Senator Cortese Calls for Increased Safety on Theatrical Productions

Cortese Commits to Reintroducing Legislation to Prevent Accidental Shootings and Safety Violations on Sets

Senator Dave Cortese (D-San Jose), chair of the California Senate’s Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee, has announced today his intention to again introduce legislation that would establish safety standards to protect workers in the entertainment industry.

In the wake of the tragic shooting on the set of the film “Rust”, Senator Cortese introduced SB 831 in 2022 which would have established a first-in-the-nation regulatory process to keep entertainment workers safe on set. There are currently no state regulations around the use of firearms and live ammunition on theatrical sets.

Over the past several months, I’ve been working with stakeholders and leaders in the industry, including many entertainment workers, to push these real reforms forward and to avoid yet another tragedy on set,” says Senator Cortese who says he will be introducing legislation this year regarding safety on sets, including around the use of firearms. “What we’ve learned is this is an issue that needs to be addressed across the industry, rather than incident-by-incident, to bolster safety as a whole and ensure we keep productions safe for everyone.”

He added, “Today’s news reinforces the fact that anyone on set can be the tragic victim of the lack of statutory safety protocols. Measures should be in place to protect those who are handling props from liability and of course those who are injured or killed or traumatized by preventing these tragic events in the first place. I call upon the motion picture and television industry to immediately cooperate with our legislative efforts to codify safety protocols and ensure set safety supervision.”

In his own district, Senator Cortese enacted Santa Clara County’s “safe-storage ordinance” to prevent accidental shootings and suicides in homes.

For more information, contact Tara Sreekrishnan, Office of Senator Dave Cortese, at 408 480 7833 or