'Rust' Movie Shooting Broke #1 Gun Safety Rule

October 27, 2021

By: Jessica Napoli | Fox News


The fatal prop gun shooting on the set of "Rust" could have been avoided if the proper gun safety protocols were adhered to, according to a firearm safety expert.

Tom Gresham, the host of Gun Talk Radio, told Fox News that the number one rule of gun safety was broken.

"Rule number one is you treat all guns as though they're loaded all the time," he insisted. "Number two rule is don't point a gun at anything you're not willing to destroy."

On Oct. 21, "Rust" cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died after actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun that was handed to him by an assistant director who mistakenly believed it was safe to use on the New Mexico set. She was 42 years old. Director Joel Souza was also hit and injured but has since been released from the hospital.

"The world of movie sets is a little different and there's a trust factor that probably is going to get reevaluated at this point when someone, an armorer [or someone else] hands an actor a gun and says it's hot or it's cold, meaning it's loaded or it's not loaded. In firearms circles, we would never, ever do that," Gresham explained. "If I see my friend unload a gun and he shows me it's unloaded and hands me the gun, I will immediately open the action and verify that the gun is unloaded. I don't trust anyone. You verify for yourself."

Gresham said anyone who handles a gun must "confirm" it's unloaded by "opening the action and looking into it… Are there any cartridges in the firearm? Anything less than that is, unfortunately, a form of negligence."

A prop firearm is a loose definition that could apply to anything from a rubber toy to a real firearm that can fire a projectile, The Associated Press described. However, it's considered a real gun if it’s used for firing, even with just blanks. A blank, the outlet stated, is a type of gun cartridge that contains gunpowder but no bullet. Still, it can seriously hurt or kill someone close by, the Actors Equity Association noted.


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