Key Questions Need to Be Asked in Alec Baldwin Gun Reporting

The question most of the media isn't asking: Was the gun fired under direction, on impulse, or unintentionally? [See update below]
The question most of the media isn’t asking: Was the gun fired under direction, on impulse, or unintentionally? [See update below]
U.S.A. – -( As information unfolds on the intensely watched story of actor Alec Baldwin firing a “prop” gun on a film set resulting in the death of a cinematographer and the wounding of the director, there’s plenty of speculation influenced by the way the media is reporting the story. With the understanding that new information is coming out quickly and that anything understood at the time of this writing may change soon after this article is posted, those influences are being manifested in comments and social media posts by those following the story.

The term “prop gun” is being used throughout without really defining what that means. Some seem to feel that means it wasn’t a “real” gun. What would help clarify that is if specific information about the firearm involved was released, and that’s something that is known by authorities. As the film was reportedly a Western, can we assume it was either a single-action or double-action revolver? Was it only designated as a “prop” because it was being used on a movie set? Reports that the gun was unsecured and used by some of the crew for target practice suggest the word “prop
is misleading.

Another speculative assertion is that Baldwin fired the gun at the camera to obtain a point of view angle. This to me is key:  Is that what happened? Because if that was not scripted and instructed by the director, it raises the question of why he would aim a gun assumed loaded with blanks at anyone on the set and squeeze the trigger. Or was it, as some reports have called it, a “misfire” or an “accidental” (unintentional) firing, that is,  a negligent discharge?

UPDATE: Since this article was submitted new information has been released. The gun has been identified as a revolver along with this account:

As Baldwin was explaining how he was going to draw his gun and where his arm would be when he pulled the gun from the holster, it discharged, Russell said.

“It” discharged…?

Other reports claim this was not the first firearms-related mishap on the set, that safety protocols were lax, and that union crew members and camera operators had walked off over a dispute. Presumably, investigators are looking into the possibility that live rounds were either incompetently or deliberately left in (or placed in) the gun after the reported target practice. Perhaps whoever loaded it left fingerprints on the casings, and if the latter, that would take this to a whole other level.

That the assistant director handed Baldwin the “prop” and told him it was a “cold” gun is being used by some to mitigate the actor’s responsibility for the shooting — that and the daughter of the armorer reportedly had competence issues. Some maintain it is not the responsibility of an actor to check props, but rather their job is to trust the experts and do the scene as directed, and that in such circumstances they, meaning Baldwin in this case, should get a pass from Jeff Cooper’s rules.

A common term in legal actions is “knew or should have known.” Baldwin certainly had decades of experience handling all types of firearms in movies, and those presumably included instructions on safe gun handling.  His own (reported) words corroborate that:

‘In all my years, I’ve never been handed a hot gun,’ he was heard saying.

Also of relevance: Despite his very public anti-gun sentiments, one would think authorities will look into if Baldwin is a gun owner, for how long, and if he has been a concealed carry permit holder. Those would seem to be factors of legal significance.

While there appears to be plenty of blame to share, Baldwin apologists who would completely absolve him fail to account for the reality that just because you take someone’s word for something doesn’t mean you’re absolved of consequences arising from your actions.  I’ll be particularly interested to find out if he fired the gun at the camera as directed or if that was something he did on his own. And that should be easy to quickly determine, provided those who know are willing to say.

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

David Codrea

David Codrea
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Deplorable Bill

Rule #1; All guns are loaded. Rule #2; Never point a gun at anything you don’t want to destroy. These are simple, common sense rules that just might save a life. No, he did not check it. Yes, he was told, just before the incident, that it was cold. Cold gun refers to an unloaded firearm but it could also mean a firearm loaded with dummy rounds so as to be seen as a loaded firearm by the camera. Seems to me this is likely the case. We may be looking at a murder here. SOMEBODY loaded that firearm with… Read more »


If you take a thoughtful look at the very similar safe gun handling rules published by multiple people and organizations over the years, you realize that they overlap in a way that requires several f*ck ups to occur before an injury from an ND (Negligent Discharge) is even possible.

This article, the opinion of a former SEAL with combat and Hollywood experience is enlightening with respect to this incident.


