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Does anyone know the exact gun they were using?
Pietta .45 Colt replica. Mine is the rival Uberti ... so it's possible they are different; mine has no transfer bar. The firing mechinism is a beak on the front face of the hammer. Haven't tested it for being drop safe and not inclined to do so: prefering the traditional way: empty chamber (actually a dummy / spent case) under the hammer. Haven't shot it for a l-o-n-g time; had to dig it out to confirm no transfer bar.
 
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Pietta .45 Colt replica. Mine is the rival Uberti ... so it's possible they are different; mine has no transfer bar. The firing mechinism is a beak on the front face of the hammer. Havent' tested it for being drop safe and not inclined to do so: prefering the traditional way: empty chamber (actually a dummy / spent case) under the hammer.
Some of them or course have the Ruger type transfer but some of the clones have that feature I mentioned. You can pull the hammer back to the first click which some will call a half cock, it is not, it is only about 1/4 inch back. The hammer looks like it is resting on the frame but the firing pin is not being touched. You can take a piece of wood, like a hammer handle or 2 x 2 and whack it pretty good, it will not go off like the original design. However, if you pull the trigger hard, like 25 pounds of pressure, the hammer will fall, basically just going that 1/4 inch forward. Probably would not set of the primer, but it could. I have tried the wood stick hitting the hammer, but it is my gun, I am not going to drop it on concrete just to see.

Anyway, like many have said it takes one second to pull the cylinder and you know it is loaded. Anyone who shoots them much can just put it on half cock and slowly move the cylinder and check all six in about 5 seconds. No excuse for not doing that.

I have carried my Uberti with all six but in a secure holster, hammer tied in with a thong. I carry the Rugers with 6 of course. And then I heard about a guy near me who carried a Ruger 44 in a shoulder rig. He had spent a long day riding horses on his deer hunting place and stopped for gas on the way home. He was in a hurry and as he jumped out of his pickup, the seat belt caught the Ruger, it hit the ground and killed him, So for the last several years since then, I just carry 5.

From the description the Sheriff gave there is no way to tell if it had the transfer bar, the modified hammer safety notch, or none at all. Does not matter in this case.

I was a consultant for a DA once in a murder case. He knew very little about guns. Same deal as here, a fellow pointed an unloaded gun at his girlfriend that was breaking up with him and pulled the trigger, it was a model 629 Smith and Wesson that a buddy was showing him. He claimed that he was inspecting the gun and could not see any bullet in it so he assumed it was unloaded. He said he pointed it at her just as a joke to scare her. The first question I asked him was what year the gun was made. He thought I was nuts, he said it was stainless steel but he had no clue what year it was made. Without seeing the gun I told him it was no accident that on all stainless Smith and Wesson 44 mags you can easily see from the side that the gun has ammo in it. So he went back to his office and called, dammmm he says, how did you know. I explained to him the difference between the recessed cylinders in the pre-82 guns. So he took the case to trial and when the guy testified he thought it was unloaded but could see nothing in it, the DA, at my suggestion took the gun and put 6 empty cases in it. Then from across the room he asked the guy if it was loaded or empty. Of course from 20 feet away you can actually see the case heads on a SW 44 mag with the regular cylinder. Everybody on the jury could see them also. He was convicted. The point is lots of people do not know squat about guns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #85 ·
Some of them or course have the Ruger type transfer but some of the clones have that feature I mentioned. You can pull the hammer back to the first click which some will call a half cock, it is not, it is only about 1/4 inch back. The hammer looks like it is resting on the frame but the firing pin is not being touched. You can take a piece of wood, like a hammer handle or 2 x 2 and whack it pretty good, it will not go off like the original design. However, if you pull the trigger hard, like 25 pounds of pressure, the hammer will fall, basically just going that 1/4 inch forward. Probably would not set of the primer, but it could. I have tried the wood stick hitting the hammer, but it is my gun, I am not going to drop it on concrete just to see.

