01 February 2022

Rust death sparks gun safety bill for actors

01 February 2022

A Republican politician wants movie actors and other film-set professionals to undergo state-sponsored gun-safety training after the death of a cinematographer from a gun fired by actor Alec Baldwin.

New Mexico senator Cliff Pirtle introduced a bill that would require all acting and film production personnel in the state where firearms are present to complete a safety course that is designed primarily for hunters.

Production companies that do not comply would risk their eligibility for state film tax rebates. New Mexico offers a rebate of between 25% and 35% of in-state spending for video production that helps filmmakers large and small underwrite their work.

Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham had not yet read the bill on Monday and declined to say whether she supports the initiative, according to an email from spokeswoman Nora Meyers Sackett.

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed on the set of Rust (Damian Dovarganes/AP) (AP)

Mr Pirtle is a partner in a farming business and an ardent supporter of gun rights.

The senator said in a statement that he was heartbroken to learn of the death of Halyna Hutchins in October 2021 on the set of Rust

“Unfortunately, to the Hollywood elite, the talk around guns is all too abstract,” Mr Pirtle said.

“This is a simple bill to bring some gravity back to the use of firearms on film sets.”

Mr Baldwin has said he did not know the gun he was holding contained a live round when it went off while pointed at Ms Hutchins.

This is a simple bill to bring some gravity back to the use of firearms on film sets

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office that is leading an investigation into the cause of the death has said it is too soon to determine whether charges will be filed.

Investigators have described “some complacency” in how weapons were handled on set at a movie-set ranch near Santa Fe as they trace the source of ammunition.

New Mexico enforces general workplace safety requirements on film sets and defers in some instances to gun-safety standards that are developed by the film industry.

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