Calls to ban guns on movie sets grow after Baldwin shooting
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Los Angeles (AFP) – Calls were multiplying in Hollywood Sunday to ban the use of firearms on movie sets, three days after actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in a shocking on-set tragedy.
A memorial service will be held later Sunday for 42-year-old Hutchins, who was struck in the chest when Baldwin fired a prop gun during the filming of the low-budget Western "Rust". She died shortly after the incident Thursday in New Mexico.
Director Joel Souza, 48, who was crouching behind her as they lined up a shot, was wounded and hospitalized, then released.
Police are still investigating the shooting, which sparked intense speculation on social media about how such an accident could have occurred despite detailed and long-established gun safety protocols for film sets.
A petition on the website change.org calling for a ban on live firearms on film sets and better working conditions for crews had gathered more than 15,000 signatures by Sunday.
"There is no excuse for something like this to happen in the 21st century," says the text of the petition launched by Bandar Albuliwi, a screenwriter and director.
Dave Cortese, a Democrat elected to the California Senate, put out a statement on Saturday saying, "There is an urgent need to address alarming work abuses and safety violations occurring on the set of theatrical productions, including unnecessary high-risk conditions such as the use of live firearms."
He said he intends to push a bill banning live ammunition on movie sets in California.
The hit Los Angeles police drama "The Rookie" decided the day after the shooting to ban all live ammunition from its set, effective immediately, according to industry publication The Hollywood Reporter.
Baldwin, who has spoken of his heartbreak after the killing, is cooperating with the police investigation.
The probe has focused on the specialist in charge of the weapon and the assistant director who handed it to Baldwin, according to an affidavit seen by AFP.
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