Anyway, like many have said it takes one second to pull the cylinder and you know it is loaded. Anyone who shoots them much can just put it on half cock and slowly move the cylinder and check all six in about 5 seconds. No excuse for not doing that.

I have carried my Uberti with all six but in a secure holster, hammer tied in with a thong. I carry the Rugers with 6 of course. And then I heard about a guy near me who carried a Ruger 44 in a shoulder rig. He had spent a long day riding horses on his deer hunting place and stopped for gas on the way home. He was in a hurry and as he jumped out of his pickup, the seat belt caught the Ruger, it hit the ground and killed him, So for the last several years since then, I just carry 5.

From the description the Sheriff gave there is no way to tell if it had the transfer bar, the modified hammer safety notch, or none at all. Does not matter in this case.

I was a consultant for a DA once in a murder case. He knew very little about guns. Same deal as here, a fellow pointed an unloaded gun at his girlfriend that was breaking up with him and pulled the trigger, it was a model 629 Smith and Wesson that a buddy was showing him. He claimed that he was inspecting the gun and could not see any bullet in it so he assumed it was unloaded. He said he pointed it at her just as a joke to scare her. The first question I asked him was what year the gun was made. He thought I was nuts, he said it was stainless steel but he had no clue what year it was made. Without seeing the gun I told him it was no accident that on all stainless Smith and Wesson 44 mags you can easily see from the side that the gun has ammo in it. So he went back to his office and called, dammmm he says, how did you know. I explained to him the difference between the recessed cylinders in the pre-82 guns. So he took the case to trial and when the guy testified he thought it was unloaded but could see nothing in it, the DA, at my suggestion took the gun and put 6 empty cases in it. Then from across the room he asked the guy if it was loaded or empty. Of course from 20 feet away you can actually see the case heads on a SW 44 mag with the regular cylinder. Everybody on the jury could see them also. He was convicted. The point is lots of people do not know squat about guns.
Indeed. A person should know the guns he owns.

Im not a revolver guy, and make no pretenses about it. Pretty much all 1911s.

The only times I’ve ever fired one was with a very firearms/revolver-trustworthy relative…I only followed his instructions.



Of course, Baldwin represents a “whole ‘nother level“ of cluelessness.
 

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I just don’t see how anyone even remotely involved with this case is not going to face charges.
Charged, maybe. But I doubt that a jury would convict Baldwin. He was handed a prop gun and told it was “cold”. He was on a set where trained professionals had a duty to ensure that was the case.The standard is “beyond a reasonable doubt”. What is a rule for range safety does not necessarily transfer to a court room.

The armorer or asst director are more likely to be charged. But the main question is who loaded the gun with a live round?
 

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Discussion Starter · #88 · (Edited)
^^^
^^^
The variety of opinions expressed just within our Forum, among somewhat like-minded people (who do know at least a thing or two about firearms), is a clue as to how unpredictable this situation's legal outcome might be.

--

My initial focus was tipped a little towards blaming the armourer...and I still do blame her...I personally wouldn't trust her with firearms.

But as I digested other information and opinions, I began tipping towards blaming Baldwin the most. All roads lead back to Baldwin in one way or another; he's co-producer, lead actor, and he unnecessarily aimed the gun direct center mass at Ms. Hutchins (or more likely at the Director behind her) and then pulled the trigger... during a mere rehearsal which did not require either of these actions.
 
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AFAICT, nobody other than AB can be charged with a crime. What crime?

The law seems to apply to AB's actions. Educating a jury to the law is the task of the judge, with any assistance the judge allows by defense & prosecution. We just saw that take thorough effect today in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. So I wouldn't entirely despair of a court giving AB a fair trial. Let that community decide if it's okay to:

  • take control of a firearm from some new(?) acquaintance with a bad firearm safety reputation
  • aim such firearms at people
  • press the trigger ...
  • ... thus injure and kill people

If that community, through the members of a jury, finds that acceptable behavior, on their own heads be it.

The contractors can be sued I'm sure. If L.E. has decent evidence that a prop handler loaded the live round, probably with fruitless success. But I doubt NM has a law that prohibits making a firearm available to AB [ yet ].