@DDS: I’m a bit disappointed that on ex-military man on a military-themed site referred to “rounds” as “bullets”.

Deplorable Bill

Yup, been there, done that but several decades prior. I have friends in the teams. The teams, like every other combat unit I was in were very strict re firearms and explosives. Simple rules to follow but they do save lives and would have on this set if they had been followed.

Arm up and carry on


A tragic loss of life easily avoided.
Basic Hunters saftey class would have taught this.


Well said


If alec butthead were competent, he would had checked the firearm himself prior to pulling the trigger.
If butthead were competent, he wouldn’t have muzzled anyone while pulling the trigger.
But, butthead doesn’t need to be competent and live in reality.
And … if it would have been any of us, we would be behind bars.


The term frequently used in reporting of this incident is “prop gun” which implies a gun or something that looks like one that is incapable of firing live ammo. Think of an ROTC drill rifle that has had its barrel plugged. But it would seem that the gun in question was a live one that was being used as a prop, another animal entirely. The presence of a live gun on a movie set was f*ck up #1. Another set of terms being thrown about are “dummy round”, “blank round”, and “live round”. Military armorers, movie set armorers, reloaders and… Read more »

Last edited 2 years ago by DDS

Hollywood has been using real firearms for decades. Hundreds, if not thousands of movies have been made using real firearms. The term prop only means “property”. It does not indicate the state of the firearm in use, only that is the property of the production company. And blanks are live rounds, complete with primers and powder, but no projectile beyond the paper or plastic needed to close the case to produce adequate pressure to cycle the gun properly. And blanks can be fatal at close range. So there’s nothing non real about them. The real questions here are, why were… Read more »


a “prop gun” is any gun or replica of one used on a film set. There ARE standard protocols for handling, separating, managing various clsses of such guns and ammo. Blanks can, and have, killed on film sets. So even they MUST be managed according to strict protocols. Live rounds, of course, must be handled for what they are. Dummy rounds have a projectile in the usual position, but also have, as David mentioned NO PRIMER. They also will usually have a few BB’s inside, soa “rattle check” is part of the protocoln to distinguish between dummy and live. Bottom… Read more »


First of all, let’s be clear what a “prop” gun is. It’s a real firearm that is the “property or prop” of the production company. That’s all prop means, production company property, nothing more, nothing less.
Ultimately the condition of the gun was Baldwins responsibility. He was responsible for checking the gun to ensure there where, in fact, blanks in the gun and not live rounds. This falls squarely on Baldwins shoulders.
Also, it was not the Armorers daughter, she IS the Armorer. And why were there live rounds on a movie set in the first place?


Rule no 1 was ignored , treat all firearms as if they are loaded. I learned this rule as a 10 year old . Guess Alec does NOT know the rules of firearm safety and there for should have never been aloud to handle a firearm .


give an iq test first, would exclude most of left if you required a 75 or above for gun ownership no background check just dont let stupid people near them, drivers license too


Baldwin apparently did not verify the status of the firearm, be it a prop that supposedly cannot fire real ammo or a regular firearm that should have been loaded with blanks. Baldwin did not clear the area of his target and what was behind it, either. For each of these mortal sins of safe firearm handling, the POS should rot in jail. His failure to act appropriately resulted in death amd injury. Send him to prison, and tell him not to drop the soap.


Let them tell him that the soap is cold … or hot, which ever just so long as he’s there for them to tell him =)


dont tell him that and do not give him soap on a rope he has been an as s for a long time let him get that fixed

AZ Lefty

We really do not need ot hear your homoeotic fantasies about Alec Baldwin


Only an idiot would pick up a gun that HE HIMSELF has not checked and cleared and pointed at someone and pulled the trigger !


