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A Republican New Mexico legislator wants movie actors and other film-set professionals to undergo state-sponsored gun-safety training after a cinematographer was fatally shot last year by Alec Baldwin with a weapon he says he thought was not loaded with live ammunition.
State Sen. Cliff Pirtle of Roswell on Monday introduced a bill that would require all film set personnel who handle firearms to complete a safety course offered by the New Mexico Game and Fish Department.
It was unclear whether the Democrat-led Legislature will bring the bill up for debate and a possible vote during a 30-day legislative session that ends Feb. 17. The office of Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the bill.
Pirtle is a partner in a farming business and an ardent supporter of gun rights. He has handled firearms on film sets while acting in minor roles for Western movies, such as Deadman Standing in 2018 and Death Alley in 2021.
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,” Pirtle said. “This is a simple bill to bring some gravity back to the use of firearms on film sets.”
Baldwin has said he didn’t know the gun he was holding contained a live round when it went off while pointed at Hutchins.
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 from the set including live and dummy rounds.
Pirtle says his 10-year-old son has undergone standard firearms training by the state Game and Fish Department to instill an understanding that guns are not only household tools but also can be deadly.
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