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View Full Version : Weapons Policy: A fresh sheet of paper


Hazel Chaz
02-04-2007, 01:41 AM
We had nominally the same weapons policy last year as this year, but they were differently enforced. Without getting into that whole discussion, since it's been hashed and rehashed elsewhere, let me try something out on you guys:

What if we started over with our weapons policy?

We'll be inside the convention center building. We can pretty much write our own rules. Weapons outside of the building = it's between you and the Burbank P.D. But inside the building, what makes sense? We are near a busy airport, but how much of that outside world should affect our world inside the convention center building?

We need to strike a balance between the needs of the individual and the needs of the crowds. Can we start with agreeing that you shouldn't hit other people with your weapon? What other rules, if any, do we actually need?

Serey-chan
02-04-2007, 02:03 AM
I think it'd be a good idea (if we are, indeed, inside the convention center) if a "no weapons outside the convention center" rule was enforced. I wasn't allowed to carry a prop weapon at AX, and I completely respected that. I think everyone here would much rather put away their weapon outside than be shot by LAPD... ^^;; Basically, if you have a prop that looks like it could hurt someone, when you exit the convention center, put it in a bag or something AND KEEP IT THERE until you go back in/get to your hotel room. If someone asks for a picture of you with it, tough luck--go back into the convention center.

I don't know how big the Burbank CC is, but I think it makes sense to say "no swinging your prop around". Not like many cosplayers would... but just to set the record straight. Also, I think it's not much to ask that all prop guns be solely plastic. As in, no airsoft that have been "disabled". Having an orange tip would be nice too, just so that someone who hasn't read the weapons policy won't freak out if they see a prop gun.

Now, outdoor gatherings... that could be a problem. :/ Maybe have specific areas designated as photo areas where prop weapons are okay? Or indoor cosplay areas! ^^

Master Zero
02-04-2007, 02:13 AM
My beef with your weapons policy was always on the Airsoft issue. But as you mentioned you want to start over, so if I may suggest some ideas for the airsoft rules, I'd like to post them.

1= "Orange Tips" on the airsofts are always a must. That's always a start. No orange tip, no go.

2= Implement what I dubbed "Broken Gun" policy. Broken Gun is a rule in which the Airsoft MUST be UNABLE to fire period. This means removal of the trigger, a "stationary" clip or magazine (can be glued in place or simply removed from the airsoft) and a Disabled cocking mechanism. (Can be achieved by gluing it in place)

3= And of course, make sure that the airsoft in question is inspected by your staff to see if the "broken gun" rules are applied to set item. If not, then they are confiscated and not returned until the person leaves the event.

Ultimately, if the individual or individuals DON'T want to alter their airsofts, they can opt to NOT bring them to the event.

I mean, in the end, it is your convention and you ultimately decide which rules are implemented. If you wish to continue discussing this, drop me a PM and we can set something up.

Thanks for the con though, it's fun.

Master Zero.

Hazel Chaz
02-04-2007, 02:40 AM
Or indoor cosplay areas! ^^
I don't want to be steering the discussion too much, I'm a lot more interested in seeing what you all have to say. But let me go ahead and say: yes, I'm planning on an indoor cosplay area. I think it's "Sunset A" but I'm going off of memory; it's the room across from Academy 4. A room with a backdrop and a bunch of extra lamps (probably cheap ones from Ikea, not professional floodlights). Possibly -- if someone wants to volunteer their artistic services -- one plain backdrop, and one decorated one. Maybe something that says "Anime Los Angeles 4 - Burbank California - January 2008"? Maybe something that looks like a nice outdoor landscaped area? Anyhow, some kind of backdrop(s), at a bare minimum a plain one. Room to be left open pretty much all day and into the evening. Maybe one or two chairs and a table, but basically not much in the line of furniture.

Okay, I'll go back to lurking and watching you guys come up with ideas. I'm not ruling out ANYTHING yet, as far as rules inside the convention center building, so don't be shy, okay?

Hasu
02-04-2007, 02:42 AM
I'd love to see a weapon policy that didn't call for peace binding prop swords that are an inch thick. Even though I make my weapons thick, cumbersome and unrealistic to follow and work around weapon guidelines, I still get harrassed about carrying foam swords.

