BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Well-known movie cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed and Director Joel Souza was injured after a mishap in which actor Alec Baldwin discharged a prop gun on the set of “Rust,” a new Western.
A spokesperson for Baldwin described the incident as an accident involving a prop gun with blanks misfiring. The incident is still under investigation, but court records show an assistant director gave Baldwin the loaded weapon not knowing it contained live rounds and indicating it was safe.
Prop guns fire blank, gunpowder charges that produce a flash and a bang but not a hard projectile. They can still be dangerous, even lethal at close range.
Actor and director Craig Zobel posted on Twitter: “There’s no reason to have guns loaded with blanks or anything on set anymore. Should just be fully outlawed.”
We asked Kern County what it thought and it answered.
305 of you voted in our feedback poll. 73% said yes, all prop guns should be made inoperable, while 27% said no, they should not.
Here’s a look at some of your comments on the issue:
“I’ve watched several webseries where they use guns. All the muzzle flashes and bangs are edited in during post production. Why are we still using blanks?”
Steve Irvan Jr. – Facebook
“Or maybe actors should take firearm safety courses and know how to check a round before taking someone’s word for it and pulling the trigger.”
Jd Shadden – Facebook
“There are plenty of good replica blowback airsoft pistols out there, very easy to modify for prop work and far less dangerous. I’ve seen it done in theatre for years, and the sound effects in films are done in post anyway. Seems they’re mostly trying to ease post editing by getting natural muzzle flash and smoke, but that’s easy enough to replicate, especially with CG tech being where it is. I can understand the argument for real guns, but it’s clear that many prop crews aren’t up for the task when it comes to firearm safety, so there’s your workaround. Better safe than sorry.”
Ian KB – Facebook
“Yes. But Hollywood movie/television production staff, should go through the same training that responsible gun owners go through. So they would learn to treat all prop guns like real firearms. Instead of attacking the NRA, and other gun owner organizations. While they produce violent movies with…firearms.”
F. Ramirez – Email