Your participation in the Event means that you agree to comply with this Weapons Policy. The “Event” means any event held by the Society for Promotion of Japanese Animation (“SPJA” or “we”), such as Anime Expo®, Anime Conji®, and Project Anime®.
You further understand and agree that, for your own safety and the safety of everyone at the Event, SPJA has the absolute and immediate right to inspect your costumes, prop weapons, and any other item you bring to the Event. We may temporarily or permanently remove any attendee at any time for violating this Weapons Policy — because your safety, and every attendee’s safety, is so important.
No real weapons are allowed at the Event.
This includes firearms, knives, curio, relic, and antique firearms, and every form of ammunition, whether carried openly or concealed and even if the weapons are inoperable or unusable. Even items that may be legal for you to own or carry are not welcome at our events if they violate this Weapons policy. The following are examples of weapons that you CANNOT bring to the 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, OR ANY ITEM THAT IS ILLEGAL IN THE CALIFORNIA OR THAT APPEARS, IN SPJA MANAGEMENT’S DISCRETION, TO BE DANGEROUS OR WHICH WOULD PLACE OTHERS IN IMMEDIATE HARM AND OR EXCEED A DECIBEL LEVEL OF 85.
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, 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 or swinging the weapon around). 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 gun is permanently decommissioned upon inspection. Bring tools if necessary
In addition, to be Peace Bonded, your weapon must meet the following criteria:
If your prop weapon looks realistic, then federal law requires that it either be translucent enough to see inside, or be at least half covered with solid white or bright red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink, or purple. 15 CFR § 1150.3.
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 2 enforcement – such as detention and questioning – 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.
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 or other emergency personnel. 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. If you don’t cooperate, we may expel you from the Event in order to protect the safety and welfare of everyone there.
If You Buy Weapons at the Event
If you buy a prop or other weapon from at the Event, you must immediately submit it to Weapons Check or remove it from the Event hall.