There are several people who could be criminally culpable, but I’ll focus on Baldwin. If he pointed the firearm in the direction of people and pulled the trigger, he should be facing at least negligent homicide charges, or even manslaughter. When you are dealing with something inherently dangerous such as a firearm, the law requires you to use due caution to avoid harming anyone else. Common law on accidental shootings, and the instruction actors are given when they are going to be touching firearms, both require a person to know whether the firearm is loaded by personally inspecting it. Baldwin… Read more »


It’s obvious that Alec Baldwin now knows the answer to his long ago tweeted question of:

“I wonder how it must feel to wrongfully kill someone…”

It just reenforces what I have said for a long time about the anti-gun left as a compromise to their wanting to make firearms illegal… Make it illegal for anyone on the anti-gun looney left to own, use, or hire anyone to use a real firearm.


hope they take all his toys , and someone needs to put that tweet in front of a investigator , might change their view of things


Until intent has been established, and the chain of custodyof that weaponAND its ammunition is established as well, he is innocent. Stop wishing evil on someone who is at this point innocent. Some have floated the possibility that someone else on the set planned this by deliberately chambering a live round, then handing him the “cold” gun which he did not check. We MUST wait until the details and questions David introduces above are answered. Go find a recent by Massad Ayoob on this incident. Read HIS take on it. I believe David’s is quite similar. But Mas brings a… Read more »


If the Progressive New Left was not founded on a foundation of hypocrisy Baldwin would have already been a prohibited person. Years ago he engaged in a hate crime in NYC, assault with homophobic slurs, and under the much beloved and touted Red Flag Laws so strongly advocated by him and his kind his due process and his right to touch a firearm would have been out the window. But the left works in mysterious ways. Funny how the rules, regulations and laws they foist on all of us never seem to apply to their clan.


You definitely got that right. The left is and always has been a “do as I say, not as I do” group.


quote: “a hate crime in NYC, assault with homophobic slurs, and under the much beloved and touted Red Flag Laws…….”

SO… lets duspense with the politically correct “hate crime” enhancement you attach. A “hate crime” is whatever the prosecutor says it is today. A termnlooking for a meaning.
As to the RedFlag alws, ALL are corrumt and uncosntitutional. Yet yuo want we should all live under them? No thanks. YOU can have that world.


So??? I ownder how tha towuld feel myself, and i hve NO push toward finding out. I cannot imagine what that would be like, and never want to know. But I do wonder…. what DOES go on inside the person who might have done that? Such a question does not implicate.


“Such a question does not implicate.” You really need to get a spill chucker when you make posts. That’s for when you spill the letters in an almost random manner, it chucks them into the trash and types what you meant so that people can read it normally. It’s commonly called it a spell checker but, at times like this, I think spill chucker is a more appropriate term. I had to reread your post a couple of times to try to understand what you were trying to say, so if I missed it… oh well. I was not trying… Read more »


It’s one thing to expect an actor to distinguish blanks from live rounds, which can’t be done from the head end, and involves dicking with a professionally prepared piece of machinery that has to function properly on command. It’s quite another to expect him to check that “all the holes are empty,” which is something you can teach any soccer mom in ten minutes.


At 73 years old, “in all my years, I’ve never been handed a cold gun!” As Forrest says, “stupid is as stupid does!”


I’ve got one more on you. I’ve never been handed a cold gun either. Even in a gun shop at the gun counter. Even if HE checks and clears, I will straightaway.


In the more than sixty years on gun ranges, I have never heard the terms, “hot gun” or “cold gun.”


David, a few observations. First, the term ‘prop gun’ popped up so quickly in this reporting that I can only surmise that the DNC fax machines got busy early on and distributed the editorial style book changes at the rapid rate in order to provide cover for a big DNC donor and icon. Baldwin is a saint in the dark lands of progressive Satansim The term ‘prop’ is actually a truncation of the word ‘propaganda’ and that is what we have seen in this so-called reporting. Secondly, how would he know if in all his years he was never handed… Read more »


@nrringlee you can bet this scumbag has lawyers on speed dial and they were called before 911, look at his past not( his story)


Prop = Property in the movie industry, not Propaganda.


On the subject of fingerprints on the shell casing (see also: tampering with evidence) One of the earliest accounts reported that an assistant director took control of the gun immediately after the incident and removed the case.

I’ve yet to hear whether any spent cartridge was retrieved by LE and pursuant to that action, can said shell be considered to be “the” spent case?


If you follow the link in the update it says that a number of shell casings were recovered. I think it said 9, maybe 6.


