Zero Tolerance for Weapons at Universal FanCon
You may not carry or possess any weapon, openly or concealed, or in an inoperable or unusable condition at any time at or around the convention space, including the surrounding parking lots. Any weapon, firearm, knives, curio, relic, antique firearms, and all forms of ammunition are strictly forbidden. Even items that may be legal for you to own or carry are not welcome at Universal FanCon and are to be left at home.
The Following Items Are Examples Of Weapons That Are Not Allowed At Universal Fancon:
FIREARMS, AMMUNITION, RIFLES, SHOTGUNS, HANDGUNS, BLOWGUNS, TAZERS, LASER POINTERS, LASER-AIMING DEVICES OR SIMILAR LASER DEVICES, EXPLOSIVES OR OTHER INCENDIARY DEVICES, KNIVES, SWORDS (INCLUDING KATANA AND OTHER MARTIAL ARTS STYLE SWORDS), DAGGERS, SWORD CANES, SWITCHBLADES, BALI-SONG (BUTTERFLY) KNIVES, AXES, HATCHETS, POLE-ARMS, STAFFS, CLUBS, WOODEN/METAL BATS AND PADDLES, BOWS, ARROWS, MARTIAL ARTS WEAPONS, BRASS KNUCKLES, CHAINS, WHIPS, PEPPER-SPRAY/MACE, POWER TOOLS, HANDCUFFS, STILTS, VUVUZELAS, OR ANY ITEM THAT MAY INFER THAT IT IS DANGEROUS OR WHICH WOULD PLACE OTHERS IN IMMEDIATE HARM.
Certain allowances apply for once-functional projectile weapons such as BB Guns, pellet guns, cap guns, paintball guns, or airsoft guns. Please refer Prop Weapons and Prop Explosives for rules on allowances.
Weapons purchased at Universal FanCon must be kept wrapped and are to be immediately removed from the premises following purchase.
Prop Weapon or Futuristic Replica – Weapons Check [Peace Bonding] Approval
All prop weapons or futuristic replicas must be submitted to “Weapons Check” for approval. Weapons Check and Universal FanCon management has the sole discretion to approve prop weapons or futuristic replicas at Universal FanCon. Weapons Check booths are located in both South Hall Lobby and West Hall Lobby.
For purposes of this policy, a prop weapon is defined as a homemade or commercially rendered costume prop that supports the overall look of a costume or character.
For purposes of this policy, a futuristic replica is classified as a homemade or commercially rendered weapon portrayed in a futuristic manner such as: phasers, ray guns, or light-sabers.
Removing or tampering with the device(s) used by Weapons Check to designate approval is a violation of the Weapons Policy and will result in immediate expulsion from Universal FanCon.
The approval of a prop weapon or futuristic device can be revoked at any time at the discretion of the Weapons Check and/or management of Universal FanCon, for reasons including, but not limited to, the item being utilized or brandished in an inappropriate fashion or if complaints are received regarding its improper display.
Guidelines for Prop Weapons and Futuristic Replicas:
All prop weapons and futuristic replicas must meet the following requirements:
- Under seven (7) feet (2.13 meters)
- Under fifteen (15) pounds (6.8 kilograms)
- Cannot contain any metal other than the handle (with the exception of some swords)
Prop Weapons and Prop Explosives:
Real firearms and explosives, whether or not they are capable of operation, are strictly prohibited. Please refer to the Zero Tolerance Policy listed above.
Examples of Prop Weapons would be airsoft, any Nerf guns, water guns, dart guns, disc guns, pellet guns, cap guns etc.
All prop weapons must be inoperable. 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 evaluation and approval as a prop weapon. Examples of methods to render a prop weapon inoperable include: permanent plugging of the barrel with glue, caulk, or any other similar unremovable substance.
Prop Explosives cannot be made out of metal.
Both Prop Weapons and Prop Explosives must comply with Penal Code CFR § 1150.3 which requires that all realistic weapons must either be made entirely out of transparent/translucent material OR be painted/taped with a pattern in solid white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink, bright purple, either singly or as the predominant (50%+) color in combination with other colors in any pattern.
Prop Swords and Other Bladed Weapons:
All swords must be blunt-edged and cannot have any sort of cutting or sharpened edge (no live steel). Metal swords must have a sheath and must remain in the sheath for the duration of the convention. For the purposes of keeping metal swords in sheaths, Universal FanCon recommends anchoring the sword to the sheath.
Miscellaneous Prop Weapons:
- All bows must be unstrung or have a low-tensile thread.
- All arrows must have blunted tips.
- Metal chains must be less than 12 inches and be no more than one inch thick.
- Non-metal chains must be under a reasonable length so as not to pose a safety or fire hazard.
Please refer to the Zero Tolerance Policy listed above.
Universal FanCon reserves the right to ban any weapons not listed in the Weapons Policy if it is determined that the item is a dangerous item or one which would place others in immediate harm.
Use of Approved Prop Weapons
Prop Weapons are to be displayed only as costume pieces and are not allowed to be swung, jabbed, brandished, utilized in a threatening manner, thrust, and/or actively used on the convention grounds in a way that could be considered as creating unsafe situations.
You may pose with a Prop Weapon in a brandishing manner, so long as no reasonable person would interpret the posed brandishing as anything but a pose for dramatic effect. Such posed brandishing may be stopped at the sole and absolute discretion of Weapons Check, and/or the management of Universal FanCon, its security or staff members.
