This is the Weapons Policy for the 2024 Tampa Bay Comic Convention. Thank you for your continued support and contribution to making this the best show ever.
No functional weapons are allowed at the Tampa Bay Comic Convention. Simulated or costume weapons are allowed as a part of your costume, subject to prior approval by security and compliance with the following guidelines:
- ALL costume weapons must be inspected at the Weapons Check area. Security will thoroughly inspect and mark weapons of any kind to ensure they are safe and inoperable.
- All costume weapons must conform to state and federal law.
- All weapons must be easily distinguishable from real weapons and constructed from safe, lightweight material. Approved materials for weapons are wood, plastic, foam, rubber, cardboard, paper, and thermoplastics (worbla, Sintra, etc.). Metal fashionings may accent the cosplay items but must not be used as the primary construction material.
- 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.
- No "Live Steel" Weapons are allowed on the show floor. "Live Steel" refers to any bladed article, sharp or otherwise. E.g. no swords, knives (of any kind), “Wolverine” claws, “Freddy Kruger” finger gloves, or other similar items.
- All prop firearms must be incapable of firing projectiles and have an orange cap on the barrel. Projectiles or any ammunition are forbidden. BB guns, paintball guns, dart guns, blowguns, and water guns and their accompanying ammunition will NOT be permitted. Airsoft guns must be rendered completely inoperable before entering the event. Nerf guns are allowed, but ammunition of any kind (foam or otherwise) is prohibited. Nerf guns must pass a weapons check and will have triggers zip-tied to prevent guns from firing.
- Real firearms, regardless of any degree of disassembling, are forbidden.
- Small, lightweight, metal objects like Sonic Screwdrivers, Lightsaber handles, umbrellas, Captain America shields, and wooden wands a.k.a. “Harry Potter wands” are allowed, but must not be used as functional weapons. These items will all be subject to weapons check.
- Shields will be permitted regardless of construction material.
- Arrows and bolts for bows and crossbows must be fashioned out of approved materials (not metal). The tips for these items must not be metal or sharpened.
- Costume swords/daggers made from approved materials are allowed but may not have sharp edges. Wooden swords are allowed but must be tied to your costume so they cannot be drawn or unsheathed. Security will zip-tie swords to their sheaths to ensure 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.
- 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.
- Saws, brass knuckles, nunchucks, or other types of weapons, may not be crafted from metal. These items must be used in a display function and not used for engagement.
- Staffs, staves, Escrima Sticks, bo-staffs, canes, or other types of weapons must be constructed from the approved list and not metal.
- Bullwhips, lassos, ropes, and other similar types of items must be coiled and secured to the Cosplayer.
- Incendiary, spark-creating, or other flammable weapons are PROHIBITED. Likewise, any items classified as an ECD (taser, stun guns, etc) are PROHIBITED.
- Metal Barbed-wire will not be permitted.
- 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.)
- Keep prop weapons in convention areas. If you leave the premises or go out into public for any reason, please put away any prop weaponry immediately.
- All prop/costume weapons purchased at the convention must be approved by Tampa Bay Comic Convention Safety Team 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 Tampa Bay Comic Con staff and security.
If you want to avoid having your costume weapons inspected and tagged, or if you are unwilling to comply with these policies, please leave them at home. Failure to willingly comply with Tampa Bay Comic Convention’s official cosplay rules and weapons policy may result in ejection from the convention (without a refund) and/or potential legal action, if necessary. ***All rules and regulations are subject to change. ***
Tampa Bay Comic Convention reserves the right to inspect all costumes and weapons individually to ensure that the event remains completely safe and family-friendly. Those who violate these rules assume all responsibility in the event of injury.
PROPS/WEAPONS THAT, UPON INSPECTION, DO NOT COMPLY WITH THE ABOVE STANDARDS MUST IMMEDIATELY BE REMOVED FROM THE CONVENTION CENTER PROPERTY OR THROWN AWAY.
Tampa Bay Comic Convention 2024 is August 23-25, 2024, at The Tampa Bay Convention Center