Not an attourney - may be all wet.
 
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Charged, maybe. But I doubt that a jury would convict Baldwin. He was handed a prop gun and told it was “cold”. He was on a set where trained professionals had a duty to ensure that was the case.The standard is “beyond a reasonable doubt”. What is a rule for range safety does not necessarily transfer to a court room.

The armorer or asst director are more likely to be charged. But the main question is who loaded the gun with a live round?
The criminal law is looked at by what the player did, the question for the simple charged of negligent use of a firearm is below.
019 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 30 - Criminal Offenses
Article 7 - Weapons and Explosives
Section 30-7-4 - Negligent use of a deadly weapon.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 30-7-4 (2019)
A. Negligent use of a deadly weapon consists of:
(1) discharging a firearm into any building or vehicle or so as to knowingly endanger a person or his property;
(2) carrying a firearm while under the influence of an intoxicant or narcotic;
(3) endangering the safety of another by handling or using a firearm or other deadly weapon in a negligent manner; or
(4) discharging a firearm within one hundred fifty yards of a dwelling or building, not including abandoned or vacated buildings on public lands during hunting seasons, without the permission of the owner or lessees thereof.
B. The provisions of Paragraphs (1), (3) and (4) of Subsection A of this section shall not apply to a peace officer or other public employee who is required or authorized by law to carry or use a firearm in the course of his employment and who carries, handles, uses or discharges a firearm while lawfully engaged in carrying out the duties of his office or employment.
C. The exceptions from criminal liability provided for in Subsection B of this section shall not preclude or affect civil liability for the same conduct.
Whoever commits negligent use of a deadly weapon is guilty of a petty misdemeanor.
History:
1953 Comp., § 40A-7-3, enacted by Laws 1963, ch. 303, § 7-3; 1977, ch. 266, § 1; 1979, ch. 79, § 1; 1993, ch. 139, § 1.
==================================
This is just simple negligence. It is the shooter who might be guilty, no one else. The only question for the jury is whether he was negligent in not checking it himself. There is nothing in that statute that says you are not guilty if someone told you it was not loaded. I think it would be an easy conviction, this is just if he shoots and scares somebody---it is not a crime where any one is injured.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Then when somebody dies, here are the crimes.
2018 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 30 - Criminal Offenses
Article 2 - Homicide
Section 30-2-3 - Manslaughter.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 30-2-3 (2018)
30-2-3. Manslaughter.
Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice.

A. Voluntary manslaughter consists of manslaughter committed upon a sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion.
Whoever commits voluntary manslaughter is guilty of a third degree felony resulting in the death of a human being.
B. Involuntary manslaughter consists of manslaughter committed in the commission of an unlawful act not amounting to felony, or in the commission of a lawful act which might produce death in an unlawful manner or without due caution and circumspection.
Whoever commits involuntary manslaughter is guilty of a fourth degree felony-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The only question for the jury is whether Alec used due caution. SO what is "due caution". Here us the legal definition. some definitions.

Due caution definition: Caution is great care which you take in order to avoid possible danger .

Here is an excellant article by an attorney who cites a relevant case and says it is still New Mexico law. New Mexico v. Alec Baldwin? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics

The bottom line is the law is pretty clear, you cannot ever rely on someelse telling you a gun is not loaded, the duty to safely handle the gun goes to the guy with the gun.

So, if it were to go to a trial, there would be a conviction, any jury would simply read the law and conclude that he was guilty. But, if the dead lady's family does not want a prosecution, the DA probably will not do anything. The job of the DA is to punish all criminals, but practically it does not always work that way. My 2 cents.---He needs to be prosecuted if for no other reason to send a message to others that you cannot kill people by being careless and then just walk away. IMHo
 

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This just-filed lawsuit against Baldwin appears backed by substantive facts and specific allegations:

"Alec Baldwin wasn’t scripted to fire gun in ‘Rust’ scene: lawsuit."

