Gun Safety Bills Made In Wake Of 'Rust' Shooting On Pause In California

The bills hope to improve requirements for armorers on film sets after the Alec Baldwin film tragedy that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

A pair of bills meant to improve gun safety on film sets in the wake of the tragedy on the “Rust” film set are stagnant in the California legislature.

One of the bills, formed by state Sen. Dave Cortese (D-San Jose), would have strengthened firearm safety measures with a required set safety officer while another, promoted by state Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge), was more restricted in its hopes for set safety reform.

The lack of support by the state legislature’s appropriations committee this week means senators will have to “rework” the legislation in 2023, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The bills were in response to the tragedy on the New Mexico set after actor Alec Baldwin fired a gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.

The Cortese bill was backed by one of Hollywood’s major unions, the Directors Guild of America, a group supporting film and TV directors with over 18,000 union members.

Danny Bush, DGA Associate National Executive Director, wrote in a letter to Cortese that safety measures are “not prioritized enough” and “recommended guidelines are not consistently followed,” the Los Angeles Times reported in April.

“While the ‘Rust’ tragedy involved a shooting, our safety concerns extend far beyond firearms; entertainment workers are regularly exposed to explosions, vehicles, aircraft, falling objects, dangerous animals or countless other hazardous environments,” Bush reportedly wrote in the letter.

Cortese, in a statement to the Times, committed himself to protect people in the film and TV industry.

“First the industry killed Halyna. Then they killed the bill that would’ve made people like her safe,” he said.

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