It's about time...

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This is a workplace injury, no different from those that happen everyday where a safety mechanism is not engaged and something falls, someone gets electrocuted, etc.

The gun wrangler certifies the prop is ready to use, and that's it.

They are going after him for PR points and/or that's where the money is.

Ask yourself, do you perform a safety inspection every time you rent a car, checking oil, trans fluid, brake fluid, brake pad thickness, rotor thickness, and so on?

Then you would be guilty also by your standards and logic for a brake/equipment failure resulting in a death/injury.
turbodog wrote that the gun wrangler certifies the prop is ready to use, and that's it.

I disagree: the armorers on set job includes firearm safety, and the duty to ensure that the people who will use it know at least basic safety rules. The safety protocols of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers require:
  • Someone certified for the weapon in use be present at all times
  • Firearms must be checked before and after each take
  • Firearms must be cleaned daily
  • Firearms must be stored securely by the props master when not in use
  • Loaded guns must never be pointed at anyone
  • Protective clothing must be worn by everyone nearby when blanks are fired
  • If firearms are to be fired directly at the camera, a plexiglass shield must be erected
  • Only the person certified for the weapon or someone under their direct supervision may hand a weapon to an actor
The armorer is also responsible for any use of live rounds on set, including pre-scene and post-scene bullet counts. (They really are strict about this sort of thing according to the American Entertainment Armorers Association, on union shoots at least.) It's my understanding that in Mr. Baldwin's case, he was told the gun would be loaded with blanks, or in the alternative was empty. We don't know who conveyed that factoid to him. But even if someone told him the gun was safe, the armorer still has a non-delegable duty to ensure the safety of all weapons and use of weapons on the set. Yet according to Local 44, a union that represents props masters, no members were on set when the shooting occurred. Nevertheless, Mr. Baldwin had a duty to verify the gun's status, but failed to do so, to tragic effect.

Union rules for firearm safety are pretty strict. It's my understanding that this however was not a union project, and that the producers went with non-union personnel for below-the-line talent. (Below-the-line refers to everybody working on the project who is not a principal actor, the director, or the producer, in other words, the worker bees such as gaffers, riggers, electricians, prop personnel, wardrobe people, catering staff, etc.) Theoretically the employment of non-union personnel should not have any effect on safety protocols, but I'll defer to your individual experience, judging for yourselves whether somebody might have perhaps, maybe, possibly cut a few safety corners in this instance.

Finally, with regard to the analogy of performing safety checks on a rental car before driving off the lot, I'll just note that a rental car is not likely to kill someone when you turn the key in the ignition. And while I understand the comparison, I'm of the opinion that the comparison of a rental car inspection to a firearm safety check is an apples to oranges analogy: I don't whip out my brake calipers when renting a car, but my mark one eyebll is all I need to see if a weapon is loaded with live ammunition.
 

bykfixer

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If it was a cheap plastic (obvious) toy gun that's one thing. If somehow "POW" that thing fired a bullet, sure homey gets a pass.
Otherwise, sucks to be Alec Baldwin.
If it werre any of us mortals here and somebody handed us a gun, said it was not loaded and "POW" oops it was loaded......

When I first heard the story I thought "yup, it figures that nut job shot somebody". But then I wondered was that an accident or was it malice on somebody's part. Maybe a set member had an affair with another members wife and set ole screw ball up to do the dirty deed?....,. I love's me a good conspiracy.
 

SCEMan

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"Nevertheless, Mr. Baldwin had a duty to verify the gun's status, but failed to do so, to tragic effect."

And that's the final "safety" regardless of any mechanical device.

And, playing around with and pointing a firearm at others is unforgivable behavior. Especially from a veteran actor who's handled prop firearms (even if not SA revolvers) many times in his log career.
 

Toulouse42

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Two simple rules:
Treat every gun you're handed as loaded until you check/clear it yourself
Never point a gun at something you don't intend to shoot
Yes, You know that and I know that and I guess that most of the members of this forum know that. BUT, something happens in the minds of some movie "stars". They get so used to other people doing stuff for them that they never have to do anything or think for themselves. Some people have this to extremes. Then again some people are so anti gun that they would never sully their minds with actually learning about them. I was very interested to find out that there is a movie makers code of practise that should have stopped this nonsense from happening. It is beyond belief that live rounds were allowed anywhere on set.
 

alpg88

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Actor Brandon lee was shot and killed on a set, by a faulty blank round, as well as Jon-Erik Hexum, who was also killed by a faulty blank round from a self inflicted wound,
 

Monocrom

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IF they had solid evidence they would already charged him, they would not need grand jury. No defense counselors present during grand jury, no judge either, it is basically the prosecutors' word alone. and evidence they pick that support their case. a siht show basically.
He's rich & famous. That's why they didn't charge him earlier. They were likely still amassing evidence and a mountain of statements to use in court. When someone is homeless and worthless in the eyes of Society, you can do a half-backsided job in presenting evidence in court against them. When they're rich and well-known to the world.... Oh! You better scrape the very bottom of that evidence barrel for every last little shaving of what you can present in court against them. That's why it took so long.
 

Toulouse42

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My understanding re Brandon Lee is that someone had used live rounds in that revolver but that the 44 round had jammed in the barrel. No one noticed so that when a blank was used in the gun it propelled the round out with sufficient force to kill him. If I recall correctly, this was the catalyst for much tighter rules on set. Again, what the xxx was the armorer doing?
 

alpg88

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Blank rounds are deadly at "point blank" close range...
Well those 2 instances the rounds were faulty,, one was rigged from a live round on the set, both spit out shards of metal they were not supposed to. So lack of safety on sets is not something new.