"The script supervisor who called 911 after Alec Baldwin shot and killed a woman on the “Rust” movie set has accused the actor of recklessness in practicing for a scene that didn’t even call for him to fire his gun."

“Alec Baldwin intentionally, without just cause or excuse, cocked and fired the loaded gun even though the upcoming scene to be filmed did not call for the cocking and firing of the firearm,” script supervisor Mamie Mitchell said in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. “Mr. Baldwin chose to play Russian Roulette with a loaded gun without checking it and without having the armorer do so.”

This is just an attempted money grab. How the hell was a script supervisor injured? What are his or her damages? What duty of care did Baldwin owe to this person? This is pure BS. It should never get past a demurrer. More headlines and no substance. I hate Baldwin. I think that he is a jerk. But he didn't have the duty to check the gun before hand. That was Reed's kid's job. Baldwin relied upon the call "cold gun." He is not an expert in firearms. That wasn't his job. His job, as an actor, was to emote. Now, as a producer, he did have a duty to hire competent people and to see that the rules were enforced. In that capacity, he is liable.
 

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I think there is more to this story than we know. AB is a hater a narcissist of the highest order with the emotional maturity of a 10 yr old. I also wonder what the back history of his relationship with her was as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #93 · (Edited)
This is just an attempted money grab. How the hell was a script supervisor injured? What are his or her damages? What duty of care did Baldwin owe to this person? This is pure BS. It should never get past a demurrer. More headlines and no substance. I hate Baldwin. I think that he is a jerk. But he didn't have the duty to check the gun before hand. That was Reed's kid's job. Baldwin relied upon the call "cold gun." He is not an expert in firearms. That wasn't his job. His job, as an actor, was to emote. Now, as a producer, he did have a duty to hire competent people and to see that the rules were enforced. In that capacity, he is liable.
So far, the lawsuit is moving forward and will likely continue so.

The plaintiff's damages may be determined to be small, in the category of an emotional injury, unforgettable images, etc., but more importantly I think there is genuine anger towards Baldwin at the foundation of the lawsuit...you've yourself also mentioned anger at Baldwin, so it's (anger) not something to be dismissed out of hand. Bring a despised defendant, even if despised for other reasons, is not a good place to be.

As to duty of care, I think anyone handling a firearm has a duty of care to those persons around him/her. Recklessness with a firearm isn't entirely o.k., just because the recklessly fired shot killed a different person. Your opinion is fair to state, but I think most people believe that it's not o.k. to recklessly handle a firearm around others... including for those who survive without direct physical injury. If one reads through the many posts in the subject matter threads, it's very obvious that most Forum members believe that Baldwin did have a responsibility.

The NM statutes cited by Ranger4 above also point in that direction:

To quote (Ranger4/post #90): "The bottom line is the law is pretty clear, you cannot ever rely on someone else telling you a gun is not loaded, the duty to safely handle the gun goes to the guy with the gun....So, if it were to go to a trial, there would be a conviction, any jury would simply read the law and conclude that he was guilty."

Most of the time, when someone goes to an attorney in pursuit of civil litigation against a specific person, anger is a major underlying reason, often more important than money.

Claiming that the plaintiff (one not engaged in military or LEO service) suffered only emotional trauma is not a proven device for dismissing a lawsuit when a violent, wrongful death is involved.

Stating in an accusative manner that the plaintiff, here a female writer, needs to be made of tougher stuff and not be shocked at wrongful violent death also isn't so persuasive of an argument in a typical civilian courtroom. Such an argument would likely have the opposite effect in a courtroom, garnering still more animosity towards the defendant. You and I may be made of tougher stuff, but with this female writer plaintiff, it's not military/battlefield law that's applicable here.

My guess is that Baldwin will have to reckon with this lawsuit. He aimed and fired a gun at an innocent young woman, ending her life. Those around her witnessed the pain and shock inflicted upon and suffered by Ms. Hutchins as her life ebbed away. As Ranger and others have pointed out, this isn't something the law -- both statutory and tort -- smiles upon.
 
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