No Surprise: FBI Forensic Report Says Trigger on ‘Rust’ Gun was Pulled

Colt Navy
A new report on the FBI’s forensic analysis of the fatal “Rust” film set shooting almost ten months ago says the gun could not have fired without the trigger being pulled. IMG Jim Grant

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Finally, almost ten months after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed on a New Mexico movie set during the filming of ‘Rust,” an FBI forensic report obtained by ABC News confirmed what knowledgeable gun owners have known from the start of the investigation: the gun held by actor Alec Baldwin “could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger.”

Baldwin, who was also the producer of the film, was holding the F.lli Pietta single-action revolver when it discharged, sending a bullet through Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza. How a live round got into the .45-caliber sixgun still remains a mystery.

According to ABC News, “With the hammer fully cocked, the gun ‘could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger while the working internal components were intact and functional,’ the report stated.

“With the hammer de-cocked on a loaded chamber,” ABC reported, “the gun was able to detonate a primer ‘without a pull of the trigger when the hammer was struck directly,’ which is normal for this type of revolver, the report stated.”

Yet, Baldwin maintained during a Dec. 2, 2021 interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, that he did not pull the trigger. The actor was rehearsing a scene for the film when the shooting occurred. ABC News quoted Baldwin attorney Luke Nikas, who stated, “The critical report is the one from the medical examiner, who concluded that this was a tragic accident. This is the third time the New Mexico authorities have found that Alec Baldwin had no authority or knowledge of the allegedly unsafe conditions on the set, that he was told by the person in charge of safety on the set that the gun was ‘cold,’ and believed the gun was safe.”

But critical gun owners have repeatedly observed Baldwin—or anyone else, for that matter—has the ultimate responsibility for making sure a firearm handed to him is unloaded by physically checking the gun immediately upon taking it in hand. For the type of single-action revolver involved, that simply requires the loading gate on the right side of the gun behind the cylinder to be opened as the hammer is pulled back to release the cylinder and then rotating the cylinder one chamber at a time to see whether any cartridges are in the chambers.

However, CNN is reporting that Nikas, via email, told the network, “The gun fired in testing only one time – without having to pull the trigger – when the hammer was pulled back and the gun broke in two different places… The FBI was unable to fire the gun in any prior test, even when pulling the trigger, because it was in such poor condition.”

The same CNN report noted, “FBI examiners observed an internal malfunction of the gun during testing at the fully cocked position, with the report noting “portions of the trigger sear and cylinder stop fractured while the hammer was struck.”

And KING News in Seattle is reporting, “In April, New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau delivered a scathing narrative of safety failures in violation of standard industry protocols. It included testimony that production managers took limited or no action to address two previous misfires on the set, complaints from crew members that went unheeded, and reports that weapons specialists were not allowed to make decisions about additional safety training.”

This raises more questions. If so-called “prop guns” were in such poor condition, why were they even on the set?

Much criticism has been directed toward lead armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, daughter of Thell Reed, a familiar name among longtime shooters and people familiar with movie sets. Her attorney contends she’s being used as a scapegoat.

Veteran shooters—the genuine “gun safety experts”—will insist the last person to handle any firearm is responsible for checking its condition, whether loaded or unloaded. While guns are common on “action” movie sets and have been used millions of times over the years in westerns, gangster films, and big screen police epics, fatal incidents on film sets appear to be rare. Live ammunition is typically forbidden on film sets.

What happens next is open to speculation. Clearly, those most closely involved—and their attorneys—are already trying to spin the contents of the report. The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation. So far, no charges have been brought against anyone.


About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

 

Subscribe
Notify of
69 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ope

Another great article Dave. Is Baldwin in jail yet for murdering that that young girl?

Jonesy

To answer: NO !

Boz

OMG! What???!?! Baldwin Iied????? You mean…..he killed someone because of his own negligence?!?!?! OMG!

Knute Knute

Not necessarily only negligent. Here is a potential motive for it to have been a deliberate homicide:
“The cinematographer shot dead on the set of a movie in New Mexico had been planning to go on strike over poor working conditions days before her death.” -https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/halyna-hutchins-balwin-shot-strike-b1943517.html

JPM

Baldwin will not be held accountable as he is rich, a public figure/celebrity, and belongs to the “elite” class in America who are above the law, including Federal officials.

