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Unread 04-11-2017, 11:54 AM   #1
kgecosplay
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Orange Tips on Fake Guns?

So I'm going to Anime Expo (in LA).
I'm making a fake revolver, but it's completely made our of wood and foam, there won't even be a hole in the barrel. If you looked at it, you could easily tell it's fake. It will be painted black, so it probably won't even look the same as a real gun to anyone who is trained, but it is not a bright colour, so after looking at the law it seems be kind of a grey area. Technically, it's not even a gun. It's an object that is shaped like a gun, you could even argue that it is a back scratcher shaped like a gun. I'm just confused because it's not like an airsoft gun or anything, it's just wood and foam glued together. I honestly believe that if you looked at it from like 5 feet away or more, you could tell it was fake. (It also does have a bright red marking on it, it's just not covering the entire gun.) The material also doesn't look like a gun, so I just want to know if I need an orange tip in America. (Also does anyone know how to travel across the border with a prop gun? I assume I'd have to declare it and have it checked, but I really don't want to put an orange tip on it unless I have to because I really want to bring it.)
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Unread 04-11-2017, 07:42 PM   #2
Respawning
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I don't know about border crossing, but I would check with the Con's rules themselves as they will be in compliance with local laws regarding prop/replica weaponry. Keep in mind it's not just "trained" individuals who may think it's real, members of the public could too.
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Unread 04-11-2017, 07:54 PM   #3
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Pretty much any con is at least going to officially require gun props to have orange tips. Whether they actually enforce that rule depends on the con and individual hired security. From what I've heard, though, most of the larger cons have ridiculously strict gun/prop rules (one of the many reasons I plan to stay away from them), so even a gun-shaped piece of wood with an orange tip might not be allowed there. I'd look at their rules and possibly try to ask staff or people who have gone in recent years.
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Unread 04-11-2017, 08:13 PM   #4
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For concerns like this, when in doubt play it safe. But the Anime Expo rules quote "Prop Weapons are allowed only if they are Peace Bonded by Weapons Check." Aside from that, as long as it is obvious that it is fake it is fine. They state a much larger restriction on coloring if the item is not obviously fake.
For going across borders, it depends on how you are crossing (since I see your profile is from Canada). If you are flying, you should have it as a carry-on and opt for a bag search so you can explain what it is. If you are driving, as long as it's obviously fake and/or not in plain view, you should be fine.
TSA is super anal about anything that could be conceived as a weapon. You may even want to consider shipping it if you are flying.
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Unread 04-11-2017, 09:15 PM   #5
StarsOfCassiopeia
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Yes, yes yes yes, PLEASE do the orange tip.

I co-run a panel on weapons safety & handling at cons (having had 10+ years of recreational shooting experience myself, in addition to well over a decade of archery and some swordplay training too).

Having read through the props rules for dozens of major conventions in prep for that panel, I haven't seen a single con that doesn't require the orange tip. (Sure, proper enforcement of that rule can vary a little place to place depending on how tough security is, but better safe than sorry). Rules for having real weapons vary state to state (and city to city, and sometimes even district to district!) and can be wildly strict depending on where you are. Technically even carrying something that *looks* like it could be a real gun (no orange tip) in your bag is enough to get into trouble, depending on the logistics of concealed carrying in the area, so play it safe.

Key practices for fake gun safety:
- Always always always do the orange tip.
- Keep this mentality: point to shoot, shoot to kill.
You know it's fake, you know there's no ammo loaded, but someone twenty feet away (or more) might not. Don't point your prop at anything you wouldn't actually be okay firing at (ie people). If you don't point the barrel of your gun at people, they're a lot less likely to get concerned for their own safety-- because that's when bystanders freak out.
- Trigger discipline. When you hold your prop, do it as non-threateningly as possible. This also keeps with the point-shoot-kill attitude, and is its "third part" of sorts. Treat it as follows: if you put your finger on the trigger, you're fully prepared to pull that trigger. And if you pull that trigger, you're gonna kill whatever's in firing range. You can keep your finger extended on the trigger gun or the side of the prop in a way that looks just as cool in photos but is waaaaay less intimidating for a bystander.
- Stay calm, cool, collected. Again, goes back to treating your prop like a real weapon: handle with care. Don't wave it around wildly, be confident and controlled in your movements, and don't draw any unnecessary attention to yourself. If someone does approach you with concerns, being professional in your explanation that it's fake and that you're just doing a photo shoot will alleviate fears.

Happy to elaborate on this if people are interested (or heck, share my panel resources, I've got a google drive link somewhere with photo examples).

Re: declaring...
If you're going to declare, emphasize that they're props, or better yet, toys. Maintain that they are fully non-functional, have the requisite non-removable orange tip, and all that jazz. Feel free to explain that you're doing a convention where dressing up in crazy outfits is the norm, and that it's a completely harmless part of your costume. Do not let "gun" be the first word out of your mouth, because that's when TSA gets concerned-- easier to be like "there are these totally harmless things in there, jsyk" then "I have things that look like guns, but surprise, they're actually not!!" to a security official.

Hope this is useful!
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Unread 04-12-2017, 10:11 AM   #6
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To add, it's not just prop guns that can get you in trouble. At Calgary Expo pointing ANY weapon prop in a threatening manner can get you kicked out. They only allow it in the context of posing for photos, otherwise you can't walk around just swinging your sword.
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Unread 04-18-2017, 02:50 PM   #7
BeanBunny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarsOfCassiopeia View Post
Yes, yes yes yes, PLEASE do the orange tip.

I co-run a panel on weapons safety & handling at cons (having had 10+ years of recreational shooting experience myself, in addition to well over a decade of archery and some swordplay training too).

Having read through the props rules for dozens of major conventions in prep for that panel, I haven't seen a single con that doesn't require the orange tip. (Sure, proper enforcement of that rule can vary a little place to place depending on how tough security is, but better safe than sorry). Rules for having real weapons vary state to state (and city to city, and sometimes even district to district!) and can be wildly strict depending on where you are. Technically even carrying something that *looks* like it could be a real gun (no orange tip) in your bag is enough to get into trouble, depending on the logistics of concealed carrying in the area, so play it safe.

Key practices for fake gun safety:
- Always always always do the orange tip.
- Keep this mentality: point to shoot, shoot to kill.
You know it's fake, you know there's no ammo loaded, but someone twenty feet away (or more) might not. Don't point your prop at anything you wouldn't actually be okay firing at (ie people). If you don't point the barrel of your gun at people, they're a lot less likely to get concerned for their own safety-- because that's when bystanders freak out.
- Trigger discipline. When you hold your prop, do it as non-threateningly as possible. This also keeps with the point-shoot-kill attitude, and is its "third part" of sorts. Treat it as follows: if you put your finger on the trigger, you're fully prepared to pull that trigger. And if you pull that trigger, you're gonna kill whatever's in firing range. You can keep your finger extended on the trigger gun or the side of the prop in a way that looks just as cool in photos but is waaaaay less intimidating for a bystander.
- Stay calm, cool, collected. Again, goes back to treating your prop like a real weapon: handle with care. Don't wave it around wildly, be confident and controlled in your movements, and don't draw any unnecessary attention to yourself. If someone does approach you with concerns, being professional in your explanation that it's fake and that you're just doing a photo shoot will alleviate fears.

Happy to elaborate on this if people are interested (or heck, share my panel resources, I've got a google drive link somewhere with photo examples).

Re: declaring...
If you're going to declare, emphasize that they're props, or better yet, toys. Maintain that they are fully non-functional, have the requisite non-removable orange tip, and all that jazz. Feel free to explain that you're doing a convention where dressing up in crazy outfits is the norm, and that it's a completely harmless part of your costume. Do not let "gun" be the first word out of your mouth, because that's when TSA gets concerned-- easier to be like "there are these totally harmless things in there, jsyk" then "I have things that look like guns, but surprise, they're actually not!!" to a security official.

Hope this is useful!
I have a question about the above: how much applies to guns that are really obviously fake? Like, if OP was making a steampunk gun or a nerf piece or a splattershot or you get the idea.
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Unread 04-18-2017, 04:02 PM   #8
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"Obviously fake" is subjective, especially around cops who have a disturbing propensity to be weird jumpy fucks. The above applies in full. It is excellent general advice.
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Unread 04-18-2017, 09:10 PM   #9
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I've done this. I had a Steampunk gun. It was a water pistol that I painted and added metal to. It was still obviously fake. I had it on top of my suitcase in the trunk of the car when I closed the boarder from Canada to the US. I told them I had it. Then did a quick peak and let me through no problems. Well, other than having to explain what cosplay is... I was at Otakon and didn't have any trouble with the fact that the tip wasn't orange.
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Unread 04-18-2017, 09:20 PM   #10
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Unless it's an obvious toy gun with bright colors(looking at you, Kyoryuger gun :P ) then yes, it needs the orange tip. I painted an orange tip to my prop musket for Rip Van Winkle and sealed the barrel, even. I've had no problems with it since putting the orange tip, though I've only brought it to Sac-Anime.

But I strongly encourage adding it. You never know so it's best to play it safe. :X
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Unread 04-19-2017, 10:23 PM   #11
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Get the orange tip. You don't want people calling the cops on you, or taking matters into their own hands and getting out their own gun.
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Unread 04-19-2017, 10:31 PM   #12
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Actually, does this apply to bazookas/rocket launchers(for example, I had a tube spraypainted black with a nerf gun handle and a few toilet paper rolls/boxes slapped onto the side for a "rocket launcher," and I saw other dudes with bazookas or launchers that looked moderately more realistic and didn't have orange tips.) Where would you even apply the tip?
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Unread 04-22-2017, 01:03 AM   #13
StarsOfCassiopeia
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So the non-removable orange tip really does one thing: blocks the barrel.

Ammo comes down the barrel when you fire. If there's something blocking the barrel (ie, this tip) then nothing can come shooting out of it. Hence, it's either not real, or if it was once "real" (eg Nerf or airsoft or something of that sort) it's no longer functional as a projectile shooter.

'Orange' is because of 'safety orange'. It's a color that's generally high-contrast to its surroundings, so it's super easy to spot even from afar, regardless of whatever else is in the background (sky, treelines, cityscapes, etc.-- none of that is this blazing orange in the slightest).

So for a huge bazooka/rail gun sort of thing, as long as it's got something blocking the barrel, you should be good?
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Unread 04-23-2017, 07:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeanBunny View Post
I have a question about the above: how much applies to guns that are really obviously fake? Like, if OP was making a steampunk gun or a nerf piece or a splattershot or you get the idea.
I've seen cons allow obviously fake guns to skip the orange tip step, but they're few and far between now and you would have to send a picture of the weapon first to confirm that it's cartoony enough.

That said I agree with Mangochutney on this one. You never know how cops or TSA agents would react. I've had some TSA agents who were totally chill with my bags full of strange props and some that ripped them apart to check something as stupid as coffee mate. Just because it looks obviously fake to you or even the con staff, police officers or TSA agents might see it completely differently. Just excercise caution.

(also most cons don't allow nerf unless they are altered so they can't be fired ie: an orange tip over the barrel)
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Unread 04-24-2017, 02:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DevilinDetail View Post
Actually, does this apply to bazookas/rocket launchers(for example, I had a tube spraypainted black with a nerf gun handle and a few toilet paper rolls/boxes slapped onto the side for a "rocket launcher," and I saw other dudes with bazookas or launchers that looked moderately more realistic and didn't have orange tips.) Where would you even apply the tip?
I don't see prop guns that large often, but when I do I can't recall ever seeing one with an orange tip. Even if realistic, I think the thought that a regular person could obtain one is so unrealistic most people would assume they're fake. Of course if you're having to bring it across a border you probably want to be as obvious as possible, but if you're going to a local con I would assume you'd just have to have it regularly peace bonded like anything else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jigouku Chou View Post
(also most cons don't allow nerf unless they are altered so they can't be fired ie: an orange tip over the barrel)
Also wanted to advise to always double-check this with the con you're going to. The two big cons I go to don't allow Nerf at all even if it's disabled, same as airsoft, so if you know ahead of time where you'll be taking it check first so you don't waste your time.
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