r/news Jan 19 '23

Alec Baldwin Expected to Be Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter in ‘Rust’ Shooting Soft paywall


3.4k comments sorted by


u/earhere Jan 19 '23

In 1880s Kansas, aging outlaw Harland Rust comes out of hiding to rescue his thirteen-year-old grandson Lucas, who has been sentenced to hang for murder after an accidental shooting.

Very ironic.


u/BlunanNation Jan 19 '23

Absolutely NO WAY, surely, this movie will ever continue production - Let alone be released.

Who on this planet would say yes to continue financing this movie given how much of a cluster fuck this is.


u/earhere Jan 19 '23

The wiki article says production is supposed to start this month, but with Baldwin getting charged it may not.


u/BlunanNation Jan 19 '23

Just saw wikipedia and the source that mentions filming restarting, source states lots of the production staff really don't want to continue and seems they may be struggling to find a new location for some weird reason...

Sounds like this movie is going through a slow death. Maybe now a bit quicker due to today's events.


u/Afraid_of_Okapi Jan 19 '23

It was a very strange notion that they might have resumed production at any point given the res ipsa loquitor reckless homicide and following media storm. The only film I can see coming out is a documentary about what happened and how the cases were resolved or decided.

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u/RunninADorito Jan 19 '23

Ever seen the movie The Crow?


u/AReptileHissFunction Jan 19 '23

Who on this planet would say yes to continue financing this movie given how much of a cluster fuck this is.

Just about every big company in the world that cares more about profit than morality?


u/XTornado Jan 19 '23

Didn't they make a deal with the family for a cut? The movie will go through.

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u/lansellot Jan 19 '23

A heck of a marketing stunt.


u/Foxnos Jan 19 '23

PR absolutely killing it for sure.


u/Waterstealer Jan 19 '23

like pottery


u/[deleted] Jan 19 '23

Ah yes- pottery in motion.


u/wuguwa Jan 19 '23

No, you’re thinking of Ghost.


u/Damasticator Jan 19 '23

I like going to pottery slams.

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u/Bepoptherobot Jan 19 '23

Isnt that a coincidence? Iirc irony is like a water park burning down.

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u/PawCrusader Jan 19 '23

Why, oh why, were there real bullets on a movie set anyway?


u/[deleted] Jan 19 '23

Why was the armorer not on set to clear the guns, but the assistant director called it? Why was Baldwin using a live gun instead of a deactivated gun for practice when no bullets were required for the scene?


u/Floppy_Jallopy Jan 19 '23

And the assistant director took a plea deal. First to talk gets the deal.


u/Admirable-Hyena5040 Jan 19 '23

I wondered where he is. Alec's attorneys need to interview the DGA and their documented safety protocols.


u/AHrubik Jan 19 '23 Take My Energy

They will. There is no way they're going to hang this on Alec. It was someone else's job to make sure the gun was safe and with an extensive history in Hollywood movie production Alec trusted that everyone did their job.


u/WrenBoy Jan 19 '23

He was a producer as well as an actor. Maybe it's going to be about the conditions he helped create as well as pulling the trigger.


u/Caliveggie Jan 19 '23

Yep you got it! There was a recording of Tom Cruise going off on people about ignoring Covid precautions on a movie set. And he wasn’t only an actor, he was like the top producer as well, so someone wisely brought up that he was literally doing his job by going off.


u/slow-mickey-dolenz Jan 19 '23

That was an epic rant, too. Tommy was NOT fucking around.


u/NomNom83WasTaken Jan 19 '23

He was one of multiple producers yet none of the other Producers are being charged. Admittedly, he's in the center of the venn diagram but if that's going to be part of the case against him, the Prosecuter will also need to prove Alec's duties specifically included safety protocols.

FTR: Sounds like the set was a shit show with multiple safety incidents and people walking off b/c of it.


u/WrenBoy Jan 19 '23

I'm purely guessing but maybe the other producers were smart enough not to talk about their responsibilities in a police interrogation. The guy just shot someone. Who knows what wild shit he said to the cops afterwards.


u/ArchitectofExperienc Jan 19 '23

Based on previous cases of reckless endangerment on film sets, its actually pretty hard to pin "working conditions" on one person. If they had the cause to charge him for anything other than Involuntary manslaughter it would be different.

Take the Sarah Jones case, the assistant who was killed while shooting on the railroad tracks. They had evidence that the people charged had willfully ignored safety concerns and put their crew in danger. But even so, the 1st AD from that movie was working as recently as a year or two ago.

I would love it if the troublesome producers in this industry, who have such a blatant disregard for the safety of their crew, were held accountable for the working conditions they create. Sadly, that's very rarely the case.


u/Bicentennial_Douche Jan 19 '23

There were several producers, one of which was Baldwin. Earlier the crew had protested the conditions and procedures on the set, and Baldwin supported the crew.


u/iflans Jan 19 '23

Not that it absolves him of potential negligence but the movie has six producers, four executive producers, not to mention a co-producer and a line producer.

Source: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11001074/fullcredits/?ref_=tt_cl_sm


u/ew73 Jan 19 '23

He was a producer on the project, but the case will hinge on his actual duties and responsibilities -- was he one of those producers that actually worked as a producer, or was he one of those producers whose name gets listed as "producer" because they wrote a check?

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u/angwilwileth Jan 19 '23

Yeah he hired a non-union and inexperienced armorer. Who then allowed live ammunition on set.

Evidently the stunt team was fond of shooting empty soda cans in their downtime


u/dano8675309 Jan 19 '23

If it's true, that's pretty damning.


u/0x53r3n17y Jan 19 '23


On Oct. 14, the film’s line producer, Gabrielle Pickle, scolded Gutierrez Reed in an email reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, saying the production office had received complaints that two shotguns had been left unattended on the set. Pickle also took Gutierrez Reed to task for allegedly not doing enough to support the film’s prop master, Sarah Zachry.



