LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – In the wake of the shooting death of a crewmember with a prop gun by actor Alec Baldwin Thursday on a film set in New Mexico, a petition has been launched calling on Hollywood to ban the use of real firearms from film and television sets.
“We need to make sure this never happens again,” the Change.org petition reads. “There is no excuse for something like this to happen in the 21st century. Real guns are no longer needed on film production sets.”
As of late Friday morning, the petition, started by filmmaker Bandar Albuliwi, had already garnered 2,677 signatures.
The shooting occurred on the set of the independent Western movie “Rust.”
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that 42-year-old Halyna Hutchins, the director of photography, and 42-year-old Joel Souza, the film’s director, were shot when Baldwin discharged the prop firearm at about 1:50 p.m. Thursday at the Bonanza Creek Ranch movie set.
Hutchins was taken by helicopter to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she died, the sheriff’s office said. She leaves behind a husband and young son.
Souza was taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, where he was treated for his injuries. He has since been discharged from the hospital.
No criminal charges have yet been filed in the incident. The 63-year-old Baldwin is a producer on the film.
A sheriff’s investigation is underway into whether the gun was loaded with live ammunition or blanks.
“If someone actually put a live round in there, No. 1, that shouldn’t have been on set, and No. 2, they should have visually inspected the gun first with a pencil down the barrel and a flashlight to make sure there’s no obstruction in the mechanism,” veteran movie prop master Bill Davis told CBSLA Thursday. “And No. 3, they need to inspect the round that’s going in there. So it sounds to me, if someone actually got killed, which they did, that would have to be a live round of ammunition.”
According a report from Indiewire, IATSE Local 44, which includes prop masters, sent a letter to its members Friday alleging that the gun which was fired by Baldwin contained a live round. It also alleged that the prop master on “Rust” was not a member of IATSE Local 44.
“Those are all real firearms,” Davis added. “What’s fake about it is the ammunition, the blanks that are loaded into it. There’s no projectile in a blank. But what I think happened is people just didn’t inspect the weapon and/or did not inspect the ammunition that they were loading into it.”