New York Comic Con’s Policy on Weapons and Props

Just about every convention you can think of has rules in regards to weapons and/or props for your cosplay.  As long as you abide by them, you’ll be alright.  This weekend is New York Comic Con, the East Coast’s biggest comic and entertainment show.  In preparedness, they posted their FAQ on weapons and props here.

UPDATE 1: At the end of this article, we have an email response in regards to the weapons policy at NYCC.

UPDATE 2: Another email from NYCC Customer Service and a conversation from Rita, head of security.

But for those who can’t access the site (or lazy), here it is:

Please read this entire policy before attending New York Comic Con. Failure to follow this policy may result in your removal from the convention without refund.

The following items are forbidden at New York Comic Con:

If you’re bringing, buying or selling something that could maim, damage or cause serious bodily harm, we’re going to take issue. The following items are forbidden at NYCC:

  • Functional firearms (including air soft guns, BB guns, cap guns, paintball guns and pellet guns)
  • Realistic replica firearms (including reproduction, fake or toy guns that can be confused for functional firearms)
  • Functional projectile weapons (including blow guns, crossbows, long bows, silly string, slingshots, water balloons and water guns)
  • Sharpened metal-bladed weapons (including axes, daggers, hatches, knives, kunai, shuriken, swords, sword canes and switch blades)
  • Explosives (including firecrackers and fireworks)
  • Chemical weapons (including mace and pepper spray)
  • Blunt weapons (including brass knuckles, clubs and nunchaku)
  • Hard prop weapons (including props made of metal, fiberglass and glass)
  • Instruments that cause excessive noise levels like vuvuzelas, grenade whistles and grenade horns
  • Whips
  • Aerosol mustard

Prop weapons will be allowed providing they are composed of foam or cardboard only. Prop firearms are allowed only if they cannot be mistaken for real weapons. The barrel of all prop firearms must be covered with brightly-colored caps. Prop bows will be allowed providing all arrows have soft tips.

Basically, don’t be an idiot.

But if you look at this picture here obtained by a convention goer, the rules are a bit more… Strict.

As you can see, NYCC is FULLY enforcing the weapons policy.

As you can see, NYCC is FULLY enforcing the weapons policy.

Cosplayers and convention goers have said that staffers have been confiscating weapons and props, along with janitorial staff discarding these items in the trash.  In other words, you’re not getting this stuff back.  I am to assume that some staffers who aren’t properly trained are doing this.  And this isn’t the first time I have heard of NYCC staffers being overzealous like that.

We have already contacted high ranking people at New York Comic Con to clarify the policy and what is their official stance.  Once we hear back, we will follow up with it immediately.

Earlier today, we receieved this email that should clear up any issues in regards to the weapons policy.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Jessa Rose <jessarosem@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Oct 10, 2014 at 8:19 AM
Subject: Re: Weapons policy clarification
To: “Williams, Jacqueline (RX)” <jmwilliams@reedexpo.com>

Alright but you haven’t really answered my questions regarding clarification on wood and clay weapons, and based on what you’ve just told me I’m now even more confused.

Why wouldn’t the spear be allowed in? According to the revised weapons policy listed on the mobile app (which I didn’t see until after I sent my email last night), wood weapons are acceptable, so what is it about the spear that would prevent it from falling into this category? I mean no disrespect, of course, I just want to better understand where the convention is coming from with these policies. If possible, I would rather be in contact directly with the head of security so I can better understand their perspective on this issue.

Thank you,

Jessa R Morgen

On Fri, Oct 10, 2014 at 7:38 AM, Williams, Jacqueline (RX) <jmwilliams@reedexpo.com> wrote:

Hi Jessa

I’ve spoken to our security team to confirm the following information.

Regarding the gun – if it’s plastic (no metal will be allowed) and the tip has NOT been shaved off and it gets tagged it should be fine.

The spear will not be allowed in.

If for whatever reason your prop weapon is confiscated it can be retrieved from the security office when leaving NYCC.