In short, a good rule in regard to swords would be only peace binding things that are actually dangerous like live steel, or anything sharp, but if it can't cut someone not to peace bond it. If you're going to peace bind everything that can hurt someone, then fly swatters, chopsticks, hands and long hair should be peace bonded as well, right? =P

inuashley
02-04-2007, 02:57 AM
Yeah, somebody should peace-bind my Axel wig, since I kept accidentally poking people in the face with it XP

DivineSage
02-04-2007, 03:45 AM
I'd say a nice, safe "No live-steel" rule is a good base. I totally agree with Master Zero on the airsoft policy.

As far as non-airsoft guns go, I'd say really fake-looking, non-working prop guns should be allowed inside our convention space, but not outside. Similar guidelines to what Serey-chan said. No real-looking guns without orange tips at all. The definition of "Real-looking" can be determined by the staff on a case-by case basis, but I'd say basically guns made of plastic or metal and painted to look like a gun.

Other props, i.e. wooden swords, should be allowed as long as you don't swing them around and whack people (basically the long-standing ALA policy).

KoDai
02-04-2007, 05:04 AM
I like the idea of the broken gun policy - not having anything gun-like at all this year interefered a bit with my costume. It was a bit disappointing to have to do the 4Kids version of my David costume.

Also, whatever the weapon's policy ends up being, maybe you could have a layman's version of it? ^^; I admit I was a little confused by the one online, and I had to email the con for clarification.

Maguma
02-04-2007, 09:14 AM
I'd love to see a weapon policy that didn't call for peace binding prop swords that are an inch thick. Even though I make my weapons thick, cumbersome and unrealistic to follow and work around weapon guidelines, I still get harrassed about carrying foam swords.

In short, a good rule in regard to swords would be only peace binding things that are actually dangerous like live steel, or anything sharp, but if it can't cut someone not to peace bond it. If you're going to peace bind everything that can hurt someone, then fly swatters, chopsticks, hands and long hair should be peace bonded as well, right? =P

you have a point hasu but more or less its anything that can cause some serious damage. A fly swatter will sting, but a 1 inch thick foam swoard might hurt, or it may not look like what you actually made it of. ALA has just been so protective with its rules, It bugs me too cus i got a few good Stares carrying around Zaba on my hips but luckily thats where i kept him.

Sana-chan
02-04-2007, 10:44 AM
Ditto on the "no steel" rule.

Maybe I'm just the odd one out here, but I think it's more important to keep the con attendees safe then have a *whatever fo realz gun or sword it really is inserted here* in a picture. But we can agree to disagree :)

I'm not really sure how badly the rules need to be changed. I mean, the last thing we all need is some crazy kid running around inside the con center waving their weapon about and possibly hurting someone. I just think the weapons policy should perhaps be a little more lax when it comes to wooden weapons or foam or something that clearly isn't real. I've had my Escaflowne sword peace-bonded on many occassions which is unfortunate because it's a key-piece to my costume... and it's all made out of wood. Incredibly light-weight wood for that matter. If any damage were to be done, it was from the person peace-bonding it.

Gainax Boy
02-04-2007, 02:17 PM
I think one rule that we should have is basically "One strike and your out"

The Weapon rules will be lax and con-goer friendly and we'll give you the benefit of the doubt.


But if you end up hurting someone with your weapon (either by accident or sheer stupidity) then it gets confiscated and returned to you at the end of the convention.


Really, the Con is willing to treat everyone like a responisible adult and give you our trust that you will behave with your weapon and use it responsibly.

But once you violate that trust, that's it.. no more weapon for you.

This will discourage people from purposely trying to break/test the rules simply because they can.


If you're stupid enough to not know how to handle a weapon in close quarters, then you really don't deserve to have one in the first place.


This can also be applied to other things as well.

DivineSage
02-04-2007, 03:33 PM
I think one rule that we should have is basically "One strike and your out"

The Weapon rules will be lax and con-goer friendly and we'll give you the benefit of the doubt.


But if you end up hurting someone with your weapon (either by accident or sheer stupidity) then it gets confiscated and returned to you at the end of the convention.


The problem with that is that people will see it as a "one warning" type of thing. We don't want to be quite that lax. We don't want people to get hurt at all, so I think the safest thing to do would be to have staff members roaming the cosplay areas and keeping an eye on people with props. Even having the staff go up and talk to people with props, letting them know what the weapon policy is so that accidents like that won't happen at all.

RivetSPOOn
02-04-2007, 05:02 PM
The problem with that is that people will see it as a "one warning" type of thing. We don't want to be quite that lax. We don't want people to get hurt at all, so I think the safest thing to do would be to have staff members roaming the cosplay areas and keeping an eye on people with props. Even having the staff go up and talk to people with props, letting them know what the weapon policy is so that accidents like that won't happen at all.

