehearsing and thus not even blank rounds should have been loaded and the fact that Baldwin shouldn’t have lasered the camerawoman while practicing his draw, and that the pistol shouldn’t have been cocked while he was practicing his draw, and that he shouldn’t have pulled the trigger while practicing his draw, and that he probably should have been practicing with a bluegun, not a real weapon anyway).

    Would the ball bearings actually have prevented this? How different do 4 chambers with dummy rounds and one chamber with a live round sound from 5 chambers loaded with dummies?

    • OK, I see that he did answer my question about gate-loaded revolvers. His safety procedure makes a lot of sense.

    • “1. Some reporting suggested that the revolver was having issues with misfiring.”

      A misfire is when the hammer falls on a live round of ammunition, and the gun doesn’t fire. A supposedly “Cold gun” has no live ammunition in it.

      “Would the ball bearings actually have prevented this?”

      Only if Baldwin had personally unloaded the revolver and shook each round.

      But arrogant “Mr. Hollywood Big Shot” couldn’t be bothered to take that simple step.

      This was a classic accident chain. There were more than 2 points where this could have been prevented, if only someone cared…

      • The gun should have been completely cold for rehearsal, but I thought they were using blanks for some of the shots.

        My understanding of their use of “misfire” in this case was that the hammer was falling on live primers in blanks and the blanks failed to fire. I assume the method for diagnosing whether such a failure was due to the gun or the blank ammo would be to try running commercial ammunition through it. (After which, of course, the gun would need to be cleared multiple times by multiple people with a paper trail before you’d even consider handing it to an actor).

        • The media is misusing “misfire” when referring to NDs. A misfire is when a gun does not go bang, what happened was bang when there was not supposed to be bang.

          After the previous incidents, the other, veteran, gun-savvy actors were double and triple-checking their own guns because they couldn’t trust the 1AD and Armorer. I can barely imagine working on such a dangerous set.

    • “1. Some reporting suggested that the revolver was having issues with misfiring.”

      It was not “misfiring”. This is use of terms for which the movie people show their lack of experience as well as the armorer. A misfire is when the hammer falls on, or striker hits, or firing pin hits, a live round of ammunition in a fring sequence and the gun doesn’t fire.

      However, they were using the gun for target practice off set during down time with live ammo and it fired just fine and it fired like it was suppose to with Baldwin.

      • correction, damn writing composition software was active, sorry;

        It was not “misfiring”. This is use of a term for which the movie people show their lack of experience as well as the armorer. A misfire is when the “firing pin” (on hammer in this case) hits a live round of ammunition in a firing sequence and the gun doesn’t fire.

  5. I will ask the question that no one wants to ask. Is a woman, 24 years or older, capable of saying NO, on a job site, to men like Alec Baldwin??? Is she capable of standing up for the safety of the film crew? When she is responsible for firearms and there use on a movie set?

    • “Is a woman, 24 years or older, capable of saying NO, on a job site, to men like Alec Baldwin???”

      That’s a good point, was she so star-struck her common sense evaporated?

      I’m having a hard time understanding her mindset that day. She was trained by her father, a well-respected Hollywood armorer, so you would think being around movie stars would be old hat by now…

      • Sometimes you can’t train somebody if they are stupid enough.

        As for your Q of “capable of saying NO?”
        Well Lefties never get tired of saying women (or as they say “people with uteruses”) are more capable than men so she deserves all the penalty that is fitting.

      • She was inexperienced and lacked confidence. Of course she didn’t have the guts to say “No” to such a big deal star like Alec. She didn’t want to be fired!

    • A woman? Yes. *This* woman? Maybe not…but we don’t really know. There’s a claim in this story that she (their only designated armorer) may have been kept off the set because of COVID.

      The armorer in this story notes that we only know what the news stories say: “They don’t seem to understand what they’re reporting and they’re screwing it up. You have to be wary about whether what they’re saying actually happened.”

  6. This is about the best article on this specific incident I’ve seen to date and much more clearly and dispassionately explains the culpability than many other articles.

  7. “The second rule is that firearms used for live fire are never brought to the set. We have firearms dedicated to blank fire.” [emphasis added]

    “They want to ban real firearms from film sets”

    So by insisting you follow your own rule, “They” would “put you out of business”?