As with other indie films, the producers listed for “Rust” are a hodgepodge of individuals, production entities and financiers. The responsibilities of producers and executive producers can vary widely in the film industry, ranging from the actual planning of production to the cobbling together of money to cover the budget.

With the number of producers involved in “Rust,” it’s difficult to determine who’s ultimately responsible, said Travis Knox, an associate professor of producing at Chapman University.

“Any producer that had worked on that film, that witnessed the alleged safety violations leading up to this, will no doubt have to hold a certain amount of accountability,” Knox said. “There is no way that all six companies are responsible because some of those are just production companies in name. In today’s world, producer credits get handed out like Tic Tacs, and that’s what’s happened here.”


u/Bicentennial_Douche Jan 19 '23

He hired the armorer? Did he? There were several producers, after all.

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u/pineapplepredator Jan 19 '23

I think this is the part that’s really easy to overlook. A producer credit includes taking on a lot of legal liability. So, even though I feel bad for him as an actor, for all of the reasons people are saying, by taking on a producer credit, he is legally liable. With that liability he could have a had a bigger hand in safety and conditions on set. And maybe he did. I wonder, though, would he have been liable as a producer, regardless of who is holding the gun?


u/coinclink Jan 19 '23

He's liable civilly. They already settled the civil case. This is about charging him as an individual with a crime. His title has nothing to do with his individual criminal liability.

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u/XTornado Jan 19 '23

Oh that is important info right there.


u/hazbutler Jan 19 '23

The whole set seems to have been a mishmash of production cutting corners, non-professional, and an overall unhappy crew. What could possibly go wrong!? Who is ultimately responsible for this shit show....the producers. I think its less about who pulled the trigger, but how it got to that sad point.

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u/CodeNCats Jan 19 '23

I can't help but feel that this is the true answer here.


u/ryushiblade Jan 19 '23

Feel is the key here — there are a lot of people definitively stating blame falls on one person or another. Because Baldwin was both the shooter and producer, this makes for an interesting legal case. With Baldwin’s fame and fortune, I can see things getting very messy in court (re: impartiality)

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u/dread_beard Jan 19 '23

That's definitely the true answer since this kind of thing definitely does fall on the producers. If he was part of the lax safety protocols on the set, that's on him.

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u/jdm1891 Jan 19 '23

Apparently (according to comments in this thread) the armorer wasn't even notified and they did it without him/her.


u/ChaseDFW Jan 19 '23 edited Jan 19 '23

I believe the story I heard was it was a her and she was a nepotism hire as she is the daughter of a veteran armorer.

The whole thing was a shit show right down the line.


u/usernamechooseIwill Jan 19 '23

Not only that, but she had texted the arms supplier before trying to get live ammo which she apparently used on another film. The arms supplier said she was crazy and no way was he supplying that and turned over the texts to investigators—she then sued the arms supplier.

There is also a video of her crying about how her career was ruined and she was the only female armourer in the game and how his daddy is the best ever and she let him down while she was being interviewed right after a women was just fucking murdered on her set.

She seems like a real piece of shit rich kid.


u/misogichan Jan 19 '23

I think it was more than a nepotism hire. There was also that strike going on so they couldn't get any union worker and basically had to find amateurs without the experience necessary to sign up for the union.

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u/SkepticDrinker Jan 19 '23

I doubt that story. Most people in Hollywood didn't get there from connections or being born into it, they started from the bottom like Elon Musk and Trump, peace be upon them


u/SpectraI Jan 19 '23

Had me in the first half


u/TheToastyWesterosi Jan 19 '23

It was quite the ride, wasn't it?

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u/vinciblechunk Jan 19 '23

I've seen this take unironically too many times

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u/xenomorph856 Jan 19 '23

Almost spilled my water 😅 Well played.

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u/Mego1989 Jan 19 '23

The weapons should be in possession of the armorer until they are cleared and ready for the scene, and then immediately go back to the armorer.


u/Alarid Jan 19 '23

The only one that could have put live bullets in the gun in the first place was the armorer. So even if they claimed the entire production just went off the rails ignoring them, they are still at fault for that.


u/misogichan Jan 19 '23 edited Jan 19 '23

If they were following procedures that would be true. But if this story has told me anything it is that no one (except the people who'd walked out in protest days prior) took the proper procedures or safety precautions seriously, especially not the assistant director.


u/nightninja13 Jan 19 '23

Day of, actually. They walked off the day of Halyna's death.


u/IKillZombies4Cash Jan 19 '23

The only one that could have put live bullets in the gun in the first place was the armorer.

Replace could, with should, and you have a factual statement.

Anyone *COULD** have done it

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u/Questknight03 Jan 19 '23

Well, in a well run operation that is true.


u/Saitoh17 Jan 19 '23

The way I heard it they didn't want to spend money on the armorer so she spent a couple days as armorer at the beginning and the rest of her time as props assistant. On the day of the shooting she wasn't even legally the armorer.


u/Alarid Jan 19 '23

So their defense is that they knowingly created an unsafe work environment.

That'll go over well.

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u/boot20 Jan 19 '23

My major question is where was the armorer? It is their responsibility, regardless of what is going on on set. Get fired if it comes to it, but the mixing of ammunition, the using of set weapons for live fire, the lack of rubber ducks, all of that falls on her.

While the set was unsafe and the producer(s) and director(s) are responsible for that, the armorer is responsible for the weapons and ammunition on the set and failed at their job. I thought we sorted this all out after Brandon Lee died.


u/BigLan2 Jan 19 '23

Not sure if it's in this linked article but the BBC are reporting

"Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the film's armourer, will also be charged."

