Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con is fastly approaching – set to take over the L.A. Convention Center from Friday 27th-Sunday 29th October – and promises to be a groundbreaking pop culture celebration. For a section of cosplayers, however, it’s been announced that it’s going to be groundbreaking for quite a significant reason.
In recent years, comic cons and pop culture conventions have reacted to the heightened threats of handguns and automatic weapons in ‘the real world’ by dialling back the acceptance of fake weapons by either having them zip-tied to the rest of the costume, heavily monitored and/or policing their entrance to the shows. Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con has taken the bold step of outlawing fake cosplay prop guns – entirely.
All costume weapons must be inspected at the security station before entering the South Hall. Approved costume weapons will be tagged by security. All costume weapons must conform to state and federal law. Your approved weapon may be revoked at any time if you are handling it in a way that is deemed threatening by other attendees.
Stan Lee’s LA Comic Con will be a GUN FREE and PROP-GUN FREE SHOW.
The safety and security of our attendees has been and always will be our top priority. Due to world developments over the past year, we have carefully reviewed our own security plans. We have also worked with the LA Convention Center, the LA Police Department, and our own security consultants to draft the most sensible security plan possible, while also preserving the fun and creative environment that LA Comic Con provides to our local community.
IMPORTANT CHANGES TO OUR SECURITY AND COSPLAY WEAPONS POLICY
#1. Effective immediately, Stan Lee’s LA Comic Con will be a GUN FREE and PROP-GUN FREE SHOW. This means that anyone who brings a GUN, FIRE ARM and/or PROP-GUN to Stan Lee’s LA Comic Con will NOT be allowed to enter the LA Convention Center. Furthermore, GUNS, FIREARMS, and/or PROP-GUNS will NOT be allowed on the show floor.
~ PROP-GUNS: To be clear, props including, but not limited to those that resemble historical guns, science fiction guns, or fantasy guns. Simply put, if it looks like a GUN (and is NOT a banana or your finger), DON’T BRING IT!
#2. FUNCTIONAL WEAPONS will NOT be allowed at Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con under any circumstance. The following are specifically banned:
- Sharpened Metal-Bladed Weapons including, but not limited to axes, daggers, hatches, knives, kunai, shuriken, swords, sword canes and switch blades.
- Blunt Weapons including, but not limited to brass knuckles, clubs and nunchaku.
- Explosives including, but not limited to firecrackers and fireworks.
- Chemical weapons including, but not limited to mace and pepper spray.
- Excessive Noise Making Instruments including, but not limited tovuvuzelas, grenade whistles and grenade horns.
#3. ALL costume/prop weapons MUST conform to State and Federal Laws and will be inspected at the Security Check before entering the LA Convention Center. If you DO NOT WANT your costume weapons inspected and/or tagged, DO NOT BRING them. Approved costume weapons will be tagged by security. Your approved weapon may be revoked at any time, if: you are handling it in a way that is deemed threatening by other attendees or you remove the security tag. In addition:
- Prop Weapons will be allowed, providing they are composed of cardboard, foam, wood or other lightweight materials.
- Hard Prop Weapons and Whips (including, but not limited to props made of metal, fiberglass and glass) must be securely attached to your costume in a way they may not be drawn.
- Projectile Weapons must be rendered inoperable. For example, this means bows may NOT have string and arrows must have foam tips or no tips.
- Lightsabers must be light-weight and made of plastic.
- Shields must made from plastic or lightweight metal (with no sharp edges).
#4. Hate symbols and/or speech will NOT be tolerated. Costumes or clothing that involve hate symbols or hate groups are not allowed. It is unacceptable even if it was in a comic book, on a funny TV show, was a Cartman joke or if you are doing a historical re-enactment.
NEW FOR 2017 – HOT TOPIC WEAPONS AND PACKAGE CONCIERGE
The new Hot Topic Weapons and Package Concierge stations will be located in the South Hall Lobby, by the front, exit doors of the Convention Center and next to the bag check for attendees with weapons. Any items you purchase that are banned from the show floor MUST be picked up at the concierge when exiting the facility. Please note that if you pick up a purchased weapon, you MUST exit the facility.
The Hot Topic Weapons and Package Concierge will also be available to attendees who wish to check a banned weapon before entering the facility. Checked weapons MUST also be picked up upon exiting.
Finally, the Concierge will also be available to any attendee who wants to check any non-weapons item or bag. This service is provided courtesy of our friends at Hot Topic.
NEW POLICY REGARDING LOBBY ACCESS
In past years, the lobby of the L.A. Convention Center has been a welcome environment for cosplayers, photographers, and geeks in general to congregate within, regardless of whether or not they were badge holders. Unfortunately, with our new security guidelines, no one will be able to enter the LA Convention Center without a badge. We reached this decision after much painstaking discussion. Unfortunately, we live in a world where our security needs to be on constant watch for your (and our) safety.
This is a significant moment in convention history: to have an event lay down such a hard line against cosplay weapons, to have cosplayers have to make a decision about what kind of costume or character they want to represent. When it comes to characters such as Captain America, The Winter Soldier, Punisher, G.I. Joe, HALO and the like, the weapon accoutrements that are indelibly linked to those will be literally stopped at the door.
As expected, the reactions of cosplayers feeling their creativity and liberties are being restricted – nay, completely curtailed – have been loud on social media.
We can't ban real weapons in the real world so we will ban fake weapons in the cosplay world.
— Emese (@egaal) October 17, 2017
This is literally affecting me as a cosplayer. My cosplay includes a gun. I don't see the bennifit of this rule.
— Andy Moran (@rnandor29) October 18, 2017
Thoughts on Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con ‘prop weapons’ ban? Is this too draconian, a line too far? Or has recent events in America meant that such a ban was, for better or worse, inevitable? Comments below, as always.