1) ALL costume weapons must be inspected at the Weapons Check area. Security will thoroughly inspect and mark weapons of any kind to ensure that they are safe and inoperable. All costume weapons must conform to state and federal law.
2) All weapons must be easily distinguishable from real weapons and must be constructed from safe, lightweight material. Approved materials are: rubber, plastic (PVC, worbla, etc.), foam, cardboard, and papier-mâché. After each weapon has been checked, it will be tagged by security. Security will escort you to the Weapons Check area for inspection if weapons or props have not been properly tagged. Once your weapon(s) have been inspected, do not remove the tag for any reason. Costume props that do not pass security inspection may be temporarily dropped off with our staff.
3) All prop firearms must be incapable of firing projectiles and have an orange cap on the barrel. Projectiles or any type of ammunition are forbidden. BB guns, paintball guns, dart guns, blow guns, and water guns and their accompanying ammunition will NOT be permitted. Nerf guns are allowed, but ammunition of any kind (foam or otherwise) is prohibited. Nerf guns must pass weapons check and will have triggers zip-tied to prevent guns from firing.
4) Plastic air-soft guns are permitted with several requirements:
A) No ammunition or projectiles of any kind will be allowed.
B) Air-soft guns must be rendered completely inoperable beforehand, that is the gun shall not have any batteries installed or gas/propellant in the chamber, and the chamber must be filled with wax or similar material.
C) All air-soft guns must have a clearly visible orange tip on the barrel.
D) All air-soft guns will be marked by security at weapons check and have their triggers zip-tied to ensure that the gun is incapable of firing.
5) Metal weapons of any kind are forbidden, including hammers, scissors (including “safety scissors”), screwdrivers, saws, chains, nun-chucks, brass knuckles, shields, X-Men-style claws, handcuffs, and the like. No “live steel” is allowed, such as metal swords, knifes or blades of any kind. If you have any of these types of weapons with your costume, please make sure they are made out of approved materials. Small, lightweight, metal objects like Sonic Screwdrivers, Lightsaber handles, umbrellas, and wooden wands a la Harry Potterare allowed, but must not be used as functional weapons. These items will all be subject to weapons check.
6) Costume bows are allowed, insomuch as they are so loosely strung so they cannot shoot projectiles of any kind. Prop arrows are permitted, as long as they are not sharply tipped, cannot be fired, are made of approved materials, and cannot conceivably hurt anyone. Costume swords/daggers made from approved materials are allowed, but may not have any sharp edges. Wooden swords are allowed, but must be tied to your costume in such a way that they cannot be drawn or unsheathed. Security will zip-tie swords to their sheaths to ensure that they cannot be drawn. If you wish to draw your sword to pose for a picture, it must be made of approved materials. Metal blades are not allowed, whether they are sheathed or not.
7) No wooden or aluminum/metal bats are permitted. This includes baseball bats, cricket bats, clubs, paddles, golf clubs, and similar objects. Bats made from approved materials are allowed.
8) Staffs (staves), similar to those found in Lord of the Rings, for instance, will be allowed, insomuch as they are used for walking and/or decoration, and not as a weapon. Wooden staffs are allowed, but must be lightweight and may not have any sharpened edges or tips. All staffs must be inspected by security.
9) Items such as bullwhips, ropes and lassos are allowed, but must remain rolled and secured at all times. These items will be subject to a weapons check.
10) Incendiary or flammable weapons are prohibited, including any items that are capable of igniting sparks or flames, burning, exploding, or combustion.
11) Do not display your weapons or props in a threatening or menacing manner. (For instance, it’s okay to pose for a picture, but cosplayers should not brandish weapons while walking the event floor.)
12) Keep prop weapons in convention areas. If you leave the premises or go out into public for any reason, please put away any and all prop weaponry immediately. Any real weapons purchased or won must remain in their original packaging and/or checked in with our weapons valet station as soon as possible. All prop/costume weapons purchased at the convention must be approved by security if they are to be carried during the convention. These items must also adhere to the weapons policy. Bags and backpacks are allowed, but are subject to a bag check at the discretion of staff and security.
Gulf Coast Fan Fest reserves the right to modify the weapons policy if situations require it.