    • I listened to an interview with a local (SoCal) armorer who also has a career working on movie sets. He explained that there are no true “live fire guns” on any set if that crew is indeed abiding by SAG union rules. Any real gun converted to a “prop” is physically and irreversibly modified to accept only shorter blanks, so that any live round (containing a bullet projectile) is now too long for the chamber and will not seat. There are different types of blanks available for different types of visual effects, used under a variety of environments such as 1800s Western revolver, modern semi-auto, daytime, nighttime, closeup, distance, etc. All are shorter than standard cartridges.

      If a live round was inserted into the gun handed to Baldwin, then it was not a proper “prop” gun and should never have been brought to the filming site in the first place.

      • “If a live round was inserted into the gun handed to Baldwin, then it was not a proper ‘prop’ gun and should never have been brought to the filming site in the first place.”

        I agree completely. It appears Mr. Collins does too, yet blames evil “They” for wanting him to practice what he preaches.

        Don’t get me wrong: I don’t believe it is always hypocritical to oppose mandates for best practices in one’s private life, but a professional workplace is different.

      • HAZ, those are, indeed, SAG rules. It is my understanding that the production was NOT entirely union (which is a separate issue, but SAG, AFTRA, DG, and IATSE rules ALL specify that if there are non-union personnel on set doing jobs in any of those areas, union members are NOT supposed to work on that production – all union, or no union crew is the rule.

        News reports indicate that there were IATSE members on set, some or all of whom walked off the set prior to the incident. Three possibilities:

        1. It was, in fact, an all union production (armorer’s father was a WELL connected IATSE member, so perhaps he got her in), and thew news reports have it wrong;
        2. It was only a partially union set, in which case the union crew/cast/director members were violating their own unions’ rules by being there at all; or
        3. The producers (including Baldwin) had brought in union members after the union crews walked out (in which case the rest of the union cast/crew/director should have suspended production and walked off, themselves).

        My guess is that, since so much of the movie production these days is fleeing Hollywood and/or going non-union, SAG, AFTRA, IATSE, DG are winking and nodding to union members working on set with non-union cast and crew, because they need the gig.

        In any event, these unions do have rules as specified in the article, and they were apparently not followed. As to who is responsible? That is a legal question that I am fairly certain will get sorted out in the ensuing lawsuits, but from a POTG perspective – the idiot with the gun in his hand had what is known in the tort world as the “last clear chance” to avoid this tragedy, and he didn’t. But, then, I wouldn’t expect much from a fat, untalented, arrogant, loudmouth idiot who has an IQ no higher than, or maybe even lower than (hard as that is to imagine), our resident morons, dacian the dim and MinorIQ. Baldwin needs to do the perp walk.

        • IATSE…that was the other union I was trying to remember. I had the correct pronunciation in my head, but for some reason was drawing a blank on the proper spelling.

          “Drawing a blank”. Thank you, thank you. I’m here all week. Please try the veal…

    • “Umm . . . October 27, 2021 At 11:05

      “The second rule is that firearms used for live fire are never brought to the set. We have firearms dedicated to blank fire.” [emphasis added]

      “They want to ban real firearms from film sets”

      So by insisting you follow your own rule, “They” would “put you out of business”?

      you missed some context. Hes talking about hollywood wanting to replace the firearms with Airsoft, that would put him out of business.

      • I didn’t miss that, but thought it paled in comparison with a guy who pounded the table against real firearms on film sets complaining “They want to ban real firearms from film sets”.

        A logical response from a professional / expert would have been more along the lines of “I do too. Here’s how I build or modify a prop firearm to make it impossible to fire (or even chamber) live ammunition, without losing various effects filmmakers require by resorting to an overreaction like Airsoft.”

        • well, ya kinda can’t pull statements out of their context and string them together to create something that wasn’t because you don’t like the way something happened or was said and not expect someone to point it out.

        • A cited expert saying he opposes live firearms on set then complaining that “They” oppose live firearms on set is something that was.

          The fact that I suggested one potential logical counterargument rather than mindlessly agreeing with the complaint-without-a-solution doesn’t change the fact that “Was” is the opposite of “Wasn’t”.

        • Sorry Boog, it seems like you’re the one not following along here. To simplify: the dude was talking out of both sides of his face. If the context is missing it’s the fault of the article itself, because as quoted he’s having it both ways.