Ledesma

Investigating authorities avoid charging celebrities with criminal acts because it almost never works anyway. There’s always enough of their fan following on the long road to punishment to throw the case. They probably knew charging OJ Simpson and Robert Blake was pointless. At least ultimately. Besides, neither of them killed anybody California liberals aren’t happy to live without anyway.

Terry

Hummm,

Who was the producer/ director of the film? I thought I recalled it was the shooter. Isn’t it the directors ‘job’ to hire cast and crew? I thought “The Buck Stoped there”. Don’t they get finally say on where budget/ money is spent.

If accident did not happen, and the show was a hit, who would have taken the credit for a success?

Wild Bill

All good questions that might lead to the truth.

john

The truth is the gun was in the hand of the shooter who shot and killed a woman and wounded another.
To the stockade

Knute Knute

Baldwin was the producer and the star. Joel Souza, the second person injured by the same bullet after it had passed through the first victim, was the writer and director. I find it interesting that this means that Baldwin violated all 4 of the safe gun handling rules. In the words of Jeff Cooper, a very large “stack up” of ‘errors'(or perhaps not errors at all…) indeed! Rule one; treat all guns as loaded. Baldwin himself admits to violating this one. Rule two; never let the muzzle cover anything you aren’t willing to destroy. Well, the bullet left the gun… Read more »

Wass

In over sixty two years involvement with firearms and gun ranges, I’ve never heard the terms, “hot gun” or “cold gun”. But most importantly, what’s so damn hard accepting the stone cold fact, “whoever holds a gun is responsible for the consequences of it”?

Wild Bill

I hear the young people saying, “Make your gun cold.” at the range. It is just young people, tacticool lingo.

Bubba

Bitch slap these tards.

john

Today’s FBI investigating Alec Baldwin is the next chapter in how he will not be serving anytime in prison. CNN has no journalistic integrity even supporting Baldwins bashing of former President Trump as news worthey. Baldwin continues to foster the same lie that he did not pull the trigger even has the audacity to lie on national television. He continues to live his life as if he did not take the life of another human being. If the American judicial system fails to prosecute Baldwin and a civil suite does not bankrupt him and his family.There will be a special… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by john
swmft

he should be waiting in a cell while they investigate

Ope

They should also confiscate his passport and fit him with an ankle bracelet. Anyone stupid enough to claim he didn’t pull the trigger on that revolver that killed that young women should also be considered a flight risk.

Ope

Oldvet,thanks, I didn’t know that.

Ledesma

Authorities are convinced Baldwin killed nobody deliberately. Killing somebody accidently is a crime for the common people only. Actually, Americans are fortunate that admired celebrities are as well behaved as they are. Because if they weren’t, most of them would hold a mayhem free pass!

Knute Knute

The authorities are convinced all right. The big question that no one dares ask is: Have the authorities been convinced by the facts of the case… or by Baldwin’s wallet?

Wild Bill

Shooting someone is a garden variety Tenth Amendment power of a state (in this case New Mexico) crime. Why is the Fat Boy Institute investigating? What possible federal criminal charge could the Feebs be contemplating?

Taj

Wild Bill,
A lot of state agencies lack resources so use the Fan Belt Inspectors firearms lab for testing. Pretty common when an agency does not have their own FA lab or expertise available. 40 years in LE, part of it as a FA Examiner and I’m not a fan of the FBI, but I must admit, they have a very good FA lab.

Wild Bill

Good info. Thank you.

Bubba

None. All smoke and mirrors.
They have no intention of charging him.

Apparently the real criminal is an ex president (actually current president by my vote count) who had a couple boxes of paperwork. And some sexy panties in the closet.

Hazcat

Seems like every effort is being made to introduce ‘reasonable doubt’ to give Baldwin cover.

swmft

it does seem like lies and time are being told to corrupt jury pool

USMC0351Grunt

But Baldwin already established doubt when he claimed it was Trump’s fault?

Wild Bill

You are on a roll, today!

3%er

USMC, I agree with WB , perfect again.

Allen75

Anybody that knows guns especially single actions know that he pulled the trigger and he told a lie about it.

