The gun Alec Baldwin held in the death of filmmaker Halyna Hutchens could not have been fired without the trigger being pulled. That was the conclusion of a new forensics report commissioned by the State of New Mexico in its case against Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, reported Tuesday by People. The findings open the door to charges against Baldwin, even though earlier ones were dismissed in April.
“A forensic report obtained by PEOPLE Tuesday concluded that the trigger of the prop Colt .45 revolver that turned out to contain live rounds must have been pulled ‘sufficiently’ enough to cause the accident,” the article explains, elaborating:
“Although Alec Baldwin repeatedly denies pulling the trigger, given the tests, findings and observations reported here, the trigger had to be pulled or depressed sufficiently to release the fully cocked or retracted hammer of the evidence revolver,” read the firearms report by experts Lucien Haag and Mike Haag, who were hired by the State of New Mexico in its case against Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. “This fatal incident was the consequence of the hammer being manually retracted to its fully rearward and cocked position followed, at some point, by the pull or rearward depression of the trigger.”
“If the hammer had not been fully retracted to the rear and were to slip from the handler’s thumb without the trigger depressed, the half cock or quarter cock notches in the hammer should have prevented the firing pin from reaching any cartridge in the firing chamber. From an examination of the fired cartridge case and the operationally restored evidence revolver, this fatal incident was the consequence of the hammer being manually retracted to its fully rearward and cocked position followed, at some point, by the pull or rearward depression of the trigger. The only conceivable alternative to the foregoing would be a situation in which the trigger was already pulled or held rearward while retracting the hammer to its full cock position. Although unlikely and totally contrary to the normal operation of these single action revolvers, such improper handling, would result in the discharge of a live cartridge.”
“The prosecutors had previously stated that Baldwin will be charged again if the gun was working properly,” Variety reports. “‘If it is determined that the gun did not malfunction, charges against Mr. Baldwin will proceed,’ they wrote in a filing in June.”
The question then becomes, “What charges?” and if they will encompass more than manslaughter and potentially criminal negligence. While his lawyers will put the best public face they can on the findings and once more cast doubt on them as they did a year ago with FBI tests, there’s actually more to the story than anyone seems willing to talk about:
Baldwin has repeatedly insisted he never pulled the trigger. The reports say that’s not true. Was he lying?
Under similar circumstances, would an ordinary citizen without high-priced lawyers and powerful connections be charged with obstruction of justice, lying to law enforcement, and perjury? Especially if such existentially powerful motives to stick to his story were demonstrable?
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.