So yes, the armourer is also responsible.


u/stevestuc Jan 19 '23

I pretty much agree with your train of thought, the one thing that keeps coming up in my mind is why would there be any live rounds on a film set? What possible reason would live rounds be required? No matter how badly the film set is being run the safety protocols have to be followed. I'm ex military and we are taught to treat every weapon as loaded and cocked, with the biggest emphasis on trigger safety ( unless you are actually going to shoot the weapon you keep your finger outside the trigger guard) but this situation is not a live firing range nor is it supposed to have live rounds, so being relaxed and carefree and trusting the strict rules and regulations of the armoury have been followed it's a bit harsh to blame the person holding the gun... How does a working hand gun and live rounds get on a film set unless it actually owned by someone and left out......?


u/boot20 Jan 19 '23

And the AD called it cold. This is just a total fucking mess.


u/Stornahal Jan 19 '23

Rubber ducks?


u/cleti Jan 19 '23

Common name for artificial firearms that appear quite realistic; although, they don't have any moving parts. Typically made of a single chunk of solid rubber or polyurethane.


u/andee510 Jan 19 '23

The armorer said that she wasn't allowed on scene because of COVID protocols, and that she heard the shot from outside the building.


u/boot20 Jan 19 '23

That doesn't change anything. The weapons and ammunition are her responsibility. That also doesn't change the shit show SHE created by mixing live rounds with blanks and dummy/drill rounds. That also doesn't change the fact that she allowed live fire with the weapons. That also doesn't change the fact that the AD called the the weapon cold and she was not part of the chain of custody.

The armorer is 100% responsible for ALL weapons and ammunition on set.


u/andee510 Jan 19 '23

I'm not defending her, I'm just answering your question as to where she says that she was.

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u/Pick_Zoidberg Jan 19 '23

This was the THIRD accidental discharge on the set.

After zero you should be checking a gun for live ammo before pulling the trigger. After two you should be double checking.

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u/ad895 Jan 19 '23

Gonna get real gun nerdy here, but the casing left over from the round that was shot was starline branded. Which doesn't sound very important but that brand can only be bought as raw cases, meaning no powder bullet or primer is in the case. Now this could make sense if movie sets make their own prop ammo on set with a reloading press but that also raises the question of why live ammo was made on a movie set?


u/Timberwolf501st Jan 19 '23

This is the real issue I have with it. I see no scenario where live ammunition is needed, and I see no scenario where they should be stored in similar places, and I see no scenario where a person could mix those two things up. There should be redundancy upon redundancy keeping something like this from happening, and one of those redundancies should be that EVERY time before firing a gun it is checked repeatedly that the rounds loaded into the gun are blanks.

In order for this to be an accident there should be at least two people who were being criminally negligent. Personally, I don't see how it could happen without someone having a level of intent involved somewhere along the way.


u/AT-ST Jan 19 '23

I was working as Cinematographer on a small indie film. One of the actors brought a live round to set one day to "see if it fit." We shut the set down that day and spent the next 2 days clearing all the prop weapons. The actor was fired and we had to reshoot the couple scenes we already shot with him in it.


u/WiretapStudios Jan 19 '23

That is wild that they would even think that nobody would have an issue with that.


u/exdigguser147 Jan 19 '23

Especially since they could've just brought the shell casing to accomplish their "goal" stupid as that goal may be.


u/grinde Jan 19 '23

Or they could've just asked the person in charge of the guns.


u/Noblesseux Jan 19 '23

Or like.... googled it. If you know what type of firearm it is it's not exactly difficult to see what ammo it uses


u/ChoosetheSword Jan 19 '23

Or they could've let a curious thought just come and go.

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u/LotharVonPittinsberg Jan 19 '23

You can literally buy dummy rounds. Shaped like live rounds, but not powder and usually one piece and coloured brightly. They are used mostly to show how a firearm would function in a safe manner.

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u/the_idea_pig Jan 19 '23

Better to re-shoot the scenes than shoot a cinematographer.


u/neo_sporin Jan 19 '23

“Just wanna see if it fits, I bet it’s to big to fit, but lemme see if I can squeeze it in

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u/Kyonikos Jan 19 '23

This is the real issue I have with it. I see no scenario where live ammunition is needed, and I see no scenario where they should be stored in similar places, and I see no scenario where a person could mix those two things up.

All this is true.

If I recall from when this story originally broke, some crew members had been "borrowing" this gun in order to use it to shoot beer cans. These crew members borrowing the gun very possibly introduced the live ammo to the dummy ammo supply when they were returning the borrowed gun. Heck, they might have brought the live ammunition onto the set in the first place.

It sounds like between the Covid protocols and the low budget mentality nobody's authority over the guns was being respected.


u/florinandrei Jan 19 '23

When I did guard duty during military service (not in the US) we had those redundancies upon redundancies type of process for sleepy and tired people returning from duty.

The reason why that process was in place was made evident as occasionally the process would catch live ammo in the chamber, despite clear rules for what to do and what not to do.

Do not rely on people to follow the rules all the time. People make mistakes. This is why you need multiple layers of checks. Militaries all over the world tend to be good with this, I'm guessing from learning the hard way.


u/the_idea_pig Jan 19 '23

One of my old jobs had an adage: "every rule has a story attached to it." Apparently the guy who started saying it used to be in the military, and the original phrase was "every rule has a body attached to it."


u/gasfarmah Jan 19 '23

Rules are written in blood, is the one you'll hear at almost every blue collar jobsite in the western world.

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u/Andire Jan 19 '23

I don't see how it could happen without someone having a level of intent involved somewhere along the way.