Finnky

I suspect he did not actually pull the trigger at time of firing. Instead, like many hoplophobes, he automatically put his finger on the trigger when picking up the firearm. Than he gripped the gun tightly, likely holding trigger to the rear continuously from way before he began pulling the hammer back. Thus he did not need to pull the trigger as he was already holding it back. Isn’t this how it works to “fan” an SAA revolver for fastest possible shooting? Technically one could claim he did not “pull” the trigger at time of firing, but to me reality… Read more »

Wild Bill

Isn’t “… holding the trigger to the rear… ” pulling the trigger. Not that it matters. He was in control of the gun. He caused (somehow) the gun to fire. The fired bullet killed a person. He has no justification to exert him from the jurisdiction’s statute.

If he had mens rhea, then murder. If he had no guilty mind, then manslaughter.

Knute Knute

“FBI examiners observed an internal malfunction of the gun during testing at the fully cocked position, with the report noting “portions of the trigger sear and cylinder stop fractured while the hammer was struck.”
So after beating on the fully cocked hammer with god only knows how big a blunt object, the sear could be made to fail? Well, imagine that. A firearm can be put into poor condition by beating on it with a hammer? Whoda thunk it? 🙂

Wild Bill

So … it was not broken until Famous But Incompetent testing? Sounds like something the prosecution might use.

Knute Knute

That’s how CNN makes it sound anyway. That failure of the sear when beating on the firearm’s hammer with another, REAL, hammer… is somehow not an expected occurrence. God only knows how big a hammer the [email protected]#$**g Bunch of Idiots hit it with. Could’ve been a 20 pound sledge. I’d bet money that they just kept using bigger and bigger blunt objects until the fire control group’s quite fragile components failed. The sear would obviously take the bulk of the force, and the sear is bound to be more fragile than the hammer notch. Why the cylinder stop should fail,… Read more »

Wild Bill

I am sure that you are correct because you are a gunsmith, but can anyone in the Fat Boy Institute lab lift a twenty pound sledge?

Last edited 1 month ago by Wild Bill
Knute Knute

Oh, good point! On second thought you’re probably correct. I doubt anybody inside the Beltway could lift a sledgehammer. It wouldn’t take anywhere near that amount of force anyway. A 2 pounder would be plenty, even swung by a little girl. I’m thinking now of a photo op, back in the 80s in Billings, which was the then Montana US representative to the House doing the symbolic ground-breaking for a new Government building. He was unable to get the shovel into the dried out Montana Gumbo. After multiple tries, including standing on the shovel with both feet and nearly falling… Read more »

Ope

Knute, tampering with and destroying physical evidence used during a murder investigation is also a felony and Baldwin should be prosecuted for that along with the murder charge. Some way, some how, that bastard has to pay for these crimes !

USMC0351Grunt

“So far no charges have been brought against anyone.”

TAKE AWAY: There is a position for Sheriff open in Santa Fe County, New Mexico as soon as the citizens determine they aren’t getting their money’s worth out of this one!

Bubba

Public hanging of Baldwin suggested.

Bubba

I vote for Trump to wear the black hood and pull the lever.

Ope

And Trump would do it too.

Wass

Trump won’t want to wear the black hood. What had he ever done without pride and gusto?

Ope

Bubba, let that girls sister be the one who pulls the lever for the trap door on the gallows.

Ope

Bubba, do you think Baldwin would make the dead man drop like a man or a sniveling coward?

Wild Bill

I’m thinking sniveling.

Ope

Bill, I can almost guarantee it.

Knute Knute

I’d lay ten to one odds he’d go on his knees, bawling like a 3 year-old child.

Ope

Knute, the coward would probably have to be dragged to the gallows and literally carried up those 13 steps screaming like that three year old child. That big bad tough guy who intentionally pointed that revolver at that young womens head and pulled the trigger is no where to be found. The world would be rid of one sorry POS.