    • Well the weren’t able to follow Cooper’s rules of gun safety. Those were written about as plainly and distinctly as possible.Now some people are suggesting additional rules for them to follow? Anybody want to guess how that is going turn out?

    • How the hell do you wind up with that stupid of a take? Stop reading into things that are not there. Here I’ll break it down for you. They divide their firearms into two groups, one dedicated to live fire on the range, and the other dedicated to set use that are only ever to be used with blanks. Nothing in there remotely suggests that the firearms that are designated for set use and for firing only blanks, are not real firearms or that they are modified so they could only fire blanks and couldn’t fire live ammunition. It’s simply the firearms are dedicated to a specific use, and for safety purposes they don’t overlap use.

      • Mr. Collins said “We have firearms dedicated to blank fire.” It is certainly feasible to physically / mechanically dedicate a weapon to blank fire, and that’s how I (like numerous other commenters, here and in the other Baldwin articles) interpreted the measure. It’s certainly the safest way, and therefore the only truly correct answer for moviemaking.

        In that interpretation, Mr. Collins’s comments appeared self-contradictory. If he meant them the other way, as you said, they’re just unsafe and wrong.

  8. “In this case, the big problem is that the movie was extremely low budget, so they didn’t want to pay for training or even a second armorer.”

    In pursuit of saving money, it will end up costing far, far, more.

    What I don’t get is, she is the daughter of a respected Hollywood armorer and spent time with her dad on-set, and absorbed nothing with regards to safety?

    • You’re saying that since the dad is smart enough to be an armorer that means his daughter is smart enough? I don’t think that is how the genetic roulette wheel operates especially since I’m pretty sure a mother was involved.

      One other thing, apparently dad wasn’t smart enough to know that his daughter wasn’t ready. With all the violations that she was doing it’s likely that he also knew she wasn’t competent yet either but he chanced it. Now he’s splattered with the poop also.

  9. I keep hearing these stories, and I am left scratching my head.
    I mean I keep saying WTF were they thinking repeatedly.
    I am not a trained or licensed armorer and I would have done a better job.
    This tradegy could have easily been avoided.
    But the anti gun Hollywood establishment hates the NRA so much. If they would have followed just one of their four golden rules, that woman would still be alive today. But they didn’t.

  10. “We have major studios here and the Canadian dollar is cheaper – 25% cheaper than Hollywood. You’ll get a bigger bang for your buck,”

    Liar. You get ‘bigger bang for your buck’ in Canada because the production can claim a 50% tax credit for what is paid to every employee that is a Canadian resident, thus getting tax refunds for half of what they pay every Canadian resident.

    • Actually, BOTH statements are true. But do not discount the fact that the People’s Republic of KKKalifornia also provides generous subsidies and tax breaks for film production. Canada’s may be higher, but Hollywood gets ample tax breaks and financial incentives in dear old Commiefornia.

  11. Sure the armorer is at partial fault here, but the truth is, if Alec Baldwin was educated about guns, instead of being an anti-gun douche, then this wouldn’t have happened.

    • “Sure the armorer is at partial fault here, but the truth is, if Alec Baldwin was educated about guns, instead of being an anti-gun douche, then this wouldn’t have happened.”

      Oh, Baldwin is educated about guns. He just had the wrong education and that’s what makes him an anti-gun douche.

    • I could see an out for the armorer here. If it’s true that she wasn’t allowed on the set (presumably by the producer, Baldwin) and that she wasn’t involved in the after hours target practice or implicated in mixing in the live ammo, then she was prevented from doing her job by the producer. Of course, she should have walked off the job, but I would find it hard to find her liable in this case. Baldwin on the other hand would be in even deeper doodoo than he already is in that case.

      • Baldwin wasn’t “the” producer, he was “a” producer. What that required of him in terms of actual management has yet to be clarified.

  12. I have a lot of conflicting opinions on this. Assuming the reporting and gossip is true, that the executives of this movie, including Baldwin, were hell-bent on making it as cheaply as possible, with as inexperienced a crew as could be got short of kindergartners ….

    Baldwin’s an asshole and typical Hollywood hypocrite. Rules for everybody else, none for him. Him going to prison wouldn’t bother me. Some other asshole would take his place. Net karma change is zero.