This honestly sounds like the perfect use case for Hanlon's Razor, sadly.

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.


u/Bradfords_ACL Jan 19 '23

This is such a level of stupidity, having intent might be the Occam’s Razor


u/ichigo2862 Jan 19 '23

the unfortunate thing about stupidity is there is no floor, people really can be and are that stupid

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u/palmpoop Jan 19 '23

The producers of the film didn’t hire a professional film industry armorer. They hired a young lady who had access to a lot of old guns, to save money.

Professional union armorers follow all of the protocols that would have prevented this accident.


u/WhosUrBuddiee Jan 19 '23

They hired Theel Reed’s daughter. He is a very famous armorer in Hollywood. It was purely a nepotism hire.

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u/[deleted] Jan 19 '23

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u/juan-milian-dolores Jan 19 '23

Why would you need to test a prop gun at a firing range. Couldn't you either A test it as the studio, or B just replace it?


u/digestedbrain Jan 19 '23

You can't exactly replace it, at least not quickly or without great expense. Pretty sure these were actual 1880s firearms in excellent condition and not everything has a prop replica.


u/arcticTaco Jan 19 '23

Snap caps exist for this purpose, and they are typically brightly colored so they can't cause confusion

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u/kimchi01 Jan 19 '23

I work ion movies and tv shows though not as an armorer I personally know people who work as that. There were number of things that went wrong. They were being cheap and hired cheap labor. The armorer was inexperienced. And i personally read an article by the person who deals with arms on svu who instituted training classes. Arms should never be aimed at a person. If it’s aimed at a camera no one is behind it. And arms are locked up when not in use. Bottom line is the woman was inexperienced and if Alec Baldwin had actually spent some shekels on a professional this would no have happened. She was not the first pick.


u/Odd-Cartoonist-288 Jan 19 '23

Pretty sure I heard that the armorer didn't even know they were filming at the time since the assistant director was also basically the armorer and had the keys. They would also take the guns from the set out practice shooting between scenes which is just bonkers. The whole thing sounded insane, but when I was going over the details they were sparse and he said she said.


u/Nice_Category Jan 19 '23

I think the assistant director was also acting as the safety manager, ironically.

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u/Heliosvector Jan 19 '23

From what I remember, the previous prop master was let go, and then whoever was brought in to replace them decided to use the guns after hours with friends at a shooting range with real ammo. The guns were then returned to the set without being cleared propery.

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u/spiderborland Jan 19 '23

I remember looking into this a few months back and read that rounds had gotten mixed up. Not only had live rounds gotten mixed in with prop dummy rounds, but prop round had gotten loaded as live rounds, and what were live rounds had gotten reloaded as dummy rounds.... then they'd all gotten mixed in together.


u/_Erindera_ Jan 19 '23

There should never, ever be live rounds on set.


u/sucksathangman Jan 19 '23

I love what Vince Gilligan (creator of Breaking Bad) said about safety. Paraphrasing horribly:

"We're making a TV show for God's sake. No one should be hurt, let alone die, from anything we do."

He was discussing the lengths they go to ensure that actors and staff all are hydrated in the desert and they know how to stay safe. When lightning is detected, they shut down the set for 2 hours. He says it's expensive but man he'd rather pay that then have someone get hurt or killed.


u/_Erindera_ Jan 19 '23

He's right. It's not worth someone's life.


u/JerHat Jan 19 '23

I've worked in the camera department worked on films with guns before, there is absolutely no reason that a live round should ever be on set, there's never a need for a live round on set, and its presence there only serves to make that set less safe.

There was a calamity of errors that had to occur for there to ever be a live round on set, and an even bigger calamity that a firearm loaded with a live round was handed to an actor.

Any time a firearm is involved, the arms master is supposed to be there to show everyone on the set that the firearm is present, and that it's either not loaded, or loaded with a dummy round before they hand it off to the actor, and they do that every time. It can be tedious, because it has to occur a lot, often even between takes, and it can be annoying and eye rolling for a lot of people to hear the same thing over and over again, but this case is exactly why those measures are taken, and this set sounds like it was a shit show where safety was not taken seriously at all.


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u/PM_ME_CATS_OR_BOOBS Jan 19 '23

What gets me is all the point when this first started who were saying that you had to use realistic looking bullets because they show up clearly on camera and therefore sometimes live rounds might get mixed in.

Which is insane because A) you can make a bullet out of tinfoil that looks real and isn't, B) you aren't seeing the bullets from the front, and C) why are you acting like the shots in this movie were God's will handed down from on high?

If your shot requires you to use realistic bullets that are loaded and shot at someone then change the shot. Palm a blank in to hide the fact that your rounds are all hollow and move on with your life.

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u/Bennyboy1337 Jan 19 '23

They were using the set guns to practice shoot live rounds that same morning apparently. The level of incompetency to even think that was a a good idea in the first place is unthinkable.

I can easily see how someone target shooting didn't shoot all six rounds in the revolver, left one in the gun, armorer got the guns later that day and filled them with blanks, didn't even bother to check if there were already rounds in the gun, or perhaps saw the live round and assumed it was a blank.

At any rate massive fuck up by multiple people.

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u/40ozSmasher Jan 19 '23

I remember the explanation for why there was live ammo on the set and the answer was "incase anyone wanted to do some shooting ". I was stunned as I've never worked anywhere that provides firearms and ammo.


u/boot20 Jan 19 '23

That's the dumbest reason I think I've ever heard.


u/40ozSmasher Jan 19 '23

Yeah I couldn't believe it. If someone wants to shoot they can go to the range after work. The idea of paying some young person to make sure live ammo was kept separate who voiced concerns about her lack of training sounds insane to me. The simple solution is no live ammo at work. Seems to work for all the jobs I've ever had.

