Armed for Action at Denver Comic Con? Get Those Props Checked!

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This is a big weekend for big events in Denver — PrideFest, Juneteenth and Denver Comic Con — and after the shootings in Orlando last weekend, you can anticipate higher security at all of them. Comic Con poses a particular challenge, since fantasy weapons are such an intrinsic part of many costumes — and costumes are key at Comic Con.

So we reached out to the organizers to ask about any new plans for screening, and received this from spokesman Jason Jansky: "Part of keeping people safe is not making public any of the additional measures the con has in their security plans. We can tell you that we have a large Denver police presence and a private security company — and of course, as you mentioned, we check all of the costume props that come in. Those props are tagged as approved, and security is always on the lookout to make certain all of the props in the con are cleared."

Here are the rules from the Denver Comic Con site:

Weapons and Prop Policy

There will be two locations for Prop Check this year. The main station will be inside the convention center, directly in front of the Big Blue Bear statue. The other will be outside of the convention center, just south of the Big Blue Bear statue.

All costume weapons must conform to state, federal, and city law.

Prop weapons must be easily distinguishable from real weapons. All prop firearms must have an orange cap on the barrel. (“Rule of thumb”: the orange stripe should be about as wide as your thumb.) All prop firearms must be covered or out of sight when not in the convention space.

Weapons which are capable of firing (Nerf guns, bows, etc) must be rendered inoperable. Bows can be strung, but only loosely (in a manner that would not allow them to be fired).

No Airsoft ammo is permitted. Projectiles are forbidden. Arrow props are permitted if they do not have tips and cannot be fired.

Metal weapons are not permitted. No live steel (bladed weapons, such as metal swords or metal knives) is allowed at Denver Comic Con.

Prop weapons should be made of lightweight materials such as foam, cardboard, or plastic. Sharpened edges or points made of any material are not allowed.

Metal armor or metal shields are only acceptable if you can demonstrate, at peacebonding, that the edges are dull and could not injure anyone. Metal tools are acceptable as long as they are 7 inches or under in length.

By the request of the Denver Police Department, wooden or metal bats will not be permitted. This includes (but is not limited to) baseball bats, cricket bats, furniture legs, golf clubs, or paddles.

Wooden swords are allowed as long as they are not brandished in a threatening manner and are able to be stowed on your person in a sheath or harness.

All props must be peacebonded by the Denver Comic Con staff. After inspection, all guns will have zipties attached to the trigger to indicate it is unusable as a weapon, and safe for display. The cosplayer will be given a wristband to indicate that they have completed peacebonding. Peacebonding is mandatory. You may also be checked at any time by Denver Comic Con staff.

Do not brandish weapons or props in a threatening manner. Be aware of how security personnel may interpret your actions, in or outside of convention areas.

Keep weapons in convention areas. If you leave the con premises, please put away any weaponry (even if it clearly looks fake).

Any prohibited weapons purchased or won as prizes at Denver Comic Con must be securely packaged and immediately removed from the convention center. Weapons must be stored in attendees’ hotel room, vehicle, etc and are not to be taken out of their packaging or wrapping at any time on convention premises.

All prop weapons purchased or won as prizes at the convention must be peace bonded by Denver Comic Con security if they are to be carried during the convention. These weapons must adhere to the Denver Comic Con prop and weapons policy (available on the website and in the Attendee Handbook).

Violation of these rules could result in ejection from the convention, or law enforcement notification.

Please direct weapons suitability inquiries to cosplay@popcultureclassroom.org.

Are you going to Denver Comic Con? Have a safe, sensible time — and don't forget to take our Comic Con bingo card!

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