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Cinematographers Are Calling For This New On-Set Rule To Take Effect After The Alec Baldwin Incident

The tragic shooting death of Halyna Hutchins during the filming of Alec Baldwin's Western drama "Rust" has sparked calls from fellow cinematographers for an immediate ban of all functional firearms on set.

"We vow to no longer knowingly work on projects using functional firearms for filming purposes," reads a new petition and open letter from the American Society of Cinematographers, which was published Tuesday by Variety. "We vow to no longer put ourselves and our crew in these unnecessarily lethal situations," the document says. "We won't sit back and wait for the industry to change. We have a duty to effect change within the industry ourselves."

Four pages of signatures, from countless cinematographers just like Hutchins, accompanied the documents on Tuesday. In their letter, the group called on Hollywood producers and lawmakers to do something immediately — whether it be a new law or stricter safety measures — in the wake of the Oct. 21 incident. Police are still investigating how live ammunition managed to make its way into actor Alec Baldwin's prop gun before he accidentally shot Hutchins that Thursday. The American Society of Cinematographers on Tuesday offered ways to prevent an accident like this from ever happening again.

Cinematographers want to use VFX and non-functional firearms

Countless workers in the film industry, including the American Society of Cinematographers, have started calling for functional guns to be removed entirely from the business and replaced with more updated props and techniques. 

"We have safe alternatives in VFX and non-functional firearms," reads the ASC's open letter to Hollywood big wigs. Another petition, which was started on Change.org by "Peace After Marriage" filmmaker Bandar Albuliwi, calls for similar changes to be made and also blasts the industry for doing nothing to keep its workers safe. 

"There is no excuse for something like this to happen in the 21st century," the petition says. "Real guns are no longer needed on film production sets. This isn't the early 90's, when Brandon Lee was killed in the same manner. Change needs to happen before additional talented lives are lost." Over 100,000 people have signed the online document, including actors Lena Dunham, Sarah Paulson, Olivia Wilde, and Anna Paquin. 

There has been little feedback so far from Hollywood, but California state senator Dave Cortese has vowed to introduce legislation that would ban all functional firearms and live ammunition on movie sets (via Deadline).