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

New Mexico workplace safety regulators on Wednesday issued the maximum possible fine of nearly $137,000 against a film production company for firearms safety failures on the set of “Rust” where a cinematographer was fatally shot in October by actor and producer Alec Baldwin.

New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau said Rust Movie Productions must pay $136,793, and distributed a scathing narrative of safety failures in violation of standard industry protocols, including testimony that production managers took limited or no action to address two misfires on set prior to the fatal shooting. The bureau also documented gun safety complaints from crew members that went unheeded and said weapons specialists were not allowed to make decisions about additional safety training.

“What we had, based on our investigators’ findings, was a set of obvious hazards to employees regarding the use of firearms and management’s failure to act upon those obvious hazards,” Bob Genoway, bureau chief for occupational safety, told The Associated Press.

At a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe on Oct. 21, 2021, Baldwin was pointing a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins inside a small church during setup for the filming of a scene when it went off, killing Hutchins and wounding the director, Joel Souza.

Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin speaks on the phone in the parking lot outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office in Santa Fe, N.M., after he was questioned about a shooting on the set of the film “Rust” on the outskirts of Santa Fe. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

Baldwin said in a December interview with ABC News that he was pointing the gun at Hutchins at her instruction on the New Mexico set of the Western film when it “went off” without his pulling the trigger.

The new occupational safety report confirms that a large-caliber revolver was handed to Baldwin by an assistant director, David Halls, without consulting with on-set weapons specialists during or after the gun was loaded. Regulators note that Halls also served as safety coordinator and that he was present and witnessed two accidental discharges of rifles on set, and that he and other managers who knew of the misfires took no investigative, corrective or disciplinary action. Crew members expressed surprise and discomfort.

“The Safety Coordinator was present on set and took no direct action to address safety concerns,” the report states. “Management was provided with multiple opportunities to take corrective actions and chose not to do so. As a result of these failures, Director Joel Souza and cinematographer Halyna Hutchins were severely injured. Halyna Hutchins succumbed to her injuries.”

Baldwin Rust Shooting Prop Firearm Movie Set
A film set at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., where Actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on the set of a Western being filmed at the ranch, killing the cinematographer. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

A spokesman for Rust Movie Productions did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. An attorney for Baldwin was not immediately available.

James Kenney, secretary of the Environment Department that oversees occupational safety, said the agency dedicated 1,500 staff hours to its investigation, examined hundreds of documents and conducted at least a dozen interviews with cast and crew members.

Investigators found production managers placed tight limits on resources for a small team that controlled weapons on set and failed to address concerns about a shotgun left unattended twice.

Armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the daughter of a sharpshooter and consultant to film productions, was limited to eight paid days as an armorer to oversee weapons and training, and was assigned otherwise to lighter duties as a props assistant. As her time as an armorer ran out, Gutierrez Reed warned a manager and was rebuffed.

Safety investigators also note that the production company did not develop a process to ensure live rounds of ammunition were not brought on set, in violation of industry safety protocols. Safety meetings were conducted, but not every day weapons were used, as required.

Kenney said the separate investigations into possible criminal charges are still underway.

He said his agency received no direct safety complaints from cast or crew prior to the fatal shooting, even though anonymity is offered.

“This tragedy, this loss of life, it could have been prevented, and we want people to say something,” he said.


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  1. This has to be a joke. Are we to believe that they will not press criminal charges against Baldwin? If not this is a tremendous breach of justice. The person handling a firearm is the one responsible period. There is no way that type of firearm can discharge a round without the trigger being pulled and on one to day has even remotely indicated the firearm was somehow defective. This is a massive coverup.

      • Dan, I agree that that is what the post says. I can’t put words into dprato’s post though I think everyone would be pretty stunned if Alec Baldwin spends 35 seconds in jail as a result of this. Rules for Thee, but not for me, is not just a catchphrase, its the power by which people in Alec Baldwin’s circle operate.

        I can’t say he wont be charged, but I’d lay a solid stack of greenback against it.

        Just the sad reality we live in these days.