    As far as punishing somebody for this, it’s pointless. No one will learn any additional lesson form people going to jail. Blame seems so widely spread and shared, you’d probably have to throw half the crew in jail to do any justice. People plinking with prop guns, leaving live ammo scattered all over, no one clearing guns, no one insisting on clearing guns. Picking one or two (like Baldwin and the armorer) to make examples of is the kind of crap that hypocrites do. Either send everyone involved to jail, or none.

    If a drunk offered me a ride, I wouldn’t take it; I am not putting my life in someone else’s hands like that, unless the alternative is freezing to death in a blizzard. Seems a lot of crew quit this production because they saw how sloppy things were, so they were looking out for themselves. Others made the calculus that they needed the job too much, whether for padding their resume or putting food on the table. It argues for this being a calculated risk rather than a crime. A bank robber shooting a customer is a crime; but what if a stray shot kills someone who ignored the police barriers and was peering through the doors to see what was going on? It feels like some of that was at play: the chance to work with a big name actor.

    It will be interesting to see what facts come out soon, and to find out years from now what other facts were withheld.

    • Michael Gross as Bert Gummer in Tremors would display better weapon handling.

      Actually the weapons handling in Tremors was far better than most movies. It helped that Michael Gross was an experienced competitive shooter.

      A good example is when he takes back the revolver he gave to a boy to motivate him to run fast. The first thing he does is check the revolver.

  13. From the live press conference… the sheriff stated that there were three “guns” at the scene of the crime- an F.LLi Pietta .45 Colt revolver, a Single Action Army revolver appearing to have a “modified” cylinder to prevent live ammo from being loaded, and a “plastic, non-functioning” revolver. Baldwin had the Pietta- the only functioning firearm on the set.

  14. Still, in all of this, prop gun or real gun, I seem to remember a rule something to the effect of “treat ALL guns as though they are loaded with live ammo”… but ya know, us mere mortals with guns don’t know much and just want to see wholesale slaughter with rivers of blood running in the streets according to this anti-gun homicide idiot and other anti-gun idiots.

    I’ve never shot anyone by accident, a few on purpose to keep myself or wife from being killed, but never by accident. Alec “homicide” Baldwin got two of ’em with one bullet (supposedly) “accidentally”, a new record for movie prop “accidents” for the most people injured or killed with a single bullet. Maybe the difference is because I always “treat ALL guns as though they are loaded with live ammo” and stick to all the firearms safety rules, I don’t know, what do you think Alec?

  15. Protocols or not the reason why the likes of John Wayne, Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood, or Ronald Reagan and many others didn’t kill off cast members is or was that they, like most everyone here, had a familiarity with guns and gun safety. Checking to see they were safe was second nature in a way that most of the current generation of actors, who both hate and fear guns, will never achieve.

  16. yeah, I know its a little off topic, but in the broad sense it isn’t because someone got shot, but just want to throw this in there as I know some of you follow the Kyle Rittenhouse saga.

    Men Shot By Kyle Rittenhouse Can Be Described As “Rioters” and “Looters”, But Not Victims: Judge Ruling Prior To Trial

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-kyle-rittenhouse-murder-trial-looters-rioters-prosecutors-20211025-3vr7rdlo6zbzhmdsz3bvol4kxm-story.html

  17. I have to say, I can’t take the statement that the armourer is the one who bears primary responsibility for this. Does she bear some? Yes. But primary responsibility resets with the man who pulled the trigger.

    • “I have to say, I can’t take the statement that the armourer is the one who bears primary responsibility for this. Does she bear some? Yes. But primary responsibility resets with the man who pulled the trigger.”

      “Primary” is the wrong word to use here. It indicates one person was more responsible than another.

      This “expert” is seeing things from his point of view, and from that view point she was the “primary” within the duties/responsibilities context as he described them.

      The armorer, Baldwin, and in my opinion the assistant director, are all equally responsible even if Baldwin is the one that actually pulled the trigger.

      All of their actions and neglect were directly responsible for creating the conditions that caused this death and wounding. Each one of them ignored firearms safety (and what is standard movie set procedure with guns) for what ever reason and knew live ammo had been used in the gun previously and each failed to make sure it wasn’t loaded with live ammo.

  18. Sorry I disagree and feel. Baldwin is ultimately responsible. He was the Producer and last person handling the firearm and he knows better to check the firearm himself before using it. Period

  19. For anyone that is interested Ian McCollum from Forgotten Weapons had a chance to spend a couple days filming at Movie Armaments Group up in Toronto and did an interview with them.

