Steve Wolf, a theatrical firearms safety expert who has worked on a number of sets with simulated violence, weighed in on the Alec Baldwin prop gun shooting saying, “there is no excuse for something like this to happen” since “the “physics of how bullets enter people has been known for about 5,000 years.”
“If a bullet comes out and injures someone, that’s exactly what it is designed to do, so you have to figure out how you make sure that doesn’t happen,” he said.
Holding up what appeared to be a weapon and a bullet on CNN, Wolf listed reasonable steps on-set coordinators could take to prevent such incidents.
For example, he said coordinators should always look inside of the cylinder of the weapon to ensure “there is nothing in the gun that could come out.”
Then, holding up what appeared to be a live piece of ammunition, Wolf said the blank should also be checked to ensure there is no bullet sitting on the end of the casing.
“If you put a blank in there, you make sure there is a blank, no bullet on the end of it,” he said. “It is hollow. It is just gunpowder and a piece of paper that holds the powder in.”
If it is just a blank, “all that will come out are hot expanding gases and flame and smoke and a noise,” he added.
Wolf’s remarks come after a film crew member died and another was injured after Baldwin discharged a prop firearm on the set of the movie “Rust,” according to a law enforcement statement provided to CNN.
The investigation “remains open and active” and no charges have been filed, according to the sheriff’s office.
In a statement, Baldwin said he is cooperating with the police investigation. “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident,” he said.