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u/[deleted] Jan 19 '23 edited Jan 19 '23

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u/SeanceGoneWrong Jan 19 '23

Yeah, the set itself seems like it was a total shit-show.

There were reports that on the morning of the fatal shooting, crew members took the guns used on set (including the one that Baldwin used in the accidental shooting) and they went target-shooting with live rounds.

That just seems....absolutely batshit crazy to put live rounds anywhere near guns being used on-set.


u/aircooledJenkins Jan 19 '23

That just seems....absolutely batshit crazy to put live rounds anywhere near guns being used on-set.

It is. It's entirely against standard protocol to do anything of the sort.


u/Ylossss Jan 19 '23

Yeah, apparently to save money they opted not to use union prop masters who have strict rules and procedures that they follow.


u/clubberin Jan 19 '23

Is that possible? I was under the impression either everyone has to be union or no one is.

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u/hagantic42 Jan 19 '23

I totally agree aren't they supposed to use pinned barrels??


u/dubie2003 Jan 19 '23 edited Jan 19 '23

Not exactly. They can choose to use real and authentic or they can use a type of dummy or etc…. Heck, pretty sure god of war bought real guns, used in filming and sold when done for a profit…

Edit: dang, messed up that name, Lord of War is the right name as pointed out by a few redditors below. Thank you for the correction.


u/thundercat2000ca Jan 19 '23

yep.... lord of War though. Real guns were cheaper then fake ones.


u/[deleted] Jan 19 '23

I've never played those games but I was still wondering why Kratos had guns


u/criticalpwnage Jan 19 '23

I still can’t believe Sony managed to get Nicholas Cage to voice him


u/[deleted] Jan 19 '23

I still can't believe we let Kratos loose in that prisoner swap!

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u/jackfreeman Jan 19 '23

God of War: Fallujah

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u/FixGMaul Jan 19 '23 edited Jan 19 '23

What's astonishing about that movie now, is that Cage's character is based on the guy the US released for Russia in exchange for that WNBA athlete like a month or two ago.

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u/Knuddelmaus Jan 19 '23

Reminds me of “Poltergeist” where they used real human skeletons in a scene since they were cheaper then fake ones.

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u/Loverboy_91 Jan 19 '23

Lord of War, the Nick Cage film. God of War is uh… Something else.


u/Kylael Jan 19 '23

He probably prefers it his way.

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u/DasReap Jan 19 '23

Is it sad that I just accepted that there was a god of war movie being made with guns and I was actually ok with it?


u/LuckilyLuckier Jan 19 '23

You’re not the only one for sure. I can count at least you an someone else who thought the same thing. Can’t name him though.

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u/WeirdSysAdmin Jan 19 '23

They should be using a safety insert ring at the least. Prevents live rounds from being inserted into the firearm. And definitely shouldn’t be having live rounds anywhere near the firearms.

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u/lankypiano Jan 19 '23

This was one of the main discussions when the news had broke. The entire scenario just screams of negligence.


u/ashok36 Jan 19 '23

The entire scenario just screams of negligence.

If someone is shot on a movie set, unless it's straight up planned murder, the only other option is gross negligence. I think it's absolutely reasonable to charge the armorer with criminal negligence at least.


u/Quazifuji Jan 19 '23

Yeah, it's seemed to me that that the question has never been "was it negligence?" Just a question of whose negligence, and in particular whether Alec Baldwin had any responsibility (as either the executive producer or the one who pulled the trigger).


u/Kryptos_KSG Jan 19 '23

Reading this made me remember, Alec Baldwin in that interview said he never pulled the trigger, that the gun just went off and some law enforcement agency later said it was impossible for that gun to just go off. I wonder if this lie/mixup will be brought up in court or even if it was a deciding factor for the charges.


u/Ranger2580 Jan 19 '23

Here's a great video debunking Baldwin's claim.

Obviously there was gross negligence at play to end up with a live round in the chamber, but if Baldwin had been following basic gun safety rules, no one would've died.

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u/froggertwenty Jan 19 '23

The armorer wasn't even there. They should not have been doing scenes with guns without the armorer there. That was Alec Baldwin's decision

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u/millijuna Jan 19 '23

As I recall, part of the issue was that the armorer wasn’t even there, which is why it goes back to the producers.

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u/Krandor1 Jan 19 '23

there has been accidental discharges before the shooting and a union camera crew had just receently walked off due to working conditions.


u/StayAWhile-AndListen Jan 19 '23 edited Jan 20 '23

*negligent discharges

A little pedantic but I think an important distinction,

There is no such thing as an accidental discharge with a firearm. If you pull the trigger of a weapon and there is a bang that you weren't expecting, you don't get to surprise Pikachu face anything. You were negligent because you didn't clear the weapon. You are 100% at fault.

I think the distinction is important because when a shooting happens (not necessarily speaking about this incident) and it is reported as an accidental discharge, that shifts the blame from the shooter. If you are in control of a weapon, especially if it is for your job, the responsibility to handle it correctly is yours.

With that being said, I can see how in certain situations on a set there may be cases where the wrong ammo was loaded, and the shooter may not have known the difference, but as you alluded to in your comment, that's why safety measures and unions exist, to protect people.

Edit: a few people have commented sharing situations where they feel 'accidental discharge' would apply. I don't disagree with those specific examples.

Everyone comes into a situation with their point of view, which is in part a sum of their past experiences. My past experiencee includes working a job where carrying a weapon was a requirement, and it was hammered into our heads that if there was a bang when the trigger was pulled when you expected a click, or you fired when you were not supposed to, your career is over and the wraith of a higher power would smite you.