    After watching the interview with Charlie Taylor safety is there #1 priority and there is no reason for anyone to get hurt on set and Baldwin and the other members of the crew cut corners and should be held responsible for their actions.

  20. Given the reports of labor conflicts on set, I am not going to be quick to blame the armorer. The events described are so bizarre that I am compelled to suspect that the armorer had quit or been fired before this incident. A big company such as MAG would actually own all of the guns on set. If there was conflict with the producer, they would take their guns and go home. This woman was in a position where she could get fired or resign in protest, but the unmodified firearms that were being used as props would remain on set.

    It is all Baldwins fault!

  21. Baldwin is an anti gun POS who shouldn’t have ever been allowed near a firearm. He murdered that woman through his stupidity. Too bad he wasn’t on the receiving end instead of that young lady.

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if the authorities focus on one person, whoever is easiest to prosecute. Baldwin is rich and can leverage the argument that the gun was presented to him as “cold”. That’s bullshit, we all know it. Everyone that handles the gun is responsible for it in their possession and at the moment of passing it to the next person.

      Three people, minimum, are solidly at fault here. Possibly more indirectly for how this movie crew was operating so cheap and sloppy.

      But if they go for the easiest to blame and convict, that’s the 24 year old armorer woman. She will have the fewest resources to defend herself, the least insulation from the royal screw-up.

      It’s really all three people, and I am not making any bets here. But if it plays out for what’s easiest to prosecute, that’s her, not Baldwin.

  22. In a news conference the county Sheriff stated the gun was not an antique. It was a modern Pietta of the Colt SAA in caliber .45 LC. A modern build for modern powders, using modern metallurgy. There is nothing “Prop” or “blank firing” about that gun. Pietta in fact makes replica guns that accept only blanks, real ammo doesn’t fit. This was the real deal, nothing fake or prop about it.

    I cannot ignore the third person in this thing, the Assistant Director. Just as the armorer screwed up horribly and Baldwin too, the AD is just as much expected to know the protocols and follow them.

    The fault in this horror story is equally with those three people. The armorer, the AD and the actor. All had to fail in their responsibility for this to happen. All had to fail in the basic rules of gun safety for this to happen. No person surrenders their responsibility to another in their handling of a gun.

    The protocols the various armorers and industry people speaking out have describe demonstrate this. Whatever the specific steps they all boil down to each person practices safe gun handling and demonstrates to the person receiving the gun next that it is safe to accept.

    There’s 300% of responsibility in this disaster. I don’t know what lawyers, prosecutors, judges or juries may decide, but that’s the moral fact of the matter.

    • The word “Prop” has no bearing on weather or not an item is fake or not. In the context of movies, TV, and theater a “prop” is any item used in a scene. It stems from the fact that especially in the old days, in general all items used in the scene tend to be the property of the production company or “prop” for short. The lamp on a desk in a scene, that’s a “prop”, even if it is unmodified and fully functional and for all intents and purposes came straight from the local hardware store just an hour before. Same thing with firearms. It doesn’t matter if it’s brand new and fully functional, if it’s being used in a scene, it’s a “prop”

  23. It just boggles the imagination that they happened. There are probably several people that contributed to this. Baldwin had the best and last chance to stop it. The justice system can’t afford to establish a precedent here. He point the firearm, cocked it and pulled the trigger. He can’t be allowed a pass because he didn’t know it was loaded. By putting that gun in his hand, he was supposed to know. Nobody else pulled that trigger.

  24. This same firearm Baldwin fired, a real honest to goodness firearm, previously “accidentally” fired two rounds in the hands of Baldwins stunt double the Saturday before Baldwin fired it. The gun at that time of the stunt double firing was also declared to be “cold” when he received it.

    The term ‘accidental discharge’ used in this incident is grossly inaccurate as is the term “misfired”. At a minimum this was a ‘negligent discharge’. In each case the trigger was physically pulled by the stunt double and Baldwin and this real gun functioned exactly like it was made to function as a real gun and fired a real bullet. The crew and some of the talent (its suspected the stunt double was among these) had also used the same gun off set with live ammo and fired it and knew it was a real gun that would for a fact fire a real bullet when the trigger was pulled and there was no ‘just went off by its self’ then. There was no ‘just went off by its self’, the trigger was pulled plain and simple.

