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After 'Rust' shooting, a look at other notable set accidents and gun safety

As authorities investigate why a crew member handed Alec Baldwin a loaded gun on the set of "Rust", industry leaders will look for ways to avoid similar tragedies.

SANTA FE, N.M. — The shooting death of a cinematographer on the set of the Alec Baldwin movie “Rust” is a reminder of the dangers that can exist on film and television sets. 

As authorities investigate why a crew member handed Baldwin a loaded gun instead of one safe to use, industry leaders will look for ways to avoid similar tragedies.

On-set fatalities have led to safety reforms in the past. A helicopter crash that killed actor Vic Morrow and two children on the 1982 set of “Twilight Zone: The Movie” led to new rules for filming with choppers. 

Gun safety rules were adopted after actor Brandon Lee was fatally shot while filming “The Crow” in 1993.

The film industry and its unions provide guidelines on how to deal safely with prop guns on movie sets. But in states where movie-making is big business, lawmakers and regulators rely on those suggested practices rather than regulate on-set firearm use. 

The lack of strict gun safety rules is under scrutiny after the tragedy on the film set of "Rust" in New Mexico. Court documents state an assistant director handed actor Alec Baldwin a loaded weapon and told him it was safe to use.

In New Mexico, as in other states, most of the legislative debate over the entertainment industry has focused on tax credits and incentives to lure it.

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Associated Press writers Geoff Mulvihill, Susan Montoya Bryan and Jonathan Landrum Jr. contributed to this report.