Firearms Safety In The Entertainment Industry

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David Schwantz

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You are right it is a semi auto, I have several. I also have several revolvers. My point being the fake ones look more realistic than the real ones. Rounds can also be very realistic, No powder, no primer and no death!!!
 

SDramstad

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I would like to make a point that might not go over well. Here we go.....

You are working on a set that a bunch of people walked off of due to lax safety and gun problems. What would make you think that standing next to the camera while they know a gun will be pointed at and fired at the camera is a good idea?????


Cries of victim blaming in 3...2...1...go
 

smstachwick

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I would like to make a point that might not go over well. Here we go.....

You are working on a set that a bunch of people walked off of due to lax safety and gun problems. What would make you think that standing next to the camera while they know a gun will be pointed at and fired at the camera is a good idea?????


Cries of victim blaming in 3...2...1...go
Ordinarily if there is going to be a firearm pointed at the camera, there should be plexiglass shield in-between. It’s been this way since 1993.

I don’t know whether there was one in this case or whether Hutchins and Souza knew this, it’s just something that I haven’t seen mentioned.

Ordinarily it’s the armorer’s job to know this and make sure one is provided in these circumstances. We’ve already identified several ways the rules were flaunted so it wouldn’t surprise me if nobody knew.

I’ve also seen articles coming out today quoting the local sheriff’s statement that hundreds of live rounds were recovered from the set as part of the investigation into the shooting. This wasn’t just the result of somebody forgetting to clear the gun after using it for real, this was a much more troubling issue regarding on-set security.
 

smstachwick

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But it's the way that America has chosen. If I wanted it any differently, I'd live somewhere other than where I do.
I think openly stating whether I approve of this choice and whether or not we should choose differently going forward is beyond the scope of the forum rules and this topic. Perhaps we could move on from this particular point and focus on the on-set shooting?
 

Banzai88

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I found this list that had been compiled from various media reports of what went wrong.

This is NOT my list, it comes from someone named John Nolte.

He notes "......everything is, at this point, speculative. ":

  1. To save money, the producers combined the armorer job with a prop job. These should’ve been separate jobs, especially in a Western where you will have a lot of guns. The armorer should be focused solely on gun safety.
  2. Members of the crew used the guns for target practice. This means they were loaded with real bullets and fired. There are reports this happened the night prior to the fatal shooting and even the morning of. You never-ever-ever put real bullets in a prop gun.
  3. Live ammo was mixed with blanks on the set. Live ammo should never-ever-ever be allowed anywhere on a set where functioning prop guns are being used.
  4. There had already been two or three misfires on the Rust set, meaning guns had fired accidentally. If this is true, everyone involved should have been immediately fired.
  5. Crew members resigned the morning of the shooting over, among other things, safety concerns. This should have been a red flag for the producers to pause and recalibrate and double down on safety procedures and training sessions.
  6. The armorer, a 24-year-old woman, did not have the experience required for the responsibilities involved, most especially with her also being assigned double duty in the prop department.
  7. The functioning prop firearms were not secured during the lunch break. Instead, they were left out on a cart.
  8. After lunch, the first A.D. grabbed a functioning prop pistol off the unsecured cart, handed it to Baldwin, and shouted, “Cold gun!” which means that nothing will happen if you pull the trigger. No blanks, no nothing. And here is where everything apparently went horribly wrong…
  9. The armorer obviously did not clear the gun. The most likely scenario is that a live bullet was still in the gun from that morning’s target practice. It’s also possible (but improbable) there was a blank and something jammed in the barrel — a pebble or something.
  10. The first A.D. did not clear the gun. He is supposed to double-check the armorer, who might not have even been present when all this went down.
  11. The first A.D. did not show the actor (as required) that the gun was empty, the cylinder was clear, and the barrel was clear. He (or the armorer) are then supposed to point the gun at the ground and pull the trigger six times.
  12. Baldwin did not demand the first A.D. show him the gun was empty. With his 40 years of set experience, along with his role as star and producer, he should have gotten in the first A.D.’s ass over this.
  13. Baldwin did not check the gun. This is especially egregious after the first A.D. failed to prove to him it was unloaded.
  14. Baldwin was given a functioning gun during rehearsal. This should only happen when cameras roll. For rehearsals, you use a rubber gun or, if you have to, a stick.
  15. Baldwin pointed a functioning gun at a human being. This is beyond irresponsible, beyond comprehension, especially after neither he nor the first A.D. checked the gun, especially after two previous misfires and the guns being used for recreational target practice.
 