  25. I said it before that if you hand me a firearm and the sole intent is for me to aim it at another human being and pull the trigger there is no way I’m not checking the weapon for myself. If that means the armorer and assistant director need to verify also so be it. And after checking that gun it doesn’t leave my hands. There is absolutely no excuse for this outcome.

  26. accidental discharge: An accidental discharge of a firearm occurs when a firearm fires at a time that is not intended by the user of the gun.

    Negligent discharge: The term “Negligent discharge” refers to the discharge of firearm as a result of carelessness (not accident). It is a primary cause of gun related death and injuries in the United States. Most cases of “Negligent Discharge” are incorrectly termed or classified as “accidental discharge” or “unintentional shooting.” To pull a trigger physically, meaning to or not, is an intentional bodily act and is not an “accident”.

    Misfire : A misfire is a complete failure of a cartridge (the “round”) to fire when the trigger is pulled and the hammer or firing pin falls.

    To recap whats been discovered so far:

    This gun fired a real bullet so its not a “misfire”.

    This gun fired a real bullet when its trigger was pulled intentionally as part of the practice for the scene, by Baldwin. The stunt double had also previously, before Baldwin, fired two live rounds with the same gun while practicing for a scene. The gun at that time of the stunt double firing was also declared to be “cold” when he received it. The gun was declared to be “cold” when Baldwin received it. There were no safety meetings, or investigation, or any measures put in place to ensure, nor any assurances, that the firing of live rounds by the stunt double would not happen again.

    Crew members had complained about gun safety and knew it was a real gun that could fire live ammo. They also knew live ammo was on the set, some of them had used that ammo to fire this very gun off-set in their down time. Producers and directors knew live ammo was on set and the gun could fire a live round.

    This gun fired a real bullet when its trigger was pulled intentionally, in this case on purpose, as part of the scene or practice for the scene and was not checked prior to that use to ensure it did not contain live ammo.

    It has been confirmed that the bullet which killed Halyna Hutchins and wounded another was fired from the gun by Alec Baldwin.

    A search warrant was executed and nine spent casings from live ammo and multiple boxes of live ammunition were recovered, on set. In other words, the live ammo had been intentionally bought on set. Investigation has also revealed none of the ammo used (including actual blanks) was ever inspected to determine if it was live ammo or not.

    This real gun functioned exactly as it was intended to function when the trigger was pulled. There was no gun defect or malfunction that caused the gun to fire on its own.

    There was no standard armorer security and handling procedures in relation to the gun. Lots of people had handled the gun and the live ammo on set.

    My personal analysis in general:

    Everyone on the set was being purposely endangered for the sake of rushing and cost. This was an intentionally hazardous workplace.

    This is, at a minimum, hazardous carelessness intentionally invoked in the work/set environment by an overall intentional lack of regard for firearms safety and standard movie set operating procedures and standard workplace requirements for overall safety in the work environment and intentionally bringing live ammo on the set – for the sake of time and cheaply producing the movie. But “carelessness” is not the right word to use here either, because a this was all due to intentional acts.

    At a minimum this is a “Negligent discharge”. This was known to be a real gun, and was not a (traditional, as in modified to not fire a real bullet) “prop gun” even if it was being used as a “prop gun”. It was widely known on set this was a real gun able to fire a real bullet and did function as a real gun and was not modified to not function as a real gun, with the full widely know on set knowledge there was live ammo in the area. Baldwin even knew there was live ammo in the area that had been used to previously fire this gun just outside and within hearing and sight range the scene location.

    Live ammo was present on set and was or had been in possession of many people who had access to the guns. They had access to the gun because there was no standard armorer security or procedures in relation to the guns.

    In a way, I’m tempted to think that Baldwin knew the gun contained live ammo and wanted to fire live ammo to save the money of inserting special effect CGI later by not paying for special effect CGI that many times is needed with blank ammo. Since this gun was not modified to fire blank ammo only there would not be a “spectacular” “movie” effect of gun firings as seen in movies and there would not be the “movie” down range effect seen that audiences expect to see in movies. Down range effects cost money, even the squibs used cost money, because they require special handling and set up to achieve the effect and people who do this were not on set because they had not been hired for this scene. Special effect CGI is costly, and this movie was intentionally being made as cheaply as possible. —- So anyway just speculating on this “tempted” part so don’t know if this is it or not, but in a way for somethings its real because there were a lot of things left out for the sake of not spending the money like, for example, not using and paying an actual experienced armorer to take care of the weapon and ammo aspect.

    anyway, my conclusion at this point is this was at a minimum “manslaughter” and I’m really tempted to go more with “negligent homicide” if it can be done.

