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New Jersey Actor Facing Weapons Charges for Using Prop Gun

New Jersey Actor Facing Weapons Charges for Using Prop Gun

Carry a pellet gun without a permit, face up to five years in the slammer

Comedian and actor Carlo Bellario was arrested while shooting a low-budget film in residential Woodbridge, New Jersey last November.

Unaware a movie was being filmed, neighbors called the cops. When police arrived on the scene, they learned the film’s producers did not have proper permits to film in the neighborhood, nor did they have a permit to film with a prop gun.

Because Bellario was wielding a soft-pellet pistol (considered a firearm in New Jersey), he was arrested, charged with weapons possession, and spent four days in jail.

Local New Jersey news reported:

Carlo Bellario says he was filming a low-budget, independent movie in a residential area of Woodbridge last November.

“I was playing a bodyguard for a drug dealer,” Bellario says.

The scene the group was filming depicted a car chase with the actor pretending to shoot a gun out of the window of the car. Bellario had a realistic-looking, unloaded airsoft gun as his prop.

Neighbors were unaware that a movie was being filmed and called police.

Bellario says several police officers responded to the scene.

“They rolled up hot. There was eight of them. They got out. They were all charged up, ‘who’s the guy driving, where’s the guy with the gun?’” he says. “I said, ‘I’m right here, we’re actors, we’re shooting a movie.’ I’m in character still. It was in my waistband. I pulled it out slowly because I don’t want to make the wrong move.”

The producers of the movie did not have a permit to film in the neighborhood, so police did not know they would be there. They also did not have a permit to film with replica firearms.

Bellario was arrested and charged with weapons possession. He spent four days in the Middlesex County Jail trying to raise the $10,000 bail because he says that the producers refused to help.

Bellario says that he is restricted from leaving New Jersey and is losing money on missed out-of-state performances. He is raising money online and will hold a benefit comedy show to help pay for an attorney.

If convicted on the charges, Bellario could face up to five years in prison.

Bellario started a GoFundMe page to raise money for his newfound legal troubles.

He writes:

In between comedy gigs I sometimes take on acting roles. I joined a group on Facebook that posts casting calls. So I saw a post for a movie called Vendetta Games looking for henchman type bodyguards for a drug dealer. So I submitted for the role and got casted. I was to report to the set in Woodbridge N.J it was a small independant film produced by a college student. There was no pay but I was to receive a copy of the film & credit on IMDB… So the scene called for me and another guy to be in a simulated car chase scene and I was to be shooting at the car in front of me. So we filmed the scene in a residential area of Woodbridge, and as soon as we returned from the shooting the scene , the set was surrrounded by police cars. Apparently residents in the neighborhood phoned the police and told them that there was a two guys driving around waving a gun out of the window. Now I understand that residents did not realize we were shooting a movie and understand why the police were called, and I cannot fault the cops either due to the fact that they are getting a call and have no idea what the situaution is.

When the police arrived we attempted to explain to them that this is a movie shoot, and that the gun was a prop. After several minutes of questioning everyone the police had determined that the producer & director neither had a film permit nor did they have a permit for the prop gun which turned out to be an air soft pellet pistol. I was the only one arrested that day for possesion of a handgun, and now face up to 5 years of prison,. I spent 4 days in jail at Middlesex County Jail until my family was able to post bond for me. The producer of the movie told my family that he would indeed bail me out but when he found out the bail was 10,000 he declined to help and left me there and left my family frantic as to how to arrange bail and get me released. He ignored my family’s phone calls & subsequently my family had to lay out over 4,500 thus far for the bail bondsman and other expenses.

So I am humbly asking that anyone who is in the entertainment industry, to please contribute as little as $1… I understand that this time is tough for everyone financially. But if you are unable to donate, please consider sharing it with others who you may feel can help.

As actors we all want to work and get ourselves exposure but we also need to hold the industry to higher standard as well and serve as a valuable to not let what happened to me happen to other actors.