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Mushtang

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Considering number 5, numbers 12 and 13 make me think Alec Baldwin should definitely be held as responsible as anyone else in the crew. Although several people share the blame.

I fully expect no charges will be filed against him though.
 

Banzai88

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Considering number 5, numbers 12 and 13 make me think Alec Baldwin should definitely be held as responsible as anyone else in the crew. Although several people share the blame.

I fully expect no charges will be filed against him though.
The latest reports from the sheriff investigating it is still calling it a 'criminal investigation'.

There have been several legal reviews of New Mexico law that show clearly that it's entirely possible that charges of negligent homicide (and others) are specifically allowed by statute, but that it would be up the State/District attorney to pursue said CRIMINAL indictment based on evidence provided by the investigating sheriff.

I wouldn't at all be surprised if charges were filed, and the authorities let the courts decide.

AB's production company will almost certainly be sued in CIVIL court, though.
 
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smstachwick

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I found this list that had been compiled from various media reports of what went wrong.

This is NOT my list, it comes from someone named John Nolte.

He notes "......everything is, at this point, speculative. ":

  1. To save money, the producers combined the armorer job with a prop job. These should’ve been separate jobs, especially in a Western where you will have a lot of guns. The armorer should be focused solely on gun safety.
  2. Members of the crew used the guns for target practice. This means they were loaded with real bullets and fired. There are reports this happened the night prior to the fatal shooting and even the morning of. You never-ever-ever put real bullets in a prop gun.
  3. Live ammo was mixed with blanks on the set. Live ammo should never-ever-ever be allowed anywhere on a set where functioning prop guns are being used.
  4. There had already been two or three misfires on the Rust set, meaning guns had fired accidentally. If this is true, everyone involved should have been immediately fired.
  5. Crew members resigned the morning of the shooting over, among other things, safety concerns. This should have been a red flag for the producers to pause and recalibrate and double down on safety procedures and training sessions.
  6. The armorer, a 24-year-old woman, did not have the experience required for the responsibilities involved, most especially with her also being assigned double duty in the prop department.
  7. The functioning prop firearms were not secured during the lunch break. Instead, they were left out on a cart.
  8. After lunch, the first A.D. grabbed a functioning prop pistol off the unsecured cart, handed it to Baldwin, and shouted, “Cold gun!” which means that nothing will happen if you pull the trigger. No blanks, no nothing. And here is where everything apparently went horribly wrong…
  9. The armorer obviously did not clear the gun. The most likely scenario is that a live bullet was still in the gun from that morning’s target practice. It’s also possible (but improbable) there was a blank and something jammed in the barrel — a pebble or something.
  10. The first A.D. did not clear the gun. He is supposed to double-check the armorer, who might not have even been present when all this went down.
  11. The first A.D. did not show the actor (as required) that the gun was empty, the cylinder was clear, and the barrel was clear. He (or the armorer) are then supposed to point the gun at the ground and pull the trigger six times.
  12. Baldwin did not demand the first A.D. show him the gun was empty. With his 40 years of set experience, along with his role as star and producer, he should have gotten in the first A.D.’s ass over this.
  13. Baldwin did not check the gun. This is especially egregious after the first A.D. failed to prove to him it was unloaded.
  14. Baldwin was given a functioning gun during rehearsal. This should only happen when cameras roll. For rehearsals, you use a rubber gun or, if you have to, a stick.
  15. Baldwin pointed a functioning gun at a human being. This is beyond irresponsible, beyond comprehension, especially after neither he nor the first A.D. checked the gun, especially after two previous misfires and the guns being used for recreational target practice.
Much of this is news to me and it radically changed my perception of what may have transpired.

Thanks for posting.
 

dr wogz

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a little long winded, but another account of events:

 

kuririn

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I found this list that had been compiled from various media reports of what went wrong.

This is NOT my list, it comes from someone named John Nolte.

He notes "......everything is, at this point, speculative. ":
I found the list after looking up the author's name.
He is an author at Breitbart.
He doesn't just say " everything is speculative."
Here is his full quote:

"It’s important to point out that the American media is wholly unreliable, lies casually and deliberately, and should not be trusted. So everything is, at this point, speculative."

So if his list is compiled from various media sources, and these sources are "wholly unreliable", what does that say about his list?

In particular I question numbers 10-12.
My understanding is that only one person, the armorer, can load and unload the weapon.
And it doesn't make sense that the weapon was supposed to be empty of any charge, blanks or otherwise. This does not correlate with other media reports.

