Comedian/Actor Carlo Bellario got caught up on the wrong side of New Jersey’s stringent gun laws. Last year while performing the role of a drug dealer’s body guard for an independent film he was arrested. The charge was related to the toy pellet gun he was using as a prop for the film role. The gun was an airsoft toy (available at sporting goods stores across NJ) but without the orange tip required on toy guns in New Jersey, it looked real to the neighbors who called police. On Monday this week Carlo accepted a plea deal from the prosecutor and was sentenced to two years probation.
The context is that the production company did not obtain the proper permits nor did they alert the local police and neighbors in Woodbridge. It stands to reason that the neighbors would call the cops with some strange guy running driving around with what appeared to be a firearm. It also stands to reason that the cops would show up and someone would get arrested.
What doesn’t make sense is that after determining that there was a moving filming in progress with Carlo was in possession of a toy prop why the prosecutor proceeded with charges. Charging and fining the production company would make the most sense as the filming potentially put the actors and the police in a situation that could’ve resulted in serious injury. What if the cops showed up during the fake shoot-out? Someone could’ve been killed. The producers of the film should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
As far as Carlo, his past arrests didn’t help his case, but the charges should’ve been dropped. Shame on the prosecutors and shame on the legislators in New Jersey not changing the law to draw a distinction between a toy and a real weapon.
Maybe if Governor Christie paid as much attention to his constituents in New Jersey as he does to trying to trade public money for his own private gain, we’d already have changes to the law in the works.