I have several attorneys who want to help and see me through this situation but it will involve a lengthy legal process which will incure a huge amount of fees.

I am highly embarrassed that I am here asking for help like this but I am out of options and my friends, family, and peers are my last hope.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye

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Comments

Sounds like something Chris Christie…now with time on his hands…can take under his wing.

    alaskabob in reply to Ragspierre. | February 11, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Since Christie is out of the race, he can revert to his pro gun control position. The State must maintain control through terror, especially in the Garden State. The actor is toast.

What the hell does New Jersey not understand about the word fire, and the roll it plays in forming the compound word firearm.

An arm that employs fire.

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/docs/PE/htm/PE.46.htm

“PENAL CODE

TITLE 10. OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY, AND MORALS

CHAPTER 46. WEAPONS

Sec. 46.01. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

…(3) “Firearm” means any device designed, made, or adapted to expel a projectile through a barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion or burning substance or any device readily convertible to that use.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about a matchlock or a flintlock or an M-16. At some point in the firing sequence, fire must be involved. No fire, no fire arm.

How, why, do people in New Jersey put up with this stupidity? I’m not even ranting against stupid gun control laws. I’m taking issue with the New Jersey legislature deciding that words don’t mean what they’ve always meant. What is fire? Why, it’s whatever the New Jersey legislature says. So apparently CO2 or compressed air is fire.

No. No it’s not.

I could never live in a state where people let legislators get away with this kind of insanity.

    ConradCA in reply to Arminius. | February 11, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Air soft guns use compressed springs to “fire” pellets at 300 fps.

      Arminius in reply to ConradCA. | February 11, 2016 at 5:14 pm

      By the same token my recurve bow uses a string to “fire” an arrow.

      So I guess my bow is also a firearm.

      Who knew? Archaeological demonstrate therefore, at least if you’re a New Jersey legislator, that people had been using such “firearms” for about 19,000 years before the Chinese developed gunpowder.

      Blowguns have probably been around as long as bows and arrows. Wait until the New Jersey legislature finds out that just like an airsoft gun blowguns also use compressed air to “fire” projectiles. Air compressed by the shooter’s respiratory system. Ergo, a “firearm.”

      Why, they’ll ban the unpermitted/unlicensed use of lungs so fast it will make your head hurt. Again, who knew? Lungs = fire.

      Arminius in reply to ConradCA. | February 11, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      Cabela’s has .40 caliber “firearms” on sale for as little as $8.88.

      http://www.cabelas.com/product/shooting/air-guns-airsoft/blowguns|/pc/104792580/c/104690880/sc/104223780/terminator-48-34-40-cal-black-blowgun/734659.uts?destination=%2Fcategory%2FBlowguns%2F104223780.uts

    mekender in reply to Arminius. | February 11, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    It is worse than that…

    I have 2 1960’s era Sears and Roebuck .22 rifles that have tube magazines. One of them is marked .22 short, .22 long and .22 long rifle… The other is only marked .22 long rifle. Functionally they are identical and the parts are interchangeable, cosmetically they look almost identical but there are some small differences.

    The former is considered an illegal assault firearm because it will hold more than 15 rounds of .22 short and is marked as such… The second is not because it is not marked as such even though it will hold them just the same.

    One is a felony to cross into NJ with, the other is not… Both are almost exactly the same in terms of capability and function.

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    no no no no… it’s “only the right people get to bear arms”

    We’ll let you know who the right people are: (hint you ain’t going to be in the club)

Yet another of the many, many reasons why New Jersey is such a hot-spot destination for people wanting to move somewhere for a better life.

Oh, wait. . .

Would you say this represents a national socialist style of governance or an international socialist style?

I wonder if, like most actors, he supports tougher gun laws.

What amazes me is that the supposedly Republican conservative governor of this police state ever thought he had a chance at the nomination.

That’s so wrong. This poor guy should be home with his kids. Someone has to stand up for his rights.

