Firearms Expert: Alec Baldwin Broke Number 1 Rule of Gun Safety When He Shot Crew
'Loaded or unloaded, a weapon never gets pointed at another human being'
Hollywood star Alec Baldwin broke the number one rule of gun safety when he shot and killed a crew member on the set of his movie, a firearms expert has noted.
Weapons expert Bryan W. Carpenter has weighed in on last week's Baldwin shooting, which left cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead and another crew member injured.
Carpenter, who runs Dark Thirty Film Services, says Baldwin was breaking the first rule of firearm safety when the gun went off in his hands.
"Loaded or unloaded, a weapon never gets pointed at another human being," Carpenter told the New York Post.
Carpenter's company specializes in firearms training, handling, on-set armory, and even firearm fabrication.
The expert warns that whenever a gun is handled on a TV or movie set, "you never let the muzzle of a weapon cover something you don't intend to destroy."
That does not matter, Carpenter told the Post because Baldwin "obviously pointed [the firearm] at another human being."
"All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are," Carpenter explained, citing what he told the Post are "Colonel Jeff Cooper's four fundamentals" of firearm safety.
Not only did Baldwin break the No. 1 rule, but the film crew reportedly used the same firearm that was used in Hutchins' tragic death for off-set "fun."
If true, that may explain how a live round was inside Baldwin's prop gun.
Multiple sources directly connected to the "Rust" production tell TMZ ... the same gun Alec Baldwin accidentally fired -- hitting the DP and director -- was being used by crews members off set as well, for what we're told amounted to target practice.
We're told this off-the-clock shooting -- which was allegedly happening away from the movie lot -- was being done with real bullets ... which is how some who worked on the film believe a live round found its way in one of the chambers that day.
As Carpenter told the Post, the phrase "prop gun" is slightly misleading.
Many film and TV sets use real firearms during filming, loading them with blank rounds, which are identical to normal bullets with one exception: They do not have a projectile, the piece of lead that is expelled from the barrel of a gun when fired.
If the firearm in question was, in fact, being used for target practice off-set, then a live round could have been left in the chamber when given to Baldwin.
The only way to confirm the contents of a firearm chamber — whether it is loaded or unloaded — is to visually inspect it, not simply remove the firearm's magazine.