Many people have wondered if actor Alec Baldwin would be held responsible in some way for firing the gun on the set of his film “Riust” that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins last week.
It was a prop gun that killed her and injured director Joel Souza, and according to many Hollywood safety experts who have spoken out since Friday Baldwin broke an unwritten but fairly well known rule in the entertainment world; he pointed a gun at another human. An absolute no-no on film sets, regardless if you believe the gun is loaded, unloaded, safe or lethal.
A Hollywood firearms consultant named Bryan Carpenter told the NY Post that guns on a set are supposed to always be pointed at a dummy point. Never, ever at equipment, cast or crew.
Here’s more of what he told the Post.
“You never let the muzzle of a weapon cover something you don’t intend to destroy, All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.”
As for whether Baldwin could be in an sort of legal danger, the answer is yes according to the Post report. One possible criminal charge could be negligent manslaughter. Part of the reason why is because Baldwin is the Executive Producer for the film, which means any sort of violations of safety protocol are under his watch.
Joseph Cost is a Los Angeles attorney the Post quoted in regards to legal problems Baldwin could be facing.
“As an executive producer you are in a position of control and you can get prosecuted criminally. It’s the equivalent of drinking and driving, meaning someone may not have intended to cause great harm but they do.”
A New Mexico criminal attorney named Erlinda Johnson said this in the Post story.
“All the state needs to demonstrate is that he was engaged in a lawful, but dangerous act and did not act with due caution. That’s what the state has to prove for involuntary manslaughter, which is a fourth-degree felony with a maximum penalty of up to 18 months in prison.”
The biggest mystery seems to be why there was a live round of ammunition on a film set.
They certainly are not supposed to be.
On top of criminal issues that could be coming for Baldwin, a slew of civil suits are almost a certainty.