How or why would anyone want to live in such a state? The American school system has become as rigid as New Jersey. A one inch Tweety Bird key chain pocket knife is the same as a machete in the eyes of the school! Laws are meant to be interpreted not made rigid with no common sense involved.

http://www.state.nj.us/njsp/info/pdf/firearms/njac-title13-ch54.pdf

“Firearm or firearms” means any handgun, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, assault firearm, automatic or semi-automatic
rifle, or any gun, device or instrument in the nature of a weapon from which may be fired or ejected any solid projectile,ball, slug, pellet, missile or bullet, or any gas, vapor or other noxious thing, by means of a cartridge or shell or by the action of an explosive or the igniting of flammable or explosive substances. It shall also include, without limitation, any firearm which is in the nature of an air gun, spring gun or pistol or other weapon of a similar nature in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed or other gas, or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, and ejecting a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter, with sufficient force to injure a person.

As you can see, the NJ firearms statute includes air guns. The fellow was probably arrested for that violation. As for other commenters who ask why NJ residents put up with this, the answer is that NJ is dominated by Democrats and Democrats think this is “smart”.

    Arminius in reply to FrankNatoli. | February 11, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    New Jersey actually isn’t the only state that defines a firearm to include things that are not firearms.

    That’s why I linked to the Texas statute. To show what a statute looks like when it’s written by people who actually know what a firearm is. And what it isn’t.

    I am reminded of a one of Abraham Lincolns quips. He asked a trick question; how many legs would a dog have if you called its tail a leg? Of course the correct answer is four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one.

    New Jersey has a law that essentially makes it a felony to fail to realize that the legislature thinks if they call a tail a leg, that makes it a leg.

    If I lived in a state where the legislators thought so highle of themselves that they had the power to alter reality, I’d definitely vote with my feet.

    So BB guns and sling shots would be considered firearms in NJ also. Another great reason to never go there. 😉

I remember something similar happening a few years ago around here.

Some students or indies or something were filming a scene where a cafe was being held up (the cafe owner was fully aware it was a movie). No permits, no orange tips on the guns, police weren’t notified.

Someone passing by saw the “holdup” and called 911, police showed up. One of the actors put his “gun” down, the other froze and came REALLY close to being shot. One of the cops took a risk and took the “gun” out of the actor’s hand.

I don’t know if 5 years is reasonable… but things like this can potentially put bystanders at risk of being shot if the police miss.

Wonder if he’ll vote for a conservative now that he’s learned how liberalism really works.

No Joke. While working downtown in Manhattan, I lived in New Jersey for quite a number of years. Squirrels, Squirrels, Squirrels spawn of SATAN Squirrels would damage our roof, wiring, my work papers, carpets, garments and just about anything that was not enclosed in a bunker or vault. The scope on my German competition pellet rifle was better quality and much more expensive than the scope I had on my .30-06 Springfield but each time I leveled that silly pellet gun in NJ I had the fear that I might very well spend the night or more in county jail.

BTW – Are people in NJ allowed yet to pump their own gas?

Paul In Sweden | February 12, 2016 at 1:55 am

…and there are a lot of black bears in NJ. Haven’t really paid too much attention in recent years but there were and probably still are a lot of big freaking black bears tearing up trash bins, fences and house walls. A pellet gun ain’t going to help but a home owner can actually with some aggravation get a permit and have a rifle in NJ.

FWIW, the producer is not a “college student,” he graduated from Emerson in 2008 and has a decent amount of credits so far. Guy should have known better and he should stand up for his project. If he’d done his job, the cops would never have arrived on the scene, at least in the frame of mind they did.

I’m off to this poor schmuck’s gofundme campaign to drop some money in the can.

He’s actually lucky he didn’t get shot.

If it’s ok to shoot a black kid for having a pellet gun in an open carry state. It’s ok to imprison this cugin for having a pellet gun in a restrictive gun state.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to m1. | February 12, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Yea, because the 2 situations are so similar. Stick to making sure Mom’s laundry is spring fresh basement boy.

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