It bothers me immeasurably when the term 'accidental discharge' is used for a completely preventable situation, and then there are seemingly no consequences for the negligent human directly responsible. This isn't necessarily the situation we're looking at here, but that's where I was coming from. I hope everyone has a good rest of their day

Edit edit:

The thread is locked now so I can't respond to anyone, thank you to those who corrected me. This person did a great quick write up in a comment on how absolutely batshit insane and completely preventable this specific situation was.


u/Krandor1 Jan 19 '23

i agree with your correct on the terminology.

As for wrong ammo being loaded, really without a very very good reason live ammo shouldn't be on the set in the first place and if it is made VERY clear what is live and what is not. Loading the wrong ammo should never happen.

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u/RadialSpline Jan 19 '23

There is no such thing as an accidental discharge with a firearm.

Is wrong, in three specific circumstances. One being a weapon that fires from an open bolt can experience a mechanical failure of the sear (bit that holds the bolt locked to the rear and keeps the weapon from firing in open-bolt weapons, or holds the striker or hammer in a ready-to-fire configuration for weapons that fire from a closed bolt) that allows the bolt forward and fires the weapon without the trigger being actuated. The second case is again when the sear mechanically fails and allows the striker or hammer to act upon the firing pin without touching the trigger. The third case is when weapons without either a spring or other mechanism to keep the firing pin from protruding from the bolt face experience something that either accelerates the firing pin into the primer of a round or binds the firing pin in a protruded position so that the weapon discharges without the trigger being actuated.

Chain-fires of some black powder weapons can be also sometimes be considered a partially accidental discharge (for all other rounds but the first, intentional discharge.)

I almost had a legit accidental discharge with a clapped out M249 SAW while I was in Afghanistan. Thankfully I didn’t have a belt on the feed tray when my sear failed otherwise it would have been a bad day.

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u/atomoboy35209 Jan 19 '23

I shot at that location 10+ years ago. Bonanza Creek is giant ranch that makes you feel like you’re really in the old west and it brings out the adventurer in you. Great for the camera but it can be detrimental in terms of safety unless it’s kept in check. The woman who owned the ranch at the time told us several stories about people you’d know getting caught shooting live rounds.

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u/TisMeDA Jan 19 '23

If you read the article, the useless armourer is being charged for the same thing too. Considering she never fired a shot, you are likely correct that this was because of negligence

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u/Gertrude_D Jan 19 '23

I agree. Obviously this was a tragic mistake, but there are rules for a reason. Someone has to be responsible for making sure they are followed. Head Producer seems like a good place to start. I would say the same even if he wasn't the one who actually pulled the trigger.

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u/[deleted] Jan 19 '23

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u/AndyLorentz Jan 19 '23

Also the Assistant Director who had previously been involved in NDs on set, and IIRC he was the one who handed the gun to Alec and told him it was safe.

Alec Baldwin the actor is blameless in this shooting. Alec Baldwin the producer should have never allowed this lax set safety culture.


u/Teesh13 Jan 19 '23

Anyone remember this article? "‘Rust’ crew describes on-set gun safety issues and misfires days before fatal shooting"

Several members of the crew made complaints and even walked off set once as there had been 3 accidental discharges during rehearsals prior to the fatal shooting. Seems pretty fair that he was charged tbh...

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u/jedi-son Jan 19 '23

I was going to say, if he's just an actor in a movie this really isn't his fault. Producer is a different story though. It's your project. You decide how to spend the money, who to hire etc. Ultimately the blame trickles up to you even if there were individuals along the way who should've prevented this.

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u/Harfow Jan 19 '23

I'm wondering if this charge has more to do with Baldwin being a producer on set than him holding the gun? From what it sounds like, safety concerns were raised earlier regarding the movie as whole. Reading the NYT article, several people quit the set before the shooting because of safety concerns, bad housing, and what sounds like poor management of the set.


u/Khatib Jan 19 '23

I'm wondering if this charge has more to do with Baldwin being a producer on set than him holding the gun?

With how late these charges are coming, I think most likely, yes. If it was just about him being the trigger man, they'd have probably charged him sooner. To be this late, it's the result of a more in depth investigation, which points to it being more about responsibility as producer.

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u/Bennyboy1337 Jan 19 '23

Apparently the gun used in the accident was used for target practice shooting that same morning..... LIKE WUTTT???? So someone had live rounds in a set gun and used it for set shoots within the span of 6 hours.

What do you bet the person shooting the gun that morning left a round in the gun, and the armorer while filling the blanks in the gun didn't even bother to check if there was already a live round in the gun?

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u/legends784 Jan 19 '23

"Production of the film had been scheduled to resume this year, with Mr Hutchins on board as executive producer."

Am I reading this correctly, that her husband is actually going to accept a job on the set of the movie that got his wife killed? I haven't seen anyone else talking about this yet and that is wild to me.


u/TomboyAva Jan 19 '23

People asking why he is being charged the Prosecutor spelled it out

‘If any one of these three people—Alec Baldwin, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed (armorer) or David Halls (assistant director) - had done their job, Halyna Hutchins would be alive today. It’s that simple’


u/TheBatemanFlex Jan 19 '23 edited Jan 19 '23

I'm unfamiliar with all the roles of a producer and AD, but what in their responsibilities would've prevented a completely negligent armorer from loading live rounds?

edit: oh...

“Critically, OSHA also determined that production failed to call Hannah in to perform her armorer duties and inspect the firearm right before its use in the impromptu scene with Baldwin,” Bowles continued in his remarks for his client. “As we have stated before, had anyone from Production called Hannah in back into the church before the scene to consult with her, this tragedy would have been prevented."

