An actor who played a bit part in an independent gangster film is facing 10 years in state prison because he used a prop pellet gun without a state gun permit, the AP reports. Carlo Goias was charged under New Jersey's strict gun law, which requires permits for firearms, including the airsoft gun Goias used while filming a car chase scene. Goias rejected a plea deal offer Tuesday that could have sent him to jail for less than a year. He faces up to a decade behind bars because of prior felony convictions that prosecutors say include theft and burglary. "I was shooting a movie—I wasn't committing a crime intentionally," Goias says. "Robert De Niro doesn't ask Marty Scorsese if he has gun permits. We're actors. That's for the production company to worry about."
When he was arrested, Goias was playing the body guard of a drug dealer in the unfinished film Vendetta Games. The car chase scene was shot in a residential neighborhood, prompting several neighbors to call 911. "I pretended to shoot out the window; they were going to dub in the sound later," Goias says. "We get back, and within a couple of minutes we're surrounded by cop cars." Goias said he spent four days in jail as friends and family raised $10,000 for bail. Goias' defense attorney says his client is innocent based on his intent, which was to act in a movie, not commit a crime. Some state lawmakers say Goias' case highlights the need for New Jersey to change its gun laws. (These 23 actors have served time in prison.)