No no, Not One Warning. That's 2 strikes and you're out.

You screw up once, we don't give you a chance to do it again. I've spoken to several attendees with prop weapons and semi-real weapons, and typically the response is that swinging it around to hurt someone or break something will result in more damage done to the prop itself. I'm not too worried about these people. It's the few rogue trouble makers.

And unlike Mirandizing, telling people face to face what the rules are is not federal law. If they don't read our policy, which we happily provide in multiple locations, they've just forfeited their One warning. "Ignorance is no excuse."

KikyouLuver
02-04-2007, 06:13 PM
my only in put on this convo is we should be alloud wepons for pictures and our that we can "pretend" fight with them for pictures sake...but otherwise...i have no preference..just remember..big props are not always harmful...my friend has a huge key she carries around that sometimes she is not alloud to take it places just because its big....then again...i think all of what im saying has been said...i do strongly agree with the orange tip rule and as much as i understand everyone hating peace bonding i think its very efficiant and its a good idea...just get clear peacebonding tags.

Jubei-chan
02-04-2007, 09:17 PM
My take on the weapons policy:

No live steel. Thats for sure. Of course no swinging of weapons or play fighting. Not to say you can't stage a pose for a picture.

The prop gun policy ... I'm on the fence about that one. I'm all for the the no prop gun policy, airsoft, etc ... Maybe because I understand that the Airtel was on the doorstep of an airport. Anyways ... if the prop guns are gonna be allowed ... just as long as its kept indoors. Thats my two cents.

Hazel Chaz
02-05-2007, 08:06 PM
I just took a look at Anime Vegas's rules. http://www.animevegas.com/ginfo.html
If any of you guys think we should follow some of their guidelines, by all means, chime in here please!

*goes back to lurking*

inuashley
02-05-2007, 09:18 PM
I don't know about guns or what not, but I believe we should be allowed to have non-realistic looking prop swords make out of wood, plastic, foam, whatever as long as it's not live steel. Keyblades should also be allowed :P

Hasu
02-05-2007, 11:27 PM
I might come across as rude, and therefore, I shall here insert a pre-emptive appology: I'm sorry if I offend anyone. Forgive me.

I really, really think that obviously blunt and undangerous prop swords should be allowed, especially those made of foam. Also, false guns that have been inspected by staff and that obviously can't fire should also be exempt. Going to second the 'broken gun' idea too.

At risk of being too deep, when a staff member comes up and tells me that something that is clearly in the lines of their weapon's policy and that isn't dangerous needs peacebonding, I lose a certain amount of respect for the convention staff and the rules entirely. It's not healthy, because it makes me feel like they do it just because they can. That breeds a certain type of resentment that I would like to avoid at a convention, where I go to relax and have fun. I think other people feel the same way, but I can't be sure.

Oh, I also second keyblades. Those are usually squared off and cartoony anyway. =)

inuashley
02-06-2007, 12:22 AM
I might come across as rude, and therefore, I shall here insert a pre-emptive appology: I'm sorry if I offend anyone. Forgive me.

I really, really think that obviously blunt and undangerous prop swords should be allowed, especially those made of foam. Also, false guns that have been inspected by staff and that obviously can't fire should also be exempt. Going to second the 'broken gun' idea too.

At risk of being too deep, when a staff member comes up and tells me that something that is clearly in the lines of their weapon's policy and that isn't dangerous needs peacebonding, I lose a certain amount of respect for the convention staff and the rules entirely. It's not healthy, because it makes me feel like they do it just because they can. That breeds a certain type of resentment that I would like to avoid at a convention, where I go to relax and have fun. I think other people feel the same way, but I can't be sure.

Oh, I also second keyblades. Those are usually squared off and cartoony anyway. =)


*agrees* ^_^

Captain Gundam
02-06-2007, 01:55 AM
personally i think gun policies are enforced a bit too far. i understand the dangers of carry one (the orange tip is a dead giveaway) what i find stange is that gunner yuna cosplayers arent being asked to have peacebonded guns...

at the same time i've seen cosplayers carrying live steels outside of cons and waving them. I think the live steel rules should be enforced as the gun policies.

also i propose an area for cosplayers who want to pose with airsoft guns. the con staff can supervise the area and checkmark who is in and left and only in this can cosplayer have their guns. kind of a controlled enviroment but the biggest problem would be a large enough area an good setting for pictures

Captain Jack
02-06-2007, 03:13 PM
Here's my input. I say that for GATHERINGS, prop weapons should be allowed.

If the weapon can be carried in a non-threatening fashion (IE a sword in a sheath, a pistol in a holster, etc.) they should be allowed. Weapons should only be allowed outside of sheaths in convention endorsed gatherings, under supervision of security.

If a prop weapon is an OBVIOUS prop (ginormous sword or helicopter bazooka) everybody will know it's fake and they should be allowed to carry those to gatherings as well.

In rooms like the dealers hall, game room, video room, panel room, etc. There's no room or need for prop weapons, so they should not be allowed in those places.

AuroraHermione
02-06-2007, 03:41 PM
I think one thing that should be allowed are prop guns (obviously fake toy guns, airsofts that have been made unworkable, etc.). My friend was cosplaying Riza Hawkeye and she was kind of upset that she couldn't have her fake gun because that's an important prop for Riza. She understood that it was because it was at the airport and all, but she still wasn't happy about it.

If they were allowed at least just in the con center, that would probably help a lot.

AgentSakur9
02-08-2007, 07:09 PM
Sorry Kiddies, I love my Airsoft Guns as well, but... in California....

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=pen&group=12001-13000&file=12550-12556

No person may openly display or expose any imitation firearm, as defined in Section 12550, in a public place.

Violation of this section, except as provided in subdivision (c), is an infraction punishable by a fine of one hundred dollars ($100) for the first offense, and three hundred dollars ($300) for a second offense.

A third or subsequent violation of this section is punishable as a misdemeanor.

Subdivision (THIS IS SUBDIVISION C as mentioned above) shall not apply to the following, when the imitation firearm is:

Packaged or concealed so that it is not subject to public viewing.

Displayed or exposed in the course of commerce, including commercial film or video productions, or for service, repair, or restoration of the imitation firearm.

Used in a theatrical production, a motion picture, video, television, or stage production.Does this mean they're allowed in Masquerades then?

Used in conjunction with a certified or regulated sporting event or competition.

Used in conjunction with lawful hunting, or lawful pest control activities.

Used or possessed at certified or regulated public or private shooting ranges.

Used at fairs, exhibitions, expositions, or other similar activities for which a permit has been obtained from a local or state government.If a convention Gets a License then it's ok?

Used in military, civil defense, or civic activities, including flag ceremonies, color guards, parades, award presentations, historical reenactments, and memorials.

Used for public displays authorized by public or private schools or displays that are part of a museum collection.

Used in parades, ceremonies, or other similar activities for which a permit has been obtained from a local or state government.

Displayed on a wall plaque or in a presentation case.

Used in areas where the discharge of a firearm is lawful.

A device where the entire exterior surface of the device is white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink, or bright purple, either singly or as the predominant color in combination with other colors in any pattern, or where the entire device is constructed of transparent or translucent materials which permits unmistakable observation of the device's complete contents. Merely having an orange tip as provided in federal law and regulations does not satisfy this requirement. The entire surface must be colored or transparent or translucent.So then actual replica HK MK23s are a no... but if they're translucent or brightly colored completely around the prop, yes?

For purposes of this section, the term "public place" means an area open to the public and includes streets, sidewalks, bridges, alleys, plazas, parks, driveways, front yards, parking lots, automobiles, whether moving or not, and buildings open to the general public, including those that serve food or drink, or provide entertainment, and the doorways and entrances to buildings or dwellings.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude prosecution for a violation of Section 171b, 171.5, or 626.10.

Wow I actually contributed something. Neat!

RivetSPOOn
02-08-2007, 09:34 PM
The convention-only space (Badge-only zone) will not be construed as a Public place. It's privately owned, and privately rented.

The hotel, for that matter, is private, as well. Unless you know something that I don't about the owners of the Burbank hotel. It's not "open to the general public," as hotels generally reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, as well as escort them off the premises.

Karisu-sama
02-09-2007, 04:26 AM
The convention-only space (Badge-only zone) will not be construed as a Public place. It's privately owned, and privately rented.

The hotel, for that matter, is private, as well. Unless you know something that I don't about the owners of the Burbank hotel. It's not "open to the general public," as hotels generally reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, as well as escort them off the premises.
...Is this a response to something in this Weapon's Policy thread? It appears to address issues found in other threads instead; at least, I didn't see here what it is replying to...

I guess my local coffee shop, being privately owned and reserving the right to refuse service to anyone, is "not open to the general public either"? :p And yet, I can walk in, whether to buy coffee or look for my husband who might be there...

You can't mean what that post reads like, I'm sure.

