U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- UPDATE: Days after the fatal on-set shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding of film director Joel Souza in what has been called a “tragedy” involving actor/producer Alec Baldwin, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is blaming the actor’s negligence rather than the firearm.
And in a new development, an attorney representing armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is firing back at critics who contend her “lack of experience” contributed to the tragedy, Fox News is reporting. Attorney Jason Bowles released a statement in which he said, “Never in a million years did Hannah think that live rounds could have been in the ‘dummy’ round box…Who put those in there and why is the central question.”
Fox also noted another Bowles assertion: “Hannah was incredibly safety conscious and took her job very seriously from the moment she started on Oct. 4…She did firearms training for the actors as well as Mr. Baldwin, she fought for more training days and she regularly emphasized to never point a firearm at a person.”
According to a Nov. 5 Fox report, “No one could have anticipated or thought that someone would introduce live rounds into this set,” Bowles reportedly said.
Baldwin, said CCRKBA in a prepared statement, “bears responsibility as the film’s producer as well as its star, because he evidently did not personally check the gun he was handling to confirm there was not a live round in the cylinder. He did not follow the first rule of genuine gun safety, which is that all guns are always loaded.”
A published report surfaced asserting that members of the crew had used the gun earlier in the day to go target shooting off-set, with live ammunition.
CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb says Baldwin, who has previously supported gun control efforts, “should know live ammunition is not supposed to be on the set, and nobody but the armorer and the actors should have access to any of the prop guns.”
“As the film’s producer,” Gottlieb said, “(Baldwin) should have made that absolutely clear to the crew. It’s not clear who put the cartridge into Baldwin’s gun, but there is now a report that some crew members were target shooting with the gun off-set, which should never have been allowed. Hollywood anti-gunners often rail about keeping guns locked up, but that obviously didn’t happen here. Still, any responsible person knows enough to personally check any firearm they’ve just been handed, even if he or she is told the gun is not loaded.”
Several Hollywood personalities, including Rosie O’Donnell, who has been hostile to guns and the National Rifle Association in the past, are throwing support to the beleaguered Baldwin.
In an affidavit, the transcript of which AmmoLand has seen, the series of events have been detailed. Armorer Hanna Gutierrez Reed handed the revolver to assistant director David Halls, who then passed it over to Baldwin during the rehearsal of a scene inside a small church building. Halls declared it to be a “cold gun,” but it obviously was not. Baldwin was performing a cross draw and aiming the gun toward the camera when it discharged. Hutchins was hit and the projectile passed through her hitting Souza, who was standing immediately to her rear.
Baldwin and crew were in New Mexico last month working on the western film “Rust” when the fatal mishap occurred. The film was being shot on location at the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, but production has shut down. As the investigation continues, it has been overshadowed by the results of the Nov. 2 elections, and what appears to be a widespread rejection of the far-left agenda being pushed by the radical wing of the Democratic party.
Yahoo News reported the fatal shooting “has left Hollywood reeling and calling for safer working conditions on sets.” At least one television series, “The Rookie,” has reportedly banned real guns from the set as a result of this incident.
But there is more, and CCRKBA’s Gottlieb spelled it out.
“This horrible tragedy underscores the importance of genuine firearm safety as advocated and practiced by gun rights organizations, firearms instructors and responsible American gun owners for generations,” Gottlieb said. “We’ve noticed there has not been a peep from the gun control lobby, which portrays itself as the pillar of ‘gun safety,’ and with which Baldwin has previously aligned himself.”
The silence has continued while the investigation progresses.
“Hollywood is full of hypocrites who have made billions of dollars producing movies depicting violence with firearms, and then support efforts to restrict the rights of honest citizens,” the veteran gun rights advocate stated. “What this tragedy underscores is that Hollywood hypocrisy kills.”
The affidavit, prepared by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department, quoted cameraman Reid Russell, who was standing next to Hutchins and Souza when Baldwin fired the shot. He told a detective Baldwin “had been very careful, and brought up an instance when a scene was being filmed earlier. Reid said Alec had made sure it was safe and that a child wasn’t near him when they were discharging a firearm during that scene,” the affidavit said.
Russell, according to the affidavit, had left the building for a few minutes and when he returned, Baldwin already had the gun. “He was not sure if the firearm had been checked due to his absence of the five minutes,” the affidavit says.
The Associated Press reported, “It’s not clear yet where the gun-handling protocol failed. Souza said the movie’s guns were usually checked by armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and then again by Halls.”
This raises the question whether such a check was actually made prior to the deadly shooting. The Daily Mail is reporting that “criminal charges are on the table.”
Gottlieb did not hold back.
“All gun safety rules apply, period,” he said. “The investigation should determine who loaded Baldwin’s gun with a live round, and who should have checked it but didn’t. However, the ultimate responsibility is in his (Baldwin’s) hands, for it was his thumb that cocked the revolver and his finger that pressed the trigger.”
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