  2. “Kenney said the separate investigations into possible criminal charges are still underway.”
    It ain’t over.,,,,,

  3. There’s a mistake in the article. It says, “Baldwin was pointing a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins inside a small church during setup for the filming of a scene when it went off, killing Hutchins and wounding the director, Joel Souza.”

    The error is the three words “it went off.”

    CORRECTION: “Baldwin was pointing a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins inside a small church during setup for the filming of a scene when [he cocked the hammer and pulled the trigger], killing Hutchins and wounding the director, Joel Souza.”

    There, I fixed it for ya!

    • Point of fact, Colt Peacemakers (old and new) and most Peacemaker replicas are very much NOT drop safe (load one, skip one, load four). If there was a primer under the hammer, any sharp impact on the hammer would set it off. It’s also possible for the hammer to be pulled back and dropped before it reaches half cock and that could ignite the round. It pains me greatly to defend Baldwin, but this IS the Truth About Guns.

      On the other hand, team Baldwin hasn’t been very forthcoming with an explanation of HOW the gun just went off by itself. This could be due to legal advice (you already did enough damage going on TV!), or possibly nobody involved knows squat about firearms, or he could have just made that up.

      • Or he is not on trial and not dumb enough to say he pulled the trigger. At first, my initial reaction was that it’s 100% his fault… but there are some things we are not being told. I’m not defending him in any way, or not trying to. Anyone that handles a firearm should do the inspection themselves. If you are an actor and have to use blanks or whatever, you need to have a plan to assure they are in fact blanks. If that means slowing the film down 10 minutes for each time you handle a new firearm, so be it. This is nothing short of complacency.

        • I heard somewhere that the standard protocol when handling revolvers was for the armorer to first show the actor weapon is safe, then point it in a safe direction and dry fire it 7 times (one extra in case they miscount) and then have the actor dry fire it 7 times. Not much of a chance for a ND if that protocol is followed.

      • Several people made videos testing the theory of dropping the hammer before “half” cock and none could get it to fire.

      • Alec Baldwin has not said he didn’t touch the hammer only that he did not touch the trigger. So is not this a possible explanation, “It’s also possible for the hammer to be pulled back and dropped before it reaches half cock and that could ignite the round.”?

    • I have owned multiple single action revolvers for over fifty years and never had a single one “go off” unless I cocked it and manipulated the trigger. If one releases the hammer before “half cock” the hammer will fall. If it is a Colt second generation single action or earlier it is possible that the hammer will fall with enough force to ignite a cartridge. That is why the hammer was alway rested on an empty cylinder in the Colt single actions. I don’t know if Colt switched to the transfer bar system incorporated in Rugers for the third generation or not. There are some smaller single action manufacturers who do not use the transfer bar safety system even today but still rely on the purchaser to be knowledgable enough to rest the hammer on an empty chamber when not actively shooting.

      In any event, unless you are a know-it-all a.h. like Baldwin, you check with somebody who actually knows what he or she is doing. Unless it were the actual scene, why would someone point a firearm at two people? And if it were an actual scene, there are plenty of ways to portray an up close and personal shooting without it actually being an up close and personal shooting. Did Baldwin never hear of cutting and splicing and editing film?

      In my book under CA law, any way, and I can’t comment on New Mexico law, but I can only imagine for such a serious crime as a homicide, New Mexico law fairly closely parallels CA law, Baldwin is guilty of at a very minimum involuntary manslaughter. Were I the DA I would charge him with voluntary manslaughter due to his capacity of being the producer of the film as well as the main actor and include involuntary as a lesser included offense. I would not let him walk free. If he is charged with anything less than involuntary manslaughter, in my opinion he is getting a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card.

  4. Why is my comment “awaiting moderation”?
    Oh I know, because I said, “He cocked the hammer” of the revolver before he pulled the trigger.
    This innocent use of that “c-word” triggered the censorship algorithms, which are adjusted to “extreme snowflake” levels that think any word beginning with “c” and ending with “ocked” is somehow obscene! And now this comment is also “awaiting moderation.”