    These two people, Halyna Hutchins who was killed and Joel Souza (a director) who was wounded, were subjected to being doomed when they entered the set. Sure, it could have been anyone and with the stunt double having already fired two live rounds while practicing for a scene and just about anyone having access to the gun and handling it with live ammo its fortunate there were not people injured or killed before Baldwin pulled the trigger. But it wasn’t just anyone, it was these two. They were doomed by the lack of responsibility and competence, by the lack of standard expected things, by the wanting to do this cheaply, by every person there in a position of authority who knew this was a real gun that could fire live ammo and knew there was live ammo on the set. Basically everyone on the set was subjected to being doomed, that doom found these two at the hand of Alec Baldwin.

  27. I think the anti-gun crowd is working furiously to write, re-write, edit, and re-write some more a spinning narrative to make it seem like this is the fault of the firearms industry and gun owners in general and put forth a “if there were no guns this would not have happened” narrative. After looking around some, twitter and web sites forums and comments sections, I see this type of narrative forming out of the ignorance of people who think they are really smart. Lots of incorrect terms being used in such a way to provide a false picture of what happened, lots of trying to spin this away from their favorite anti-gun advocate Alec “Homicide” Baldwin being responsible in this, lots of very stupid and ignorant people saying how sad this is but if gun owners would be reasonable and turn in their AR-15’s this would not have happened, lots of really stupid stuff trying to place blame for this everywhere except where it belongs. Where the responsibility for this belongs in within the confines of that movie set with specific people there, and no where else.

  28. As more information comes out, what I suspected as to how this incident took place is becoming true. The Safety Violations and the lack of following lobg accepted protocols is sheer Criminal Negligence on the Production Team’s part.

    As for Ms. Reed’ qualifications to be an Armorer, being the daughter of an Armorer isn’t a qualification. I seriously doubt she could pass a NRA Basic Firearm Safety course. She’s demonstrated her Incompetence on projects prior to this one.

    She needs to choose another career, as she’s screwed the pooch too many times to be an Armorer.

  29. from what I have read in the past, only semi auto and automatic guns are modified to the point where no live rounds can work in them. revolvers are not modified and can used real rounds. and dummy rounds are full length rounds so we can see the bullet in the front of the cylinder. so I haz a question, that armorer was probably referring to semi autos on set. as far as someone saying Baldwin is an asshole, you are probably being too kind. this is the moron who was running naked thru a NYC hotel high on cocaine once, ( that was reported on the news, who knows if he does it often or not) . plus due to shootings on sets before ( Brandon Lee and one before that) actors were supposed to be trained with firearms if they were going to use them and they were NEVER to point the gun at ANYONE even during action, they were supposed to use camera angles to make it seem like they were. I wonder what happened to all of that. Baldwin is at fault here, he pointed the gun and pulled the trigger, plus he did not follow safety guidelines at all.

  30. This “expert” said 1) “The number one rule is no live ammunition can come to the set – period,” he said. Then he said 2) “The second rule is that firearms used for live fire are never brought to the set. We have firearms dedicated to blank fire.”

    Some of us remember the rules differently:

    Col. Cooper’s rules:

    RULE 1
    ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED
    The only exception to this occurs when one has a weapon in his hands and he has personally unloaded it for checking. As soon as he puts it down, Rule 1 applies again.

    RULE 2
    NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT PREPARED TO DESTROY
    You may not wish to destroy it, but you must be clear in your mind that you are quite ready to if you let that muzzle cover the target. To allow a firearm to point at another human being is a deadly threat, and should always be treated as such.

    RULE 3
    KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER TIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET
    This we call the Golden Rule because its violation is responsible for about 80 percent of the firearms disasters we read about.

    RULE 4
    BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET
    You never shoot at anything until you have positively identified it. You never fire at a shadow, or a sound, or a suspected presence. You shoot only when you know absolutely what you are shooting at and what is beyond it.

    There are different variations of the same rules, but Hollywood appears to have written their own completely different rules, and someone died because of it.

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