To me this shows how much dumber the people in HW have gotten. Imagine how many movies were produced in the past decades without people getting shot. Or were they just never reported ? Or was this all political ploy to show the world how unsafe guns are by Professionals ? Or perhaps someone with a grudge on the movie set ? Or perhaps a insurance scam to collect on a dud of a movie ? I do believe the gun community will not waste their money on a Alex Baldwin movie. Do you think the higherups don’t know this… Read more »


Clint Eastwood, or Charles Bronson, this may actually have been a fantasy of his he tweeted as much a long time ago


Hollywood have been corrupt since back in the mid to late 1920’s. There was a concerted decision to use the medium of film to undermine and pervert the moral fabric of America. And they’ve largely succeeded. Their influence now extends into every aspect of our culture.


Starting with “Birth of a Nation”!


Except for sadness over the tragic death of the cinematographer, I’m not interested in this mess of a tale. But thanks, David, for drawing attention to to how media are totally ignorant of a key element. As we gun enthusiasts know, true “prop guns” aren’t firearms. They’re designed for theatrical presentation, accept only specialized blank cartridges and cannot be converted to standard firearms. That standard firearms may accept blank cartridges and on the sets of theatrical productions are misconstrued with prop guns, is the nucleus of this and previous Hollywood tragedies. Too, the actors and personnel on sets of many… Read more »


A lot of people here have apparently never seen a movie and/or are unaware that few actors are competent with guns in real life. On set, only professional armorers are allowed to load and handle the guns until the scene is ready to be filmed and the gun is then handed to the actor. I doubt that the insurance company would be pleased to have the actors fiddling with the guns after the armorer has prepared them. As for “muzzle sweeping” other actors and set personnel, it’s pretty hard to shoot a typical action scene involving guns without muzzle sweeping… Read more »


When you think for yourself, read esoteric knowledge, learn for yourself vs. being told what to think & understand the symbolism the PTB used you see things as they really are.

“When the human race learns to read the language of symbolism, a great veil will fall from the eyes of men. They shall then know truth and, more than that, they shall realize that from the beginning truth has been in the world unrecognized.”

Manly P. Hall


It appears to me after what I just read on another site that Alec may have drawn the weapon with his finger inside the trigger guard causing a non-intentional trigger pull.

For me the definition of a prop is a non-functional replica, and I think many others are having some angst over calling a functional firearm a “prop”.

Just saying.


First: I dislike Alec Baldwin as much as anyone. 2nd: In The Movies, it is impossible to expect the actor being filmed to individually check each gun before he uses it. Ever seen a John Wick movie? If not, you should..all 3. Keanu Reeves does a Magnificent job of handling, shooting, reloading, and shot placement in all his flicks. BUT..BUT, he does NOT stop the action and personally check each of the dozens of guns he will pick up (from the dead bad-guys) and see that they are ‘cold’ as he runs thru his scenes. PERHAPS he’s checked each one… Read more »


The difference in Baldwin and Reeves is that Baldwin is a Left Wing extremist who uses his questionable celebrity status to attack Patriots and gun owners every chance he gets while Reeves actually went through extensive training to handle guns. I have no way of knowing for sure, but I would be willing to bet that Reeves knows and follows the 4 rules of gun handling. Baldwin violated the most basic rule of assuming every gun is loaded while only handling a single gun that he pointed at someone and pulled the trigger. I will absolutely cut him no slack… Read more »


What you see on screen is nothing compared to what goes on behind the scenes in an action film. I can’t say what breaks in filming occur in a John Wick movie. But, I have seen the behind the scenes for NCIS: Los Angeles and there are many safety “breaks” between scenes. The clips are later stitched together to make a final product which we get to view. We never see the “stops” that occur between frames.


Dave, Dave, Dave. I expect a damned site more from you than a barrel full of your speculative nonsense. It’s clear you don’t have answers to the big questions here and you’re willing to poke the bear just to get a reaction. Were you drinking when you wrote this?


Holy Crap! Just noticed you’ve invoked the holiest of holies: Jeff Cooper! That does it! Stick a fork in Baldwin; he is done-finished-cooked. Who needs a trial? Somebody get rope.




Hell, with whatever that was, he’d better be sharing those meds.