At PopCon, we encourage creativity and self-expression through cosplay, including the use of prop weapons. However, to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all attendees, we have established the following cosplay weapon policy. By participating in PopCon, you agree to adhere to these guidelines.
Compliance with Local Laws
- Attendees must comply with all local, state, and federal laws regarding the possession and use of weapons and dangerous items.
- It is the responsibility of each attendee to familiarize themselves with the relevant laws and regulations governing the area where the convention is taking place.
- The convention organizers, staff, and venue assume no liability for any violations of local laws committed by attendees.
Prop Weapons Definition
- A “prop weapon” refers to any item carried or displayed as part of a cosplay outfit, which is intended to resemble a weapon from a fictional source, such as a video game, movie, television show, comic book, or other similar forms of content.
- Prop weapons may include, but are not limited to, swords, guns, staffs, bows, axes, and other similar items.
- All prop weapons must be clearly distinguishable from real weapons at all times. Modifications should be made to ensure that they cannot be mistaken for functional weapons.
- The convention staff reserves the right to inspect and approve or reject any prop weapon brought into the convention area.
- Any weapon that violates local laws, presents a danger to attendees, or violates the convention’s code of conduct will not be allowed.
- The possession, display, or use of real weapons, including firearms, knives, or any other potentially dangerous items, is strictly prohibited within the convention premises.
- Any attendee found with a real weapon or dangerous item will be immediately reported to the appropriate authorities and may face legal consequences.
- The convention staff reserves the right to inspect bags, costumes, and belongings to ensure compliance with this policy.
Prop Weapon Guidelines
- Prop weapons must be made of lightweight materials, such as foam, rubber, plastic, PVC, Worbla, paper mache or resin, to minimize the risk of injury.
- All prop weapons must have blunted edges and tips. Sharp edges, pointed tips, or any other hazardous components are strictly prohibited.
- All prop firearms must be incapable of firing projectiles and have an orange cap on the barrel. Projectiles or any type of ammunition are forbidden. BB guns, paintball guns, dart guns, blow guns, and water guns and their accompanying ammunition will NOT be permitted.
- Nerf guns are allowed, but ammunition of any kind (foam or otherwise) is prohibited. Nerf guns must have triggers zip-tied to prevent guns from firing.
- Plastic air-soft guns are permitted with several requirements: No ammunition or projectiles of any kind will be allowed. Air-soft guns must be rendered completely inoperable beforehand, that is the gun shall not have any batteries installed, nor gas/propellant in the chamber and the chamber must be filled with wax or similar material. All air-soft guns must have their triggers zip-tied to ensure that the gun is incapable of firing.
- Metal weapons of any kind are forbidden, including hammers, scissors (including “safety scissors”), screwdrivers, saws, chains, nun-chucks, brass knuckles, shields, X-Men style claws, handcuffs and the like. No “live steel” is allowed, such as metal swords, knives, or blades of any kind. If you have any of these types of weapons with your costume, please make sure they are made out of approved materials.
- Small, lightweight, metal objects like Sonic Screwdrivers, lightsaber handles and umbrellas and wooden wands a la “Harry Potter” are allowed but must not be used or be able to be used as functional weapons. These items will all be subject to weapons check.
- Costume bows are allowed, insomuch as they are not strung and cannot shoot projectiles of any kind. All types of bows must have bowstrings removed.
- Costume swords/daggers made from approved materials are allowed, but may not have any sharp edges. Wooden swords are allowed, but must be tied to your costume in such a way that they cannot be drawn or unsheathed. You must zip*tie swords to their sheaths to ensure that they cannot be drawn. If you wish to draw your sword to pose for a picture, it must be made of approved materials. Metal blades are not allowed, whether they are sheathed or not.
- No wooden or aluminum bats are permitted. This includes baseball bats, cricket bats, clubs, paddles, golf clubs, and similar objects. Bats made from approved materials and wiffle ball bats are allowed.
- Staffs (staves) similar to those found in “Lord of the Rings” for instance, will be allowed, insomuch as they are used for walking and/or decorations, and not as a weapon. Wooden staffs are allowed, but must be lightweight and may not have any sharpened edges or tips.
- Such items as bullwhips, ropes, and lassos are allowed, but must remain rolled and secured at all times. These items can be subject to weapons check.
- Incendiary or flammable weapons are prohibited, including any items that are capable of igniting sparks or flames, burning, exploding or combusting.
- All prop weapons must be weapon-checked, which means securely marked or tagged to indicate that they have been inspected and approved by the convention staff.
- Weapon Check will be available at the registration area. Attendees must present their prop weapons for inspection and weapon-check before entering convention spaces.
- Prop weapons must be carried in a safe and responsible manner, avoiding swinging or striking actions that could harm others or cause damage.
- Displaying prop weapons in a threatening or dangerous manner, or engaging in mock battles or combat, is strictly prohibited. (it’s ok to pose for a picture, but no one should feel threatened while you do so, or brandish weapons while walking the show floor).
- Convention staff may request that prop weapons be holstered, sheathed, or stored in an appropriate manner if they are deemed unsafe or disruptive to the event.
- All attendees, including those in cosplay, are expected to adhere to the convention’s code of conduct, which includes respecting the boundaries, personal space, and comfort of others.
- Harassment, intimidation, or any form of harmful behavior involving cosplay weapons is strictly prohibited.
- If an attendee feels uncomfortable or observes any behavior that violates the code of conduct, they should immediately report it to the convention staff.
- Keep prop weapons in convention areas. If you leave the premises or go out into public for any reason, please put away any and all prop weaponry immediately.
Misuse and Violations
- Any misuse, mishandling, or violation of the cosplay weapon policy may result in immediate removal from the convention premises with no refund.
- Attendees are responsible for their prop weapons at all times. Any damage caused by a prop weapon will be the responsibility of the attendee who brought it.
- If a prop weapon is found to be in violation of the policy, it may be confiscated until the end of the event, or requested to be taken off the property immediately.
Changes to the PopCon Weapon and Prop Policy
- The PopCon Weapon and Prop Policy may be subject to change or revision at any time by the convention organizers. Any updates or modifications will be communicated to attendees through the convention’s official channels.
Remember, the cosplay weapon policy is in place to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all attendees. By adhering to these guidelines, we can create a fun and inclusive environment for everyone to celebrate their favorite characters and fictional universes. Thank you for your cooperation, and we look forward to seeing your amazing cosplays at PopCon!