Effective Date: April 28, 2017
Anime Expo® and the SPJA reserve the right to modify and/or update this policy at any time in their sole discretion and without prior notice.
Your participation in SPJA Events means that you agree to comply with this Weapons Policy. An “Event” shall mean any event held by The Society for Promotion of Japanese Animation (“SPJA” or “we”), such as Anime Expo®, or Project Anime®.
You further understand and agree that, for your own safety and the safety of everyone at an Event, SPJA has the absolute and immediate discretion and right to inspect your costumes, prop weapons, and any other item you bring to the Event. We may temporarily or permanently remove any attendee in our sole and absolute discretion at any time for violating this Weapons Policy — because your safety, and the safety of every attendee is of the upmost importance.
No Real Weapons Are Allowed at an Event.
This includes firearms, knives, curio, relic, antique firearms, any form of ammunition, any item designed or manufactured with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, whether carried openly or concealed, even if any such weapons are inoperable or unusable, and irrespective of whether you are licensed to possess such weapon. Items that may otherwise be legal for you to own or carry are not welcome at any Event if they violate this Weapons policy. The following are examples of weapons that you CANNOT bring to an Event:
FIREARMS, AMMUNITION, RIFLES, SHOTGUNS, HANDGUNS, BLOWGUNS, TAZERS, LASER POINTERS, LASER-AIMING DEVICES OR SIMILAR LASER DEVICES, EXPLOSIVES OR OTHER INCENDIARY DEVICES, KNIVES, LIVE BLADES/SWORDS (INCLUDING KATANA AND OTHER MARTIAL ARTS STYLE SWORDS), DAGGERS, SWORD CANES, SWITCHBLADES, BALI-SONG (BUTTERFLY) KNIVES, AXES, HATCHETS, METAL POLE-ARMS, CLUBS, WOODEN/METAL BATS AND PADDLES, HUNTING BOWS, ARROWS, NUNCHUCKS, BRASS KNUCKLES, WHIPS, PEPPERSPRAY/MACE, POWER TOOLS, STILTS, VUVUZELAS, ANY ITEM DESIGNED OR MANUFACTURED WITH THE INTENT TO CAUSE DEATH OR SERIOUS BODILY INJURY TO ANY PERSON OR PROPERTY, ANY ITEM THAT IS ILLEGAL IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, OR ANY ITEM THAT APPEARS, IN SPJA’S SOLE DISCRETION, TO BE DANGEROUS OR WHICH WOULD POSE OR PLACE OTHERS AT RISK OF HARM, IMMEDIATE OR OTHERWISE.
Prop Weapons Are Allowed Only If They Are Peace-Bonded by Weapons Check.
Prop weapons are inoperable weapons that support the overall look of your costume or character. For example, plastic Airsoft guns, Nerf guns, water guns, dart guns, disc guns, pellet guns, and cap guns are prop weapons.
Prop weapons must be submitted to “Weapons Check” for Peace Bonding. SPJA has the sole discretion to approve prop weapons. Anime Expo’s Weapons Check booths are located in both the South Hall Lobby and the West Hall Lobby. Other Event Weapons Check booths shall be designated in the programs and on signs.
We may revoke Peace Bonding at any time in our sole discretion. For example, we will revoke approval if you use or brandish the item in an inappropriate fashion (like play-fighting, swinging the weapon around, or if someone is hit intentionally or otherwise). We will also revoke approval if we receive complaints about the way you are using or displaying your prop weapon or futuristic device, or if you tamper with the device that Weapons Check uses to show that your prop weapon has been Peace Bonded.
Peace Bonding Rules
If a prop weapon is, or was, at any time capable of firing anything, it must be rendered permanently inoperable in order to qualify for Peace Bonding. You can do this by, for example, permanently plugging the barrel with glue, caulk, or any non-removable substance. You must be able to prove that the prop weapon is permanently decommissioned upon inspection. Bring tools if necessary.
In addition, to be Peace Bonded, your prop weapon must meet the following criteria:
If your prop weapon is a toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm, then federal regulations (15 CFR § 272.3) require that it either be translucent enough to, permit unmistakable observation of the device’s complete contents, or must have at least one of the following:
Peace-Bonded Weapons at the Event.
You may display your prop weapons only as costume pieces. Do not swing or brandish your prop weapon in any way that could be considered unsafe or threatening.
You may pose with a prop weapon in a brandishing manner, so long as no reasonable person would interpret it as anything but a pose for dramatic effect. Event staff or management may stop your posed brandishing in their sole discretion.
Please put your prop weapons away when leaving the Event site at night so that you don’t get the attention of local law enforcement. SPJA cannot be responsible for any actions taken by local law enforcement agencies – such as detaining and questioning you – if you decide to display or brandish your prop weapons at or outside of the Event.
Martial Arts Performances & Demos
You may display working martial arts weapons during, and 30 minutes before and after, a performance that has been approved by Event management in advance.
Of course, you must use common sense to avoid harming any person or property. You must conceal or wrap the weapons when transporting them to and from the demonstration, and you must remove the weapons immediately after the demonstration. Con staff reserves the right to stop any performance or demonstration in their sole discretion.
Law Enforcement Uniformed Costumes Are Prohibited
COSTUMES THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OR OTHER EMERGENCY RESPONSE PERSONNEL UNIFORMS ARE NOT PERMITTED AT THE EVENT.
It’s just not safe to impersonate local law enforcement, emergency personnel, or first responders. SPJA has the absolute right and sole discretion to decide whether your costume looks too much like one of these uniforms, and to request the removal or modification of that costume. Should you refuse to cooperate, we may expel you from the Event in order to protect the safety and welfare of everyone at the Event.
If You Buy Weapons at the Event
If you buy a prop or other weapons at the Event, you must immediately submit it to Weapons Check or immediately remove it from the Event hall.
New for AX 2017, the Weapons Check booths will be located outside of the convention center. It is mandatory that all weapons be inspected in order to attend the event. If you have prop weapons of any kind, please be sure to first visit one of the Weapons Check booths (pictured right). We have increased the total number of locations to the following four:
Weapons Check Hours: