Alec Baldwin: Every film set should have a real cop in charge of the weapons

Alec and Hilaria Baldwin chat with owner Craig Susser as they leave Craig's restaurant in West Hollywood

At some point, I’ll probably do a deeper dive into Hilaria Baldwin and how deeply inappropriate she has been in the past month, especially following Alec unintentionally shooting two people on the set of Rust. Instead of just going quiet for a respectful amount of time, Hilaria has continued to post on social media and make everything about her and her kids. It’s wrong and disrespectful to Halyna Hutchins’ family. If I was in the center of a terrible, tragic accident, social media is the f–king last place I would go. But Alec and Hilaria have both been tweeting and ‘gramming through it. Alec has retweeted a number of articles which I suppose are supposed to give insight into what happened. On Monday, Alec made a new suggestion: film sets should have cops on hand to handle all of the on-set weapons.

Actor Alec Baldwin is calling for police officers to be present on film sets as a means to improve weapons safety, weeks after a fatal shooting of his colleague. Baldwin discharged a weapon that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, and injured movie director Joel Souza, 48, in October while working on the set of the western film “Rust.”

“Every film/TV set that uses guns, fake or otherwise, should have a police officer on set, hired by the production, to specifically monitor weapons safety,” he wrote on Instagram on Monday.

Weapons safety on set is normally the domain of an armorer or a firearms specialist. The armorer ensures they look realistic and are appropriate for the setting of the film and most importantly, the armorer is tasked with making sure the weapons are clean, correctly loaded, properly kept up and safely handled. However, there is usually little formal training required to become one.

[From WaPo]

Many of the copaganda movies and TV shows already have retired or semi-retired cops on the payroll, working as “advisers.” It would actually make sense on those kinds of film/TV projects, to have a cop in charge of the weaponry. But… I kind of think this is just a bad idea for every project which involves guns? Surely, production teams and studios should mandate stricter controls and hire only the best armorers in the business. No cutting corners. Introducing a cop on every film set sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. I mean, will the cops themselves be armed? Will they have the duty to make arrests? It feels like situations could end up being criminalized when people are just trying to work.

Alec Baldwin on social media

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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22 Responses to “Alec Baldwin: Every film set should have a real cop in charge of the weapons”

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  1. bml says:

    What happened on that set was absolutely tragic but we should not be looking to Alec as the voice of what should be done to prevent these accidents in the future. He is having to process the guilt and grief of what he did and he is not an authority on how to prevent these types of events in the future.

    • Maria says:

      I agree.
      So why is he talking??? Why are they posting cute pics of the kids in Halloween costumes when Halyna’s husband and child will never be able to enjoy Halloween with her ever again???
      Life is full of tragedies and I get that in private, acting as normal is sometimes best, and moving on. But their media presence during this is so gross to me. As are these posts by him, trying to sweep the evidence of misconduct under the rug. Police wouldn’t have prevented what happened here.

  2. Morgan says:

    Yeah, because cops are the pinnacle of gun safety…what could possibly go wrong??

    • tealily says:

      Agree completely. Let’s just have experts supported by sufficient staffs and budgets. Or better yet, no guns.

    • schmootc says:

      This definitely seems like a knee-jerk reaction. Like Kaiser says, sure for cop shows, you’d want cops around to check for realism and such in terms of portraying their profession. But seems like it would be better to have specialists in the film industry doing what they do best – the two professions don’t seem like they would have the same processes and procedures beyond just a surface level similarity. Or, like tealily says, just don’t use real guns.

    • SomeChick says:

      better to look to ex military folks instead. the armed forces have super strict rules about handling weapons.

      I really think tho that they should never use real guns, only replicas. come ON. that would be safest and most sensible.

  3. Natters5 says:

    No. Every movie should have air guns and the sound editor add gunfire noise. Easy AND safe!

  4. minx says:

    I’m not holding him to this, he’s probably still in shock and grieving. Your thoughts get frantic at times like this.

