Props & Weapons Policy

Safety first, folks!

All Props, Prop Weapons, and Replica Weapons used as props MUST be carried safely to ensure the safety and comfort of staff, guests, and other attendees. Violation of this rule may subject the attendee to charges of disorderly conduct and/or weapons charges under Texas Penal Code Chapter 42 and Chapter 46.

A-KON, and any of its authorized representatives, reserve the right to disallow any prop or replica weapon at their discretion. Refusal to comply will result in us kicking you out (and we may or may not let you back in even if you "fix" it later).

By attending A-KON, or any of its activities, you’ve OBVIOUSLY read all of our policies and instructions and have agreed to them! That makes you a super cool person who understands that you, as an attendee, assume all responsibility for complying with any laws or legal restrictions imposed by the City of Irving, our venue, or our staff.

Now onto the big guns - literally.


Prop, Curio, Replica, and Toy Firearms

  • No functioning prop, curio, replica, or toy capable of firing a projectile, explosive cap or blank cartridge will be allowed unless the action or mechanism is disabled.

    • Airsoft, Nerf and Paintball weapons must be disabled and no air puffs or other discharge should be detected on testing.
    • Tampering with any toy or replica weapon with the intent or the appearance of intent to restore functionality is grounds for removal from the event.
    • It is ILLEGAL to black out or remove a blaze orange tip from any toy or replica weapon so equipped.
  • Prop, model, or replica firearms, once approved, must remain holstered, slung or stowed unless posing for pictures or in cosplay events.

  • Under NO circumstances may any prop, toy or replica firearm be pointed at attendees or A-KON staff. Violators are subject to charges of “Disorderly Conduct” under TPC 42.01(8).

Carry of Firearms

The Carry of Firearms has the following restrictions:

  • No open carry of a handgun (or long gun) is permitted while in cosplay.
  • Any firearm carried must be holstered whether it is concealed or not.
  • Failing to follow this provision can result in removal from the event or charges of disorderly conduct by the Dallas Marshalls or Irving Police Department.
  • Realistic prop handguns must be cleared and tagged at the nearest weapons check station.

It is the responsibility of the firearm holder (hint - that’s you!) to follow all laws and to obey all lawful postings as many of our surrounding restaurants and businesses may have additional legal restrictions beyond the scope of this policy.  

If you have a “realistic” looking prop or model, we’re genuinely amazed at your talent! However, it should be understood that you still will be subject to inspection by our staff or law enforcement.

Oh? Did you get previous approval at another event or venue? Awesome, but we are going to check too.  Approval at one location or event does not mean you have approval everywhere!

Props and Prop Weapons Overview

  • Props are defined as any item carried as part of a cosplay not designed to represent a weapon and carried as an augmentation to the costume.
  • Prop weapons are inert items that are designed to appear as a weapon either fantastic or realistic. Prop weapons do not include actual weapons whether or not they are authorized or peace-bonded.
  • Staffs, canes, shepherd hooks, or any pole-type props must be carried in a vertical (hot-dog, not hamburger) position whenever moving through any event space.
  • If posing for photos in the open or at an event, it is your responsibility to ensure there is ample room to safely execute the pose.
  • Oversized props MAY be directed to weapons check at the discretion of staff to ensure you understand safe handling practices.
  • Abrupt edges or points on rigid or semi-rigid props need to be rounded either by shaping or the addition of some type of point covering.
  • Prop arrows and bolts must not have any type of rigid or sharpened head and should never be nocked (placed on string as if to fire).
  • Bows must be carried either unstrung or with the bowstring peace-tied to prevent drawing.
  • Crossbows must be unstrung OR have the Nut (Rolling Release, not- yeah we’ll shut up now), Retention Spring or Latch removed AND be peace-tied to prevent drawing of the string.
  • NO bubble guns are permitted.  Bear in mind that some folks are dangerously allergic to the chemicals often present in soap bubbles or many similar fluids. 
  • Squirt guns must be empty and the trigger disabled (bound).

