Alec Baldwin’s ‘Rust’ Fined by New Mexico for Deliberate Gun Safety Breaches


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Rust Movie Productions LLC, the production company behind Alec Baldwin’s ill-fated Western, has been fined the maximum possible fine against a film production company for on-set gun safety issues where a director of photograph was fatally shot by the actor.

On Wednesday, the New Mexico Office of Occupational Health and Safety announced that Rust Movie Productions had to pay $139,793, the highest level of citation and maximum fine allowed by state law.

He aired a scathing account of security lapses in violation of standard industry protocols, including testimony that production managers took limited or no action to address two on-set misfires ahead of the fatal shoot. . The office also documented gun safety complaints from crew members that went unheeded and said weapons specialists were not authorized to make decisions about additional safety training.

“What we had, based on the findings of our investigators, was a set of obvious dangers to employees regarding the use of firearms and management’s inability to respond to those obvious dangers,” said Bob Genoway, Bureau of Workplace Safety Chief, Associated Press.

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“Rust” star and producer Alec Baldwin said he was pointing the gun at Halyna Hutchins on his instructions on set in New Mexico when it detonated without him pulling the trigger.
(Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic)

At a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe on Oct. 21, 2021, Baldwin was pointing a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins inside a small church while preparing to shoot a scene when she triggered, killing the 42-year-old mother of a director injuring Joel Souza.

In a December interview with ABC News, Baldwin, 64, Baldwin said he was pointing the gun at Hutchins on his instructions while filming the movie in New Mexico when it went off without him pressing. on the trigger.

The New Workplace Safety Report confirmed that a high-caliber revolver was handed to Baldwin by an assistant manager, David Halls, without consulting weapons specialists on set during or after the weapon was loaded.

Regulators noted that Halls also served as the security coordinator. They said he was present and witnessed two accidental rifle discharges on set, and that he and other managers who were aware of the misfires took no investigative, corrective or disciplinary action. Crew members expressed surprise and unease.

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Halyna Hutchins was a rising star in the film world when she was struck by a projectile on set that ultimately killed her.

Halyna Hutchins was a rising star in the film world when she was struck by a projectile on set that ultimately killed her.
(Fred Hayes/Getty Images for SAGindie)

“The security coordinator was present on set and took no direct action to address security issues,” the report said. “Management had multiple opportunities to take corrective action and chose not to. As a result of these failures, director Joel Souza and cinematographer Halyna Hutchins were seriously injured. Halyna Hutchins succumbed to his wounds.”

A spokesperson for Rust Movie Productions did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A lawyer for Baldwin was not immediately available.

James Kenney, secretary of the Department of the Environment which oversees workplace safety, said the agency spent 1,500 staff hours on its investigation, reviewed hundreds of documents and conducted at least a dozen interviews with officials. cast and crew members.

Investigators found that production managers placed strict limits on the resources of a small crew that controlled weapons on set and failed to address concerns about a shotgun being left unattended on two occasions.

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An aerial view of the film set on Bonanza Creek Ranch, where Alec Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

An aerial view of the film set on Bonanza Creek Ranch, where Alec Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
(Reuters)

Gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the daughter of a sniper and consultant for film productions, was limited to eight paid days overseeing weapons and training and otherwise assigned to lighter duties in as a props assistant. As his time as a gunsmith ran out, Gutierrez Reed tipped off a manager and was pushed away.

“After OSHA’s very thorough safety investigation involving numerous interviews and the review of more than one, it has concluded that the production deliberately failed to meet national firearm safety standards, which who caused this tragedy,” read a statement sent to Fox News Digital by Gutierrez Reed’s attorney. “OSHA found that Hannah Gutierrez Reed was not given sufficient time or resources to perform her job effectively, despite her expressed concerns. Critically, OSHA also determined that the production did not call Hannah to perform her duties as a gunsmith and inspect the gun just before it was used in the impromptu scene with Baldwin.”

“As we’ve said before, had someone from production called Hannah into the church before the scene to consult, this tragedy would have been averted,” the statement continued. “Hannah also reached out to OSHA recently with a view to sharing her suggestions for changes and improvements to on-set safety standards to prevent a tragic incident in the future.”

Safety investigators also note that the production company has not developed a process to ensure that actual cartridges are not brought onto set, in violation of industry safety protocols. Security meetings were held, but not every day weapons were used, as required.

Halyna Hutchins is survived by her husband Matthew and their son.

Halyna Hutchins is survived by her husband Matthew and their son.
(Hutchins’ attorney, Brian Panish)

Kenney said separate investigations into possible criminal charges are still ongoing. He noted that his agency had not received any direct security complaints from the cast or crew prior to the fatal shooting, although anonymity was offered.

“This tragedy, this loss of life, it could have been avoided, and we want people to say something,” he said.

Kenney was nominated in 2019 by Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, a vocal film industry advocate who raised the state’s cap on industry incentives shortly after taking office.

New Mexico competes with non-Hollywood production sites in states like Georgia, Louisiana and New York. Film productions have flocked to New Mexico in recent years to take advantage of its diverse outdoor landscapes, moderate costs, and generous state incentives, including a 25% to 35% rebate on film expenses. Status for video production that helps filmmakers big and small to underwrite their work.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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