People not attending a particular event being held at a hotel may indeed be nonetheless "general public members" who are still renting rooms from that hotel. Likewise, people not attending an event may be meeting at hotel with people who ARE attending an event at said hotel, and if the HOTEL isn't choosing to kick them out of the registration lobby, I do not believe convention staff should be "attempting to do so on their behalf". Con staff are not hotel staff.

Unless an event has rented the hotel lobby itself as reserved programming space, a hotel lobby is a place where a "general public member" may normally expect to be able to enter, either with the purposes of doing some sort of business there (eg: renting rooms, eating in the restaurant) or meeting other people who are doing business with the hotel (eg: attending a conference.)

RivetSPOOn
02-09-2007, 04:34 AM
...Is this a response to something in this Weapon's Policy thread? It appears to address issues found in other threads instead; at least, I didn't see here what it is replying to...

I... was replying to the CA Weapons Law that was posted just above my reply. o.o;;;

Karisu-sama
02-09-2007, 06:35 AM
I... was replying to the CA Weapons Law that was posted just above my reply. o.o;;;

Ohhhhhhhh, this part?

For purposes of this section, the term "public place" means an area open to the public and includes streets, sidewalks, bridges, alleys, plazas, parks, driveways, front yards, parking lots, automobiles, whether moving or not, and buildings open to the general public, including those that serve food or drink, or provide entertainment, and the doorways and entrances to buildings or dwellings.

Sorry, it was a LOOOOONG post that AgentSakur9 made, and that part at the bottom didn't stand out to me.... ^^ *is tired*

Well, of course a private establishment may tell people what they may or may not bring (or wear) in with them... I can't wear a costume into Disneyland, and my dog cannot go into a coffee shop, as she would be allowed to do in Germany... :(

AgentSakur9
02-09-2007, 11:12 AM
Yeah I tend to be long winded... HA HA HA...

#1 I am not Anti-Airsoft. I use them as props during photoshoots and Photoshop the orange tip out.

I don't want to see con-people being cited once they leave the hotel in costume... that's all.

So if the convention were to revise their weapons policy, I'd make it clear that Imitation Firearms are only allowed within the confines of the convention area or areas... otherwise once they step out of that area and into what's considered Public, attendees run the risk of citation (unless the exceptions are met in my previous post.) Unfortunately, I doubt many people know that "Orange Tips" do not qualify under CA State Law. And with an Airport nearby, I wager to say that "Firearm Sensitivity" may be heighten in this day and age.

I wonder if this law should be posted elsewhere as a FYI to those who Cosplay with Realistic Looking Firearms...

Hazel Chaz
02-12-2007, 02:31 AM
I notice this topic's been quiet for more than two days, so I think I'll wrap things up.

Thank you to everyone who contributed. I'm going to turn over a transcript of all of this to our new head of Operations, Robbie Bourget (who is somewhat weapons-friendly herself) and ask her to write a clear & fair weapons policy for inside the convention center that takes into account the needs of the cosplayers and the other concerns brought up here.

She's running a Doctor Who convention next weekend, so she's a little busy, but when I spoke to her the other day she mentioned some ideas for handling replica weapons inside the convention center. She seems to already be on the same page as you guys already....

I'll post something when I have more to report.

Again, thank you everyone.

Rogue Marvel
02-12-2007, 06:10 PM
Yeah I tend to be long winded... HA HA HA...

#1 I am not Anti-Airsoft. I use them as props during photoshoots and Photoshop the orange tip out.

I don't want to see con-people being cited once they leave the hotel in costume... that's all.

So if the convention were to revise their weapons policy, I'd make it clear that Imitation Firearms are only allowed within the confines of the convention area or areas... otherwise once they step out of that area and into what's considered Public, attendees run the risk of citation (unless the exceptions are met in my previous post.) Unfortunately, I doubt many people know that "Orange Tips" do not qualify under CA State Law. And with an Airport nearby, I wager to say that "Firearm Sensitivity" may be heighten in this day and age.

I wonder if this law should be posted elsewhere as a FYI to those who Cosplay with Realistic Looking Firearms...

I'm pretty sure I've seen threads here talking about that law before (since its is relatively new).

Being a the daughter of cops I've actually discussed this law with my folks and they have flat out told me that its really not something thats going to be enforced in less people are causing issues (ie stupid teenage boys running around in public with airsofts scaring people). Cops have better things to do then search out and ticket cosplayers. Of course this doesn't mean they won't enforce it at all, but chances are good that they won't care as long as your not pissing anyone off or scaring people.