Bladed Weapons

  • Metallic, ceramic or otherwise rigid shuriken, other throwing blades, chain whips, et al can only be used with cosplay if affixed to the costume or armor in such a manner as to not be readily removed.

    • No exposed points or edges are allowed if a chance for incidental contact exists.
    • Replicas (foam rubber, plastic, etc.) may be carried without affixing to the costume.
    • We know you’re excited to show off your gear, but displays of skill or flourishes will result in a minimum of removal from the show and may result in charges of disorderly conduct or worse.
  • “Live Steel” – including, but not limited to: Swords, Daggers, Battle Axes, and Knives, used as part of a costume, must be sheathed AND peace tied.

  • Removal of the weapon from the sheath (or the carry of an unsheathed weapon in this category) is dangerous and will be cause for removal from the show and/or charges under the Texas Penal Code for disorderly conduct or “carrying in a manner calculated to alarm”.

  • Approval to carry any steel weapon as part of a cosplay is solely at the discretion of A-KON and our designated staff.  ANY weapon may be denied for any reason.

  • ALL realistic or “live steel” weapons must be inspected at weapons check stations and have a “safe” tag affixed. If law enforcement of any of our staff directs you to the weapons check station, it is your responsibility to comply IMMEDIATELY. 

  • All prop-bladed weapons must remain sheathed or belted except for allowed posing and cosplay events.

    • Any posing must be conducted in a safe and courteous manner to be allowed. Any wielding or handling other than posing or in cosplay events will be cause for removal and/or possible charges of disorderly conduct where appropriate.
    • No metal spears or halberds are allowed in the event space; they will be permitted in authorized posing areas during official posing sessions only.
    • Steel and replica weapons purchased at the event must remain packaged until brought to a weapons check station for inspection and peace bonding.
  • Designated locations and times MAY be established where posing with prohibited weapons for photography will be permitted; provided that qualified staff and law enforcement are present to supervise the removal of peace ties and ensure that the peace ties are re-established prior to leaving the area.  Check the schedule and website to see when, where and if we are having these events.

Blunt Force Prop Weapons

  • A “club” is defined as, “an instrument that is specially designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person.” Examples from Texas Penal Code 46.01 include:

    • Nightstick, Black Jack, Mace (Nunchaku, Flail, Morning Star, etc.)

    • Tomahawk (Battle Axes, Indian Club, etc.)

    • We don’t care how cool it looks, carrying a club or any blunt force weapons as described is illegal and WILL NOT be allowed into the event under ANY circumstances.

    • Prop, foam, practice, and lightweight replicas will be allowed provided:

      • They remain sheathed, belted, or stowed when moving through any event space.
      • Any posing/cosplay participation is conducted safely and courteously.
      • Any such weapons purchased at the event must remain packaged and be transported to your room or vehicle without delay.
  • Any flourishes or wielding of prop blunt force weapons is cause for removal from the event and/or subject to charges of disorderly conduct under Texas Penal Code – Chapter 42.

Weapons Check

Weapons check stations will be situated in various locations throughout the event space. Ask any staff member and they will direct you to the closest one. You are required to go to a weapons check station if asked by staff or if your costume includes any of the mandatory items below.

  • MANDATORY Check Items Include:

    • Realistic or formerly functioning prop, replica, or toy firearms.
    • Metal swords, bladed, or rigid (heavy) weapons.
    • Bows and (nonfunctioning) crossbows.
    • ANY replica, practice, or foam blunt force weapons including bats, Nightsticks, Nunchaku, Mace, Chain Whip et al.
  • Items NOT Requiring Mandatory Checks Include:

    • Walking and Mage Staffs, Shepherd Crooks or Canes.
    • Obviously fantasy-based, inert, or harmless props, weapons, and firearms.
    • Training and Practice Firearms (Solid polymer and/or colored models).
    • Sports equipment that is carried as part of a cosplay.

ANY Prop or Weapon may be subjected to weapons check at the discretion of our staff or law enforcement personnel.

If you read this entire policy you are AWESOME! Thank you for reading. We hope you have a happy and safe A-KON experience!

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