Thanks

Jackie

Jackie Williams

Marketing Director | ReedPOP

Jackie@ReedPOP.com

Sent from my iPhone. Please pardon any typos.

On Oct 10, 2014, at 6:43 AM,
From: Jessa Rose [mailto:jessarosem@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 09, 2014 8:56 PM
To: Askintowicz, Rich (RX); NY ComicCon for Cust. Serv. (RX)
Subject: Weapons policy clarification

Good evening!

As you may be aware, there has been a lot of confusion regarding the weapons policy at the convention this year, and many cosplayers are frustrated by the fact that their props, often worth hundreds of dollars, have been confiscated even when they apparently appear to conform to the policy as posted on the NYCC website.

I’m not one to accuse or badmouth a convention without getting the full story,  so I figured I’d get in touch.

Part of the reason I’m contacting you is to get some clarification on the policy; while wood and clay are very popular mediums in prop making for cosplay, they are not mentioned anywhere in the weapons policy. Furthermore, there appears to be some contradiction within the policy itself, especially in regards to prop guns. While the policy states that no toy guns are allowed, it also states that toy guns are allowed as long as they have a bright orange tip on the barrel. You can see how this could be confusing, so some sort of clarification on both of these points would be appreciated, as the sooner we get this information the sooner it can be spread among the cosplay community in order to help cosplayers better understand what props they can and cannot bring this weekend.

The second reason I’m emailing you sort of ties into the first. The image attached to this email depicts my personal intended cosplay for this weekend. As you can see, the character carries a prop spear. The spear itself is made from clay, and mounted on a wooden dowel. All of the spear’s edges are very clearly rounded,  and not at all sharp. My concern is that despite these facts, my prop will be confiscated due to the fact that it is not foam or cardboard.

I’ve heard from other cosplayers that it is possible to bypass the confiscation policy if one has an email from NYCC stating that a prop is acceptable for the convention, so I am asking for your reply in hopes that my prop will be deemed safe. I have brought it to four other major conventions without incident, and it is my hope that you too will find it acceptable.

If I have contacted the wrong people, please feel free to put me in touch with someone who can properly answer my questions. If you need to reach me via phone for any reason, I can be contacted at xxx-xxx-xxxx.

Thank you very much for all you do, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Have a wonderful night!

Jessa R Morgen

We do hope that this should clear up any issues in regards to the policy.  I also recommend that cosplayers with props to print out this email just to be safe, in case you are stopped for your weapon.

Another email in regards to NYCC Weapons policy and a summarized chat with Rita, head of NYCC Security.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: NY ComicCon for Cust. Serv. (RX) <inquiry@nycomiccon.com>
Date: Fri, Oct 10, 2014 at 12:17 PM
Subject: RE: Weapons policy clarification
To: Jessa Rose <jessarosem@gmail.com>

Hi Jessa,

The weapons policy is put in place for the safety of all attendees. We ask that the guns have orange tips, but we also do not allow realistic replica firearms. It is a possibility that your prop will not be allowed. They may consider it as a “hard prop weapon”. The show team on site will have the final say.

Thanks,

Customer Service

 

The following summarized paragraph is what was told to us by Rita, head of security, by our staffer who is at NYCC now.

The weapons policy was written by the show management people and that it says no wood weapons, which I disputed. She also told me that part of the reason security is so tight is that people were bringing in real guns painted with tips and one of the security members got cut by someone’s sword yesterday. Also because apparently terrorist threats have been made on NYC so they’re being extra paranoid. And that all confiscated weapons are tagged to be picked up when people leave.

Right now, it’s your call people.  Be safe and try to enjoy the convention.

DJ Ranma S

DJ Ranma S

DJ Ranma S is cosplay veteran. He has won numerous performance awards with his friends over the years. He has staffed conventions in the past, ran panels, judged a couple of masquerades, a jack of all trades. He's worked dealer's room too! Running this site is his way of giving back to the cosplay community. He feels that it's his turn to give a future cosplayer their fifteen minutes of fame.

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