And based on the headlines I saw on their front page I am guessing that the people at Breitbart may have just a l-i-t-t-l-e bit of a political bias when it comes to Alec Baldwin.
Of course, this is pure speculation on my part. ;)

As an aside, I read that the young, inexperienced armorer was the daughter of a legendary Hollywood armorer. No further comment.
EDIT: I am providing a link to Nolte's article in Breitbart.
Read it and decide for yourself:
Nolte: 15 Things That Reportedly Went Wrong on Alec Baldwin's Deadly 'Rust' Set (breitbart.com)
 
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boatgeek

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I'm fascinated by the need to qualify the statement that the armorer was inexperienced by adding the bit about being a 24-year-old woman. By all means, talk about prior experience and issues on prior sets. Sure, talk about age, if the average age of a Hollywood armorer is significantly different from her age. But considering that Annie Oakley was touring with Buffalo Bill by age 25, shooting cigars out of her husband's mouth and hitting playing cards edge-on, I'm not sure that the age or gender in and of themselves are issues.
 

Banzai88

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I'm fascinated by the need to qualify the statement that the armorer was inexperienced by adding the bit about being a 24-year-old woman. By all means, talk about prior experience and issues on prior sets. Sure, talk about age, if the average age of a Hollywood armorer is significantly different from her age. But considering that Annie Oakley was touring with Buffalo Bill by age 25, shooting cigars out of her husband's mouth and hitting playing cards edge-on, I'm not sure that the age or gender in and of themselves are issues.
While I would agree about the sex issue(being a non-issue), as long as her sex wasn't to fill a diversity check block as a primary qualifier for the job. 24 years old is hardly much scope or depth of experience in just about anything, much less potential adult professional career exposure.

The fact that she's the progeny of a legendary Hollywood armorer speaks more to potential nepotism being her primary job qualifier than anything else.
 
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kuririn

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Addendum.
I forgot to mention the term "cold gun" from what I understand does not mean an empty gun.
From a Hollywood trade magazine:
"This production term typically means that the gun has been checked to ensure it does not contain any live rounds. "
By that definition a cold gun can contain blanks.
So points 11 and 12 on Nolte's list are not applicable in this instance.
I'm not sure that the age or gender in and of themselves are issues.
I agree.
If a report says the armorer's age and gender contributed to the mishap, yes.
If a report simply states the armorers' age, gender and experience level, no.
 

kuririn

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The fact that she's the progeny of a legendary Hollywood armorer speaks more to potential nepotism being her primary job qualifier than anything else.
+1.
 

smstachwick

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Well, the sourcing of the list and the probable biases/possible inaccuracies of the original author definitely complicate things.

I didn’t take the age/gender comment to be disparaging, merely identifying and contextualizing short of a providing a name (although I do believe at least one armor has been identified by name). I could, however, imagine that being written with the intention that the reader reads it with a considerable amount of “stank” on it.
 

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incompetence is incompetence. I thought it unnecessary.. it could well have been a 54 yr old guy who 'graduated' to the post..
 

Arnie

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Ever fire a weapon? One of the first thing learned is "DON'T ASSUME THE GUN ISN"T LOADED". You're dealing with a life and death situation. Baldwin ASSumed.......no ifs ands or butts (no pun intended)
 

kuririn

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Ever drive a car? One of the first things learned is 'DON'T CRASH INTO OTHER CARS!'
You're dealing with a life and death situation. Vin Diesel ASSumed. No if ands or butts. And a kick ASS movie was the result. Pun intended. 🎃
 
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Donnager

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Widespread firearms ownership in the civilian population isn’t the only way to guarantee freedom. Combining respect for long-standing democratic tradition and separation of powers with consistently disowning dishonest or authoritarian candidates and cultivating a peace-loving culture works well.

New Zealand actually outranks the United States in global freedom indices despite having a blanket ban on semiautomatic firearms, magazines, and parts.

Norway outranks the United States as well but has specific ownership, documentation, use, and qualification requirements that are not present in all American jurisdictions.
In the United States, firearms restrictions are prevented by our constitution for very good reasons, despite some states trying to whittle down these rights. I'd suggest moving to New Zealand or Norway, if you don't want to abide by the rules that have been established, rather than trying to make a significant part of Americans change their views, or force them to conform to yours.

The constitution hasn't changed much in 250(ish) years, however, so you may have a steep hill to climb.
 

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dhbarr

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I found this list that had been compiled from various media reports of what went wrong.

This is NOT my list, it comes from someone named John Nolte.

He notes "......everything is, at this point, speculative. ":

  1. To save money, the producers combined the armorer job with a prop job. These should’ve been separate jobs, especially in a Western where you will have a lot of guns. The armorer should be focused solely on gun safety.
  2. Members of the crew used the guns for target practice. This means they were loaded with real bullets and fired. There are reports this happened the night prior to the fatal shooting and even the morning of. You never-ever-ever put real bullets in a prop gun.
  3. Live ammo was mixed with blanks on the set. Live ammo should never-ever-ever be allowed anywhere on a set where functioning prop guns are being used.
  4. There had already been two or three misfires on the Rust set, meaning guns had fired accidentally. If this is true, everyone involved should have been immediately fired.
  5. Crew members resigned the morning of the shooting over, among other things, safety concerns. This should have been a red flag for the producers to pause and recalibrate and double down on safety procedures and training sessions.
  6. The armorer, a 24-year-old woman, did not have the experience required for the responsibilities involved, most especially with her also being assigned double duty in the prop department.
  7. The functioning prop firearms were not secured during the lunch break. Instead, they were left out on a cart.
  8. After lunch, the first A.D. grabbed a functioning prop pistol off the unsecured cart, handed it to Baldwin, and shouted, “Cold gun!” which means that nothing will happen if you pull the trigger. No blanks, no nothing. And here is where everything apparently went horribly wrong…
  9. The armorer obviously did not clear the gun. The most likely scenario is that a live bullet was still in the gun from that morning’s target practice. It’s also possible (but improbable) there was a blank and something jammed in the barrel — a pebble or something.
  10. The first A.D. did not clear the gun. He is supposed to double-check the armorer, who might not have even been present when all this went down.
  11. The first A.D. did not show the actor (as required) that the gun was empty, the cylinder was clear, and the barrel was clear. He (or the armorer) are then supposed to point the gun at the ground and pull the trigger six times.
  12. Baldwin did not demand the first A.D. show him the gun was empty. With his 40 years of set experience, along with his role as star and producer, he should have gotten in the first A.D.’s ass over this.
  13. Baldwin did not check the gun. This is especially egregious after the first A.D. failed to prove to him it was unloaded.
  14. Baldwin was given a functioning gun during rehearsal. This should only happen when cameras roll. For rehearsals, you use a rubber gun or, if you have to, a stick.
  15. Baldwin pointed a functioning gun at a human being. This is beyond irresponsible, beyond comprehension, especially after neither he nor the first A.D. checked the gun, especially after two previous misfires and the guns being used for recreational target practice.
At the risk of being accused of victim blaming, also there are panels a camera operator is supposed to stand behind. And remote camera operations are a thing. And if I'm a technical camera person in charge of shooting, well, shooting; I should have stopped the armorer and AD and actor when each of them violated their safety requirements. Hence a failure of safety culture generally.
 

hball55

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Ever fire a weapon? One of the first thing learned is "DON'T ASSUME THE GUN ISN"T LOADED". You're dealing with a life and death situation. Baldwin ASSumed.......no ifs ands or butts (no pun intended)
Baldwin will get off, which is a shame. They will act like it wasn’t his responsibility to ensure his gun wasn’t loaded with live ammo, basic firearm safety be damned. when you’re handed a gun you assume it’s loaded until you check it yourself.
 

smstachwick

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Baldwin will get off, which is a shame. They will act like it wasn’t his responsibility to ensure his gun wasn’t loaded with live ammo, basic firearm safety be damned. when you’re handed a gun you assume it’s loaded until you check it yourself.
Sure, just ignore 8 pages worth of discussion on the use of photorealistic dud ammo, division of labor and expertise on a set, and distribution of causal factors along the entire causality chain. Minor things, trivial even. 🙄

Regardless, more recent updates indicate that Baldwin may end up facing some kind of charge or civil litigation. Continued investigation into the matter looks like a bare-bones minimum. I’d bet it would be more related to his role as a producer instead of a leading actor, though. There were some serious problems with overburdening the crew with more responsibilities per person than is traditional.
 

Arnie

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" 8 pages worth of discussion on the use of photorealistic dud ammo, division of labor and expertise on a set, and distribution of causal factors along the entire causality chain. Minor things, trivial even." So sorry. All those "reasons" still avoid the issue of basic fire arm safety : When a person is handed or picks up a weapon it is his or her responsibility to verify whether or not said weapon is "loaded" . Don't believe me? I suggest you take a firearms safety course..
 
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