    • Yep, I usually alt speak my typing to frustrate “w0rd pre$$” since that is what TTAG uses. So you know what becomes c0cked using the numeric look a like. Not really the fault of TTAG that there is no real easy to use alternative to the software they use. Makes what I say a little harder to read but frustrates the left leaning tech sector and allows me a bit more freedom of speech.

    • Derringer Dave AND Rusty,

      No, WordPress algorithms do not explain the completely retarded TTAG “moderation” policy. I’ve commented on plenty of other “WordPress” sites, and not had the issues that exist, here. TTAG could be (if they intended to actually serve their users) just publish a set of rules for comments . . . but they don’t. The “moderation” ranges from arbitrary to deranged. TTAG needs to grow the eff up, and adopt and maintain a coherent policy. Until then, I mostly ignore it, post what I want, and if it gets “moderated”?? F*** them, and the spavined, swaybacked horse they rode in on.

    • Don’t feel singled out, Dave. I mistakenly used the same Anglo-Saxon verb and am awaiting moderation also.

  5. The final responsibility lies upon Alec Baldwin for everything that transpired after all it was him that was holding the gun when it was fired.

  6. Below is my correction to the article. Re-posting because my previous try was blocked by TTAG’s censorship algorithms, which ban the words “c—-d the hammer” to describe the action of pulling back the hammer of a revolver! Apparently, the censors think that’s a word that word might “trigger” some snowflake.

    ERRONEOUS TEXT: “Baldwin was pointing a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins inside a small church during setup for the filming of a scene when it went off, killing Hutchins and wounding the director, Joel Souza.”

    CORRECTED VERSION: “Baldwin was pointing a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins inside a small church during setup for the filming of a scene when [he pulled back the hammer and squeezed the trigger]. killing Hutchins and wounding the director, Joel Souza.”

    It’s funny that TTAG’s censorship algorithms don’t allow us to use the words “c—-d the hammer” to describe the action of pulling back the hammer of a revolver!

      • avatar Geoff "A day without an obsessed, obviously brain-damaged and mentally-ill demented troll (who deserves to live in New Jersey) PR

        Take your own advice, little boy loser!

        (A very little boy, if you know what I mean! 🤣 🤣 🤣)

      • Hey, nameless, brainless, d***less troll!! I see there is no limit to how far you will stoop to spam this forum with your idiocy!! Impersonating “management” is a new low, even for you.

        Go F*** yourself vigorously, up the @$$ with a barb-wire wrapped Louisville Slugger, lubricated with battery acid and habanero juice!! (But you’ll probably enjoy that, and even brag about it to dacian the stupid and MinorIQ).

  7. The most interesting news here is that the armorer wasn’t really the armorer any more at the time of this incident,and second that there were two prior “misfires” with rifles. I wonder what they mean by “misfire.” Euphemism for the rifles fired sending a live round down range (that fortunately didn’t hit anyone), or that an improperly loaded round didn’t fire properly? Inquiring minds would like to know.

  8. Anybody else have a problem with an official state agency using terms like “accidental discharge” and “misfire” to describe incidents more accurately described as “negligent discharge” These terms are NOT interchangeable?

    • “Accident” has been over used so much that it is now quite common to use that overworked, trite word for any unplanned incident. “The driver had an accident in which his vehicle overturned.” No, he didn’t have an accident. He was operating his vehicle at an unsafe speed proven by that fact that his automobile overturned while he operated it.

      Official agencies are as apt to use an inappropriate word when describing a negligent act as any other person. In fact, I would say that goober mental agencies are more likely to use ambiguous terms than the ordinary person who is not lying. I wanted to type goobermental but predictive changed it to goober mental and I liked that better that the one word adjective. I think I will continue to use it as it, to me, signifies peanut brain which is a highly accurate description of the mental acuity I assign to goober mental proclamations.

  9. As others have commented, this is ultimately the responsibility of ONE person – Alec “I’m a Leftist p***y” Baldwin. If you pick up a gun, YOU are responsible for what happens until you put it down. Alec Baldwin is a stupid @$$hole (akin to our own dacian the stupid and MinorIQ), and HE had a gun in his hand when it “went off”. He pulled the freakin’ trigger, because . . . he’s a stupid @$$hole. A Colt SAA (or clone, which this apparently was) will go off SOMETIMES if you drop it, or it might have a defective trigger mechanism (the armorer should have checked that). Other than that? “Accidental discharge” means “negligent discharge”.