Wild Bill

The soil went from hard as concrete with cracks wide enough to put your foot in to deep mud in 24 hours. The boat is tied up to the front porch, but I only take it long distances. Closer to home I just do the … backstroke.

buzzsaw

I seem to recall reports that the gun in question had been used for some target shooting by some members of the cast and/or crew before the shooting incident. How does that square with: “However, CNN is reporting that Nikas, via email, told the network, “The gun fired in testing only one time – without having to pull the trigger – when the hammer was pulled back and the gun broke in two different places… The FBI was unable to fire the gun in any prior test, even when pulling the trigger, because it was in such poor condition.”” Are… Read more »

Deplorable Bill

I know who he is , what he says, yes he is a dirt bag etc. BUT, I can show you how to fire a revolver without pulling the trigger or even having your finger in the trigger guard. It’s called “slip shooting” and can be done on every revolver I have ever picked up and shot. First, make damn sure the gun is empty. Baldwin himself said that he did not check the firearm for ammunition. This is the FIRST mistake that he made that cost that woman her life. Pull the hammer back until it ALMOST locks. The… Read more »

MICHAEL J

Since we’re pretending just like Hollywood, an inanimate object loaded itself, discharged and killed someone. Will they now ban Hollywood biggest supporting objects from all violent entertainment? Probably not. By the way, who loaded that gun?

Ope

Michael, I think Baldwin is just taking a page out of the socialists gungrabber playbook, that inanimate objects like guns, have a mind of their own. How the hell can that SOB actually say with a straight face, that the revolver went off by itself and he never pulled the trigger ?

Ope

Michael, I think I read somewhere that Baldwin and others on the set used that very revolver between takes for target practice.

Wild Bill

If witnesses testify to that in court, then Baldwin is in big trouble.

3%er

Bill, they should,the entire cast and crew was aware of it. (many of them participated in that target practice) Not once did that revolver discharge without human trigger manipulation during these practice sessions either.

Wild Bill

If it were you or I the jury would already be at home watching TV.

Bubba

They won’t prosecute him.
He’s a Libtard…

Wild Bill

It sure is taking a suspiciously long time.

Knute Knute

The Guardian in the UK said back in April:
“A recent report on the incident found the film’s production company “knew that firearm safety procedures were not being followed on set” and “demonstrated plain indifference to employee safety”.
Rust Movie Productions was fined $136,793 (£104,810), the maximum allowable by state law in New Mexico, after a six-month investigation by the state’s environment department.”
-https://www.theguardian.com/film/2022/apr/26/footage-emerges-alec-baldwin-practising-with-gun-before-fatal-shooting-halyna-hutchins

Knute Knute

I think I found where you read that. The New York Post. https://nypost.com/2021/10/26/rust-crew-used-alec-baldwins-prop-gun-for-plinking/ Notice that they continue to make the same error that most everyone made at the time… calling a gun a “prop” simply because it happened to be on a movie set. In reality, an actual prop gun is a non-functional item that has the visual appearance of a firearm, but is usually made of rubber, that cannot even fire blanks. They can also be made of plastic, or even metal, so long as they have no chamber(s) or bore and thus cannot function. Not even for firing… Read more »

Ope

Knute, I really appreciate you looking that up. I just couldn’t remember where I had read it. Thanks for the link too.

Knute Knute

No problem. Glad to be of help.

john

Baldwin admitted the gun was in his hand when it fired By his own admittance of guilt he is responsible.

Guns do not fire themselves Baldwin has no remorse as he went trick or treating after the shooting with all his children and his wife.

His claim was he wanted to get back to normal with his life and family.

Justice has not been served

musicman44mag

Isn’t it amazing they broke the gun so no outside testing could be done on it? It also can be said that the firearm was defected and now it can’t be proven.
I smell a rat.
Oh and now the new rub is that Baldwin is afraid that the Maga people are going to hurt him. Lol, what a female dog in heat.

Oh, and better news is that SNL might be calling it quits! I guess it hurts them too much to rank on their current leader traitor and thief.
FAB, FJB.

john

Even if the firearm was defective which it was not, it was in Baldwins hand loaded with a live ammunition. There are many people involved and all are negligent in their involvement. Baldwin in the end was the only person responsible for the death of one and wounding of another. Treat every firearm as if it was loaded he failed at this rule. Today I wonder with his lack of remorse if the shooting was intentional why has there not been a psychiatric exam of Baldwin right after the shooting. Anyone else would have had to undergo a exam by… Read more »

john

Here is a probability Alec Baldwin meats with his attorney L Good morning Alec A Don’t good morning me what the hell am I going to do . L The first thing is did you bring your checkbook A Yes how much is this going to cost L Alec you shot and killed a woman wounded another and are a media star why don’t you begin with my retainer and add six zeros to that for starters. A What is my defence what do I say I was in charge of the whole set it was my responsibility. L Just… Read more »

Wild Bill

Very instructive.

Russn8r

Hackery