  5. Izzy says:

    If it’s true that people were using the gun for target practice when they weren’t filming, then a cop’s presence would probably not have prevented this tragedy. There were a number of safeguards that were ignored, it only takes one to create the circumstances for a fatality.

  6. FHMom says:

    Alec probably shouldn’t say anything at this point. However well- intentioned, it sounds self-serving.

  7. lunchcoma says:

    What’s needed is for productions to hire union professionals and pay and treat their entire crews well, or for productions to choose not to use real firearms at all. Police officers aren’t particularly noted for handling their own weapons safely, let alone with what sound like extensive and repetitive precautions that should be taken on a movie set to verify that a gun is unloaded. I don’t see how their presence would help anything.

    I’m sure Baldwin feels terrible, but he’s not a helpful voice on this. He maybe needs to take a big step back, talk to a therapist, and contemplate what his role was as a producer on this catastrophe of a movie.

    • GamerGrrl says:

      This – all of this. Cops are not going to know how to teach gun safety or how to keep sets safe. Armorers are – but they also have to have the power and self-confidence to demand safety, regardless of who is on set. She never should have been in charge.

  8. Concern Fae says:

    This is ridiculous. Armorer is a highly specialized job. You need to pay them. You need to pay for them to have qualified assistants so that there is a pipeline of future armorers who know WTF they are doing. And they all need to be IATSE union with the knowledge that all the other union members will walk off the set if they do over safety issues. This is really the only thing that will bring safety. And the insurance companies that indemnify production companies need to refuse to cover any films that don’t have this setup. Big companies are self insuring these days, but the problem is the indie films. These don’t get made without insurance, so those companies have a great deal of control.

    Is Baldwin trying to give us a solution that won’t solve the problem because he doesn’t want the problem solved?

  9. Nicki says:

    Actually, every set should have an experienced and competent armorer. Rust didn’t and that’s why someone was shot to death. Alec needs to be quiet.

  10. Ange says:

    He was in charge of that set, he could have easily had that.

  11. TeeBee says:

    This looks like trying to close and lock the door after the horses have escaped.

    Everyone that had a finger pointing at them is trying to point their fingers at someone else. This looks like he’s trying to get ahead of the issue that the guns were fooled around with outside of the set, and that no matter who is supposed to be in charge, if they can’t handle the responsibility then you need an extra level of monitoring to make up for that.

    There needs to be more done to secure dangerous things on a set, and that means weaponry, ballistics, explosives, flammable materials, pretty well anything and everything that could endanger actors and crew. It usually takes a terrible accident or incident to shine a light on an existing problem. I bet the behaviour on this set is repeated many times over elsewhere, which is why nothing was done until the accident happened. Now that it has, and someone lost a life, there has to be a reckoning. I don’t care whose production this happened to, doesn’t matter how big the star, how high profile the production. Someone died because of carelessness, and someone has to be held accountable. If it’s multiple someones, then so be it, but Halyna cannot die in vain.

    Alec would do best to let the investigation do its job, and then make statements if necessary. Social media is not your friend in these situations. You are making it worse adding to the narrative when it hasn’t even been established.

  12. mahcat says:

    Thanks Alec “Defund the Police” Baldwin. Sigh.

    What would a police presence add to a situation like this with antique guns? Police are not trained in the use of them and I can’t see any situation that would be better than a well qualified armourer.

  13. Mary says:

    It’s been 3 weeks since the shooting and Baldwin is now happily hyping his podcast on Insta: “This week, we are releasing an episode of Here’s The Thing that was recorded this July with @marlafrazee, an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator. She is also the true talent behind Boss Baby, the business-suit-wearing, hard-charging infant who changed my life. In this episode, Marla tackles serious topics such as babies, birthday cake, boxer shorts, boys, and roller coasters. Listen now at the link in my bio.”

  14. Aries-Mira says:

    If real firearms are absolutely, 100% required on set, have everyone take and pass a firearms safety course first before setting foot on set and p.r.o.v.e. that the weapons is empty and safe to use before starting any and all scenes when a firearm is used.

  15. Lasagna_Jones says:

    Good grief. Like cops are effing renowned gun safety experts. *facepalm