    Alec Baldwin should be locked the f*** up (and I would say the same thing if it had been Clint Eastwood or John Wayne). He killed another human, whether negligently or intentionally. Lock his sorry @$$ up.

    • LampofDiogenes,

      Commenter Governor Le Petomane correctly stated above:

      It’s also possible for the hammer to be pulled back and dropped before it reaches half c0ck and that could ignite the round. It pains me greatly to defend Baldwin, but this IS the Truth About Guns.

  10. One wonder’s if Alec was partaking of the wacky tobaccy when he pulled that trigger. He seemed awfully addled for an actor who did plenty of action flicks with firearms…

    • You’re giving actors way too much credit – they are, essentially, meat puppets for the director and the writer. Yes there are some reportedly very nice people who make a living as actors but for the most part they are vain, insecure, recognition seeking, damaged people who are surrounded by sycophants and enablers. Looking good on camera while regurgitating the script writer’s words as the director tells you what to feel is a rare talent but it endows the actor with zero credibility outside their craft. Our society’s obsession with these people is a definite symptom of other, deeper problems. The faster that the techno-geeks can replace living actors with zeros and ones the better for us all.

      • Reply to J. Bryan.
        Back shortly after I retired from the Army, I did some security work for several venues and locations. Met a number of the old school actors from the back in the day. Several were very nice people, and were somewhat conservative, to centrist. They saw themselves as doing a job, or acting as a trade. Many of the leftists, and most of the actors from the late eighties on up are nothing but self absorbed, entitled, attention whores.
        Of course most of the more conservative actors from those days have passed on or are way to old to be working.
        Actors like Baldwin, are of the latter group.
        No matter who was responsible for the weapon used by Baldwin, basic gun safety, whether a prop gun, or a real gun, unless it is a blue rubber training piece, should be checked and verified every time it is picked up, or changes hands. And just my take on the shooting. Baldwin should have been charged with negligent homicide, or manslaughter.

      • Hear hear! Well said! You have put into words my precise feelings about the credibility of a an occupation that receives way more than its due. I understand that some old time western towns used to have a sign at the city limited requiring “Actors, gamblers, montebanks, prostitutes” and a couple other nefarious occupations to register with the local law enforcement officer upon entering the city. That illustrates my feelings about that occupation today. As for taking political or life advice from them, I would rather consult the entrails of a chicken.

  11. I doubt there will be criminal charges. Why? Democrat perpetrator, Democrat Sheriff, Democrat D.A., and Democrat Governor.

  12. I think it may boil down to the idea of ‘reliability’ and ‘duty’.

    Was it reasonable for Baldwin to rely on the statements of the armorer and/or prop master that the weapon was indeed safe.

    And, did Baldwin have a legal duty to check the weapon himself, including the ‘dummy cartridges’ used for realistic close-up shots of the revolver.

    If you pick your car up at the garage after having a brake job, and then run over a pedestrian because the brakes did not work, are you guilty of manslaughter because you failed to check the brakes yourself?

    • Absolutely. I would suspect there is at least a CA Supremes’ decision declaring that you have a duty to test before operating your vehicle and failure to do so constitutes owner negligence and civil if not criminal liability.

  13. Are you trying to tell me that during his interview. ALEC Baldwin said he pointed the firearm at the victim and it “just went off “? And he was believed? That is a complete lie! I was a law enforcement officer for over 40 years and a firearms Instructor for over 35 years and know handguns especially. This gun Baldwin had first of all should have been safety checked by himself to insure it was empty. Second, he NEVER should have pointed it at anyone, and third there is no way it just went off because it was a single action revolver, meaning the hammer had to be manually cocked, or pulled back, prior to every shot or its impossible to shoot. Baldwin is completely lieing, and being dishonest, and that added to the fact he killed someone means there is no question about it. He needs to be charged criminally for causing that death.

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