Back few decades ago there were blank firing guns sold. that used special 8mm blanks, as a kid I had 2 of them, they looked, worked, just as real, but their barrels were not a tube all the way, they were plugged in the middle, and there was a small gas hole on top of the barrel. under no circumstances anything would come out from the business end of the barrel. A buddy of mine modified his to shoot full auto, scared the crap out of people who heard it. It saved him once from a road rage idiot who came out with a baseball bat, a short burst in the air made him drop the bat and crap his pants. Then in late 90s they banned them in NYC. they are probably still sold in other states, they would make a perfectly safe prop guns.
 

alpg88

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He's rich & famous. That's why they didn't charge him earlier.
They tried, but made fool out of themselves, they wanted to charge him based on law that did not exist at the time of shooting, now they want to save face, and in case they fail to convict, they can say, we did not charge him, the jury did.
 

Monocrom

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Actor Brandon lee was shot and killed on a set, by a faulty blank round, as well as Jon-Erik Hexum, who was also killed by a faulty blank round from a self inflicted wound,
Actually, no; Brandon Lee was not killed by a faulty blank round. I'm intimately familiar with the real facts of the case. The Prop-Master/Armourer was beyond incompetent. One, all the guns on the set were real. Two, it became well-known that all the actors on set played with the guns as if they were harmless NERF toys. Three, Prop-Master should have been tossed into prison for at the very least, gross negligence. Here's what occurred....

Director wanted some close-up shots of the handguns being pointed at the camera. Prop-Master made up some pewter loads (ammo that looks Live on the outside. But has no powder charge on the inside, and a spent primer is used. Real bullet is seated on top. But is harmless). Well, somehow that "genius" accidentally seated a live primer into the shell casing. So, live primer, no powder charge, real bullet. Actors were told to point the guns at the camera, and pull the triggers. (Gunshot sounds and effects added in during post production.)

The actor who got the round with the live primer, pointed the .44 Magnum handgun at the camera, and pulled the trigger. He then immediately realized that something was wrong. But wasn't sure what. He felt something. But it felt odd. The actor then immediately went to the Prop-Master and said that something was wrong with the gun. So the Prop-Master simply opened up the revolver, saw 6-spent primers, and dismissed it as nothing.... The incompetent idiot didn't bother checking the bore.

He saw 6-spent primers because when the actor pulled the trigger on the live primer, it then became a spent one! Meanwhile, without a powder charge in the casing, the live primer only had enough power to propel the bullet half-way down the barrel. Where the bullet got stuck. Had the Prop-Master checked the bore, he would have seen an obstruction in it, the bullet. Had he ejected the pewter rounds into his hand, he would have realized, "Hey! There's a bullet missing! Where is it?"

Again, none of that took place. The gun was left alone for a couple of days as it was not needed. Then came time to film the scene where Lee's character gets shot and killed. This time, a different type of load was used. What most folks refer to as blanks. (Live primer seated in the shell casing, powder charge placed inside the shell casing. Now all you need for a live round is the bullet. But for a blank, a tiny paper mesh screen circle is carefully wax-sealed over the opening where the bullet would normally go. Pull the trigger, get a BANG! some smoke, but harmless.... Unless there's a bullet stuck half-way down the barrel! That bullet was all that was needed to turn that .44 Magnum blank, into a full-on live round!

That's what Brandon Lee took to the chest. There was nothing faulty about that blank round at all. It worked the way it was supposed to. The problem was a moronically incompetent Prop-Master's actions led to a real bullet being placed in front of that blank round.
 

alpg88

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Well the internet does not have this detail knowledge of it, so it said faulty. basically it is technicality, a faulty round, or a negligent armorer, the result is, things that were not supposed to happen, happened.
 

alpg88

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Director wanted some close-up shots of the handguns being pointed at the camera. Prop-Master made up some pewter loads (ammo that looks Live on the outside. But has no powder charge on the inside, and a spent primer is used. Real bullet is seated on top. But is harmless). Well, somehow that "genius" accidentally seated a live primer into the shell casing. So, live primer, no powder charge, real bullet. Actors were told to point the guns at the camera, and pull the triggers. (Gunshot sounds and effects added in during post production.)
even without CGI it can be done safely even with a live round, just put a mirror at 45* and a camera on the other end, use high speed cam, and cut as billet hits the mirror. I guess the director never read myth of Perseus.
 

Monocrom

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That Prop-Master/Armourer was definitely the faulty one.
It was just something that never should have happened.
Basic rules of gun-handling: Check the bore.
Someone comes to you, says something isn't right.
Take the gun, empty it fully. Check the bore.
 

thermal guy

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Actor Brandon lee was shot and killed on a set, by a faulty blank round, as well as Jon-Erik Hexum, who was also killed by a faulty blank round from a self inflicted wound,
Yep Lee used a blank but didn't realize that a bullet was stuck in the barrel. A blank actually has more powder in it then a live round
 

Monocrom

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Yep Lee used a blank but didn't realize that a bullet was stuck in the barrel. A blank actually has more powder in it then a live round
He didn't use it all. Another actor did. All of the actors on set, including Lee, foolishly believed the Prop-Master knew what the hell he was doing.
 
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I remember reading the cast and crew were shooting live rounds during breaks from filming Rust. Also worth considering is Baldwin is/was the producer of the film. That makes him responsible for hiring an unqualified Armourer.

I taught my children from an early age that accidents don't just happen. They are almost always caused by carelessness.

The shooting/taking of a life during the production of the Rust film wasn't just an accident as some seem to believe.
 
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