‘We had no functional firearms:’ Alec Baldwin shooting case impacting Georgia’s film industry

SAVANNAH, Ga. — The decision to charge actor Alec Baldwin with involuntary manslaughter after a shooting on his film set will have ripple effects on Georgia’s film industry.

Tony Bradley told Channel 2′s Justin Wilfon that gun safety is top of mind on his film set in Savannah.

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Bradley works across the state as a special effects coordinator and sometimes as an armorer, the person responsible for safely handling guns on film sets.

He says the Alec Baldwin shooting case is already impacting his set with the director deciding to use no functioning guns in a recent murder scene.

“We had no functional firearms,” said Bradley.

He believes not enough precautions were taken on the set of the film ‘Rust’ in New Mexico when a shooting left a cinematographer dead in 2021.

That’s why he believes prosecutors made the right choice to hold someone responsible, charging the film’s armorer and Baldwin with involuntary manslaughter.

“It’s my understanding that he had the weapon in hand,” said Bradley.  “It should have never been pointed at an individual.”

But Marietta criminal defense attorney Ashleigh Merchant says she believes it’s unlikely Baldwin would be convicted.

“I think it’s an over-criminalization of something that happened that was a tragedy.  I just don’t think that Mr. Baldwin had the duty to actually check that weapon,” said Merchant.


She believes the case will end in a plea deal.

Meanwhile, Bradley says he’ll keep working to make sure no similar tragedies happen on his sets.

“As a special effects coordinator that is one of the safest steps I take is to see if the gun is clear, that there are blanks loaded in as well,” said Bradley.

Attorneys for Baldwin released a statement on Thursday, saying Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun -- or anywhere on the set -- and that he relied on the professionals around him.

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