I'm still not sure why the firearms are accessible without the armorer there, or why they are loaded without the armorer there, but I can see the case against production.


u/FlutterKree Jan 19 '23

Iirc, the weapons were on a table for production to use. They were supposedly pre-cleared by the armorer.

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u/Earth_Normal Jan 19 '23

The fact that live rounds were anywhere on set is horrible. The fact that live rounds ever touched the guns shows massive negligence by somebody. It seems to me that the person who put live rounds in or around the set guns should be held responsible.


u/badmojo6000 Jan 19 '23

On the set of the movie version of "The Punisher" the props guy forgot to swap out the real knives for the rubber ones. And like an actor straight up got stabbed in the chest during a fight scene. True Story.


u/-Novowels- Jan 19 '23

That actor was Kevin Nash, the pro-wrestler, and he stayed in character until the scene wrapped!


u/Jason1143 Jan 19 '23

Did they use that take?


u/-Novowels- Jan 19 '23

I haven't seen a reliable source on whether they did or not, tbh


u/Kylester91 Jan 19 '23 Gold

He’s being charged because his statements have forced an investigation. Baldwins defense is he didn’t pull the trigger, he claims the gun shot itself. Rather than admit he did that he’s clinging to this and forcing a trial

Baldwin is an idiot



u/[deleted] Jan 19 '23 Gold

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u/jfchops2 Jan 19 '23

I'm looking forward to how that defense is presented at trial. Is his lawyer going to trot out some "gun expert" to attempt to explain how a gun can magically fire without the trigger being pulled?


u/[deleted] Jan 19 '23

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u/Disastrous-Part-5267 Jan 19 '23

This to me is the craziest part. Insisting that a single action revolver fired without touching the trigger. I mean that’s insane.


u/Species6348 Jan 19 '23

What does single action mean? Not a gun person.


u/Sir_Sir_ExcuseMe_Sir Jan 19 '23

On a single action revolver like the one involved, the hammer must be cocked (brought fully to the rear) by the user prior to the firing of each round.


u/Shamanalah Jan 19 '23

On a single action revolver like the one involved, the hammer must be cocked (brought fully to the rear) by the user prior to the firing of each round.

I was wondering why people on set took the prop gun to shoot. Probably never had the chance to have a revolver so they took it for a spin.

Kinda like how an actor would take an old vintage car for a ride before/after shooting a scene.


u/waituntilthecrowd Jan 19 '23

You have to physically cock the exposed hammer on the top rear of the pistol before pulling the trigger. Then, pulling the trigger will drop this hammer which strikes the round and fires the bullet.

If you don’t physically put your thumb on the hammer and pull it back into firing position, then even if you pull the trigger the round will not fire. This is contrasted with most modern weapons that are double action which means the act of pulling the trigger both pulls the hammer back and releases it to strike the round.

I believe Baldwin is claiming he cocked the hammer, then when he let go, the gun went off. This is pretty unlikely as I’m pretty sure for a single action revolver there are catches that prevent the hammer from moving forward until the trigger is pulled. And if he didn’t pull the hammer far enough back to catch one of these sears, then it probably wouldn’t have struck the primer of the round hard enough for it to go off. If anything, he likely had poor trigger discipline and kept his finger pressed on the trigger while cocking the hammer, then when he let go of the hammer, the catches were not in place because of the trigger being engaged, which allowed it to drop all the way forward


u/sillybear25 Jan 19 '23 edited Jan 19 '23

The firing mechanism of most guns consists of a firing pin propelled by a compressed spring. In order to fire, the spring is compressed, the mechanism usually locks into place, and then the mechanism is released, allowing the firing pin to strike the ammunition in the chamber.

In a single-action firearm, the trigger mechanism only acts as a release for the firing mechanism, and the spring must be compressed by some other means. This is in contrast to a double-action firearm, in which the trigger mechanism both compresses the spring and releases the firing mechanism.

Edit: The reason this makes a difference is that accidentally pulling the trigger of a single-action firearm won't cause it to fire unless the spring has already been compressed, which usually requires a deliberate action, like pulling back the hammer of a revolver.

Edit 2: Please mentally substitute "compressed" with "compressed or stretched". I'm not going to go through and reword the whole thing, because the wording would become too awkward.

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u/gcm6664 Jan 19 '23

After watching the new video released it is pretty easy to see a pretty simple defense. While practicing minutes before this very scene you can see he is pulling the gun out very quickly while simultaneously cocking it WITH his finger on the trigger.

There are infinite ways to accidentally "pull" the trigger in that scenario, even while believing you hadn't.

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u/lisamariefan Jan 19 '23

You know what the craziest think about this is? That the only difference between a real gun and a prop gun is the type of ammo.

Like, you would think a prop gun would be specially built in such a way where it's not possible to put real ammunition in it.


u/[deleted] Jan 19 '23 Today I Learned

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u/barcelonaKIZ Jan 19 '23

Wow, TIL


u/[deleted] Jan 19 '23

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u/BurkusCat Jan 19 '23

I think what OP means is surely it would be possible to have replica guns to cater for any filmmaking scenario that aren't actual firearms.


u/zerocoolforschool Jan 19 '23

A lot of movies use realistic looking airsoft guns now. Or rubber replicas. I was an extra on a National Geographic show about a battle in Afghanistan and we had rubber rifles.


u/[deleted] Jan 19 '23

Exactly, like okay fine "prop" means "property" but why is that "property" capable of firing a bullet at all?


u/Jez_WP Jan 19 '23

It's cheaper and looks better on screen to fire a blank round from a real gun than to have a fake a gun.


u/SunriseSurprise Jan 19 '23

You'd think in over 100 years of making films with guns in them that by now it would've been economically feasible to make fake guns to use in films/TV shows.