Universal FanCon also requests that attendees put away their prop weapons when leaving the convention site at night. Attendees brandishing their Prop Weapons upon leaving the convention may raise concerns of local law enforcement. Universal FanCon is not responsible for any actions taken by local law enforcement – such as detention and questioning – should attendees decide to display or brandish their Prop Weapon(s) outside of the convention.
Martial Arts Performances & Demos
Persons giving martial arts performances or demonstrations that are officially sanctioned in advance by the management of Universal FanCon may display working martial arts weapons during, and thirty (30) minutes before and after, the demonstrations or performances only.
These weapons must be used so as to best avoid harm to persons or property. These martial arts weapons must be transported to and from the performance or demonstration area in cases or wrapped and concealed, and must be removed from the convention premises immediately following the performances or demonstrations. Weapons Check and the management of Universal FanCon reserve the right to stop any performance or demonstration at their discretion.
Use of Uniformed Costumes
Universal FanCon has the absolute right and sole discretion to determine whether a uniform costume is too close to a real world uniform and to ask an attendee who is wearing a costume that is too close to a real world uniform to modify or remove it. In the event the attendee does not cooperate with the request, Universal FanCon may expel the person from the convention.
COSTUMES THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OR OTHER EMERGENCY RESPONSE PERSONNEL UNIFORMS ARE NOT PERMITTED AT UNIVERSAL FANCON.
Inspection of Property
Universal FanCon attendees understand, agree and consent that Weapons Check, Universal FanCon representatives, or security personnel throughout Universal FanCon, have the absolute and immediate right to inspect costumes, weapons, prop weapons, and futuristic props, and any other items brought into the convention space by an Attendee.
Weapons Check or Universal FanCon may determine whether any particular item covered by this policy is or is not permitted at Universal FanCon. If it is discovered that an attendee brought any unauthorized weapon to Universal FanCon, or violated any of the policies referenced above, that person shall be immediately removed from the convention space. Universal FanCon reserves the right to remove such offenders from the premises, temporarily or permanently.
What is peace bonding?
Peace bonding means that you, the attendee, shows visible proof that a prop weapon meets with the Universal FanCon’s Weapons Policy and has been approved by Universal FanCon. This means that the attendee has followed the established procedure of bringing a prop weapon to Weapons Check for evaluation, approval, and peace bonding.
Can I peace bond my own prop?
What is live steel?
Live steel is any metal sharpened that can cut. For metal swords, the blade must be as blunt as a spoon.
Where can I put my prop weapon if I do not have a car or a hotel room?
There is a bag check in West Hall. There is a small fee so be forewarned and prepare ahead.
But XYZ Convention allowed my prop weapon, why not here?
XYZ Convention is not Universal FanCon and Universal FanCon is not XYZ Convention. We allow some things XYZ Con does not allow and vice versa.
I have a realistic looking gun but it looks terrible with the safety colors. Can’t you just let it go?
No. Universal FanCon and its attendees must comply with Maryland regulations regarding safety colors. You may either paint on the colors or use colored tape (such as duct tape) to adhere to the safety color requirements. Having bits of colored paper and taping them on with something similar to scotch tape does not meet Maryland regulations.
What will happen if my prop does not meet Universal FanCon’s Weapons Policy?
You must remove the item from the convention grounds, put it in your car, Bag Check, or your hotel. If Universal FanCon staff asks you a second time to remove your item from the convention grounds, Universal FanCon reserves the right to remove you from the premises, temporarily or permanently.
PERSONS WHO CARRY OR OTHERWISE BRING PROP WEAPONS, FUTURISTIC REPLICAS, OR SIMILAR ITEMS WHICH MY DEPICT A WEAPON, DO SO AT THEIR OWN, SOLE, AND ABSOLUTE RISK, AND ASSUME ALL RISKS OF LIABILITY, HARM, DAMAGE, OR LOSS TO ANY PERSON OR PROPERTY INJURED OR OTHERWISE HARMED, INTENTIONALLY OR ACCIDENTLY, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY BY SUCH ITEMS OR THE PERSON CARRYING THEM. IT IS HEREBY AGREED THAT UNIVERSAL FANCON, ITS OFFICERS, AGENTS, AFFILIATES AND SUBSIDIARIES, OR THE BALTIMORE CONVENTION CENTER SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY INJURY, HARM, DAMAGE, OR ANY OTHER RISK OR LIABILITY ASSOCIATED WITH ANY PERSON’S USE OF ANY WEAPON, REPLICA, OR PROP, WHETHER PERMITTED OR BANNED HEREUNDER, AT UNIVERSAL FANCON. IN NO EVENT SHALL UNIVERSAL FANCON AND ITS AFFILIATES AND SUBSIDIARIES, OR THE BALTIMORE CONVENTION CENTER HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES HEREUNDER.
ATTENDEE WILL INDEMNIFY, DEFEND AND HOLD UNIVERSAL FANCON AND ITS AFFILIATES AND SUBSIDIARIES AND THE BALTIMORE CONVENTION CENTER AND ITS AFFILIATES HARMLESS FOR ALL LOSSES, COSTS, LIABILITIES AND EXPENSES (INCLDUING ATTORNEY FEES AND COSTS) ARISING OUT OF ANY CLAIM FOR PAYMENT BY ANY PERSON OR ENTITY MAKING ANY CLAIM FOR DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF ANY ACT OR EVENT AT UNIVERSAL FANCON.