Gun safety issues on ‘Rust’ set lead to lawsuits – Sonoma State Star

On October 21, actor Alec Baldwin and famed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins were involved in an incident while filming “Rust” that left Hutchins with a fatal gunshot wound. Since that horrific event, Baldwin has come under intense scrutiny, and the whole situation begs the question: how did a live bullet end up in a prop gun?

It seems that crucial security protocols are not taken seriously. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened and if no changes are made, it won’t be the last. Other actors who have lost their lives due to poor on-set gun safety include; Brandon Lee and Jon-Erik Hexum. In the months since the “Rust” incident, on-set safety protocols and proper firearms training have been at the forefront of discussion.

In February 2022, Halyna Hutchins’ family filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Baldwin has continually explained that what happened on October 21 was an accident, but admits no fault in the situation. Matt Hutchins, now a widower, explained that Baldwin should still be at fault. In an interview with Today, Hutchins said, “…the idea that the person holding the gun and causing it to be discharged is not responsible is absurd to me.” .

There has been no resolution in the case of Halyna Hutchins, no arrests have been made and no accountability has been taken. This accident was entirely preventable and it appears that there were several people at fault.

Hannah Gutierrez Reed is the gunsmith who was hired to handle all of the props on set. It’s important to note that Gutierrez Reed had only worked on one other set, before working on the “Rust” set. After the incident during filming, many crew members came out and explained that the production was not taking the necessary precautions to protect everyone on set.

In an interview with ABC News, Baldwin claims he took 90 minutes of gun safety training from Gutierrez Reed. In any other firearms training, it is repeatedly told to treat any gun as if it is loaded. It’s understandable that Baldwin was following the instructions given by Hutchins, but there should be a new policy in place that requires actors to check their firearms before each scene.

In an interview with the STAR, background actress Christina Rangel talks about her experiences with on-set security protocols: “Everyone behind the scenes goes through security checkpoints to ensure the integrity of the set. Some productions even collect your cell phones so that no information can be leaked.

These productions are obviously ready to do anything to protect their content, so there should be no complete disregard for the security protocols which are undoubtedly much more important.

It’s also worth noting that there are prop alternatives for all other weapons used on the sets, with the exception of pistols. Given the dangers that come with using firearms, there should be a realistic option that doesn’t fire live ammunition.

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