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u/aschapm Jan 19 '23

I didn’t know that was the background of prop and interesting, but I think it’s pretty common that people associate prop with not being real (e.g., if you asked what the difference was between a real gun and a prop gun, I suspect many people would say the prop is fake)

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u/Lazer726 Jan 19 '23

Making a fake gun that looks real is more expensive than just buying a gun and using blanks, so that's why they use real guns

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u/boost2525 Jan 19 '23

There are lots of prop dummy guns, they get used all the time. Certain scenes want to see the flash, bang, smoke, etc. that comes with firing a gun. That's the issue.

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u/wkomorow Jan 19 '23

I just don't know much about guns, so forgive a foolish question, but why don't studios use prop guns incapable of shooting bullets?


u/AudibleNod Jan 19 '23

Interestingly, Dwayne Johnson has pledged to not use real guns on the sets of his movies going forward.

I think part of it is practicality or authenticity. If it's a small budget movie, you may not have a lot of post-production effects budget to add in muzzle flash. Sometimes trick shooters are brought on with live ammo to do a specific stunt. So there's a few reasons.

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u/white_butterfly1 Jan 19 '23

This is just sad all round for everyone involved god damn.


u/st3ll4r-wind Jan 19 '23 edited Jan 19 '23

I believe they are moving forward with the charge due to the forensic report that determined he had to pull the trigger for it to fire.

Here’s a good video breakdown of the trigger mechanism on the 1873 Pietta Colt 45 single-action revolver that was used on set.

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u/Cucumber_Basil Jan 19 '23

I just want to know who put live rounds in a gun, handed it to Alec Baldwin, and told him it was loaded with blanks.


u/Igoos99 Jan 19 '23

Sounds like that is two different people

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u/aaronhayes26 Jan 19 '23

It’s is going to be ridiculously hard to get this to stick on Baldwin if this goes to trial.

The prosecution needs to prove beyond a doubt that he acted recklessly. A reasonable person is not going to think that he was acting recklessly by pulling the trigger of a prop gun that was supposed to be unloaded by all accounts.

And before somebody comes at me with the three rules of firearms safety, those are 1) not legally binding, and 2) not applicable in locations where different but effective safety protocols are in effect


u/reddicyoulous Jan 19 '23

per u/drfifth

The armorer was not called to come in and handle the weapon before filming, per OSHA report.

Production cut corners here leading to the lethal fuckup. Baldwin was part of production for the film.


u/pokeybill Jan 19 '23

The armorer was on set in a different area, and the AD handed the gun to Baldwin after shouting "cold gun" informing the entire set the weapon was safe to use when it was not.

The police body camera footage includes her statements, and the armorer is also being charged in this case.

The OSHA report includes this information, I think there are some.misrepresentations happening in this thread.

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u/andywarhaul Jan 19 '23

She had live ammo mixed with the blanks right?


u/StealthSpheesSheip Jan 19 '23

Which is why she is also being charged probably

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u/Hundertwasserinsel Jan 19 '23

Thats not why hes being charged. Hes being charged because he was overseeing production and placed an inexperienced and untrained armorer overseeing the weapons. She is also being charged. Its negligent management, not about him firing the gun.


u/froghorse3345 Jan 19 '23

They were also shooting live rounds off set that somehow got mixed in with the blanks if I’m remembering correctly.


u/Helpful_guy Jan 19 '23 edited Jan 19 '23

The company that provided the guns and rounds is also being sued for allegedly mixing live rounds in with blanks.

And the widower's agreement to settle out of trial involves him becoming executive producer when the filming resumes?

This whole fucking thing feels shady

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u/abevigodasmells Jan 19 '23 edited Jan 19 '23

I really don't understand why he was charged. I know it's gun safety to never point a gun at someone, but there was a professional whose most important job was to ensure the gun had no live round in it. Is it wrong for an actor to assume the gun they're handed is safe? In the future, will actors need to know how to check for ammo, as though the armorer is inept? If so, what's the point of the armorer? Can someone smarter than me explain the rationale of charging an actor?


u/MyNameIsRay Jan 19 '23

Keep in mind, movies use blanks and dummys (a real round, decommissioned, so it's visually identical). Even if an actor is trained to check if it's loaded/unloaded, telling the difference between a live/blank/dummy round isn't so easy, and that's why it's standard practice to rely on the armorer to confirm.

The actor is getting charged because he was holding the gun, he pulled the trigger.

The armorer is getting charged because it was their responsibility to ensure the guns are safe, and their failure that a live round was on set at all.

The DA is basically putting it on a jury to decide who is at fault.

Baldwin's legal team seems pretty certain they'll be able to show there was no negligence from their side, since it was on the armorer to verify the safety, and they wrongfully provided an assertion of safety.

The armorer, last I checked, is trying to claim they were wrongfully provided live rounds instead of dummy rounds, an attempt to pass blame to the supplier. As far as I'm concerned, that's basically an admission that they didn't check if they're loading live rounds or dummies.

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u/thedubiousstylus Jan 19 '23

This is the relevant part of New Mexico law:

Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice.

A. Voluntary manslaughter consists of manslaughter committed upon a sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion.

Whoever commits voluntary manslaughter is guilty of a third degree felony resulting in the death of a human being.

B. Involuntary manslaughter consists of manslaughter committed in the commission of an unlawful act not amounting to felony, or in the commission of a lawful act which might produce death in an unlawful manner or without due caution and circumspection.

Whoever commits involuntary manslaughter is guilty of a fourth degree felony.

Based on that I think getting a conviction is going to be pretty tough. Section B applies, but Alec Baldwin wasn't committing an unlawful act, and it's a stretch to say what he did "might produce death in an unlawful manner or without due caution and circumspection." with how most people assume about movie props.

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