Weapons Policy

AMA-CON understands the desire of many fans to carry props during the convention to support a costume or character. While we could allow everyone to bring their homemade guns / knives / seven-foot long pole arms, we must place limits on what you can safely carry around during the convention at large, and what you may use onstage during the cosplay contests.

AMA-CON reserves the right to refuse the entry of any prop that organizers or Amarillo Public Library staff decides is unfit. All props must support the overall look of a costume or character. Wearing a prop or weapon for its own sake is not allowed.

Misuse of a prop or weapon can be considered grounds for removal from the convention.

Any display of an item in an aggressive or threatening manner, real or implied regardless of intent, or any other activity thought to be unsafe in the view of the AMA-CON organizers is strictly forbidden.

At any time, should AMA-CON organizers see a weapon being carried or being used in an unsafe manner, the individual will be brought to the attention of Amarillo Public Library staff.

All sales of costume props will take place in the vendor’s areas. Upon purchase, you may be asked by the vendors or AMA-CON organizers to take appropriate steps to seal the item in a bag and remove it to a hotel room or vehicle.

Construction

Construction materials play a key role in what is to be allowed for general use and display at AMA-CON.  The use of metals, hard woods, and industrial plastics are not encouraged as they tend to leave sharp or pointed edges and make items too heavy.  We doubt you will want to carry your 16 pound prop sword around for 10 hours during the convention.

Soft woods such as balsa or fir woods or light rattan make excellent choices for building materials as they are neither heavy nor hard if an accident occurs and someone is inadvertently stuck. (Another suggested material construction method is to layer cardboard (3 pieces) together using hot glue. Then just bevel the edges by slicing away a bit of the first and third piece at the blade edge and fill it in with some Model Magic making sure that the resultant edge is rounded and not sharp.)

Sharp edges on any material are not permitted, and must be filed, padded, or otherwise protected against unwanted contact.  A point on any material that is not soft to the touch (such as soft foam or fabric) is not allowed. Soft to the touch should at least have a one half inch give to it when pushed with a finger on the actual tip. If a soft tip is created, the underlying structure must support safely as well in case the underlying structure is exposed.

The use of varnish, shellac, or any other coating to make a soft weapon have a hard exterior is forbidden. The definition of “hard” in this case is a hardness that exceeds that such as raw balsa or fir woods.

Materials that can shatter, such as glass or brittle plastics, are not permitted.

Weapons

Staves are acceptable as long as they are carried as a walking stick with one point on the ground. There are a lot of people in tight walkways so having it over the shoulder can cause accidents. As with all weapons, they must be checked in with AMA-CON organizers and tagged.

Any firearm that has the firing pin removed or barrel filled to make it unusable is still considered a “real weapon” and is not allowed, as it can be misconstrued by the Amarillo Police Department or Amarillo Public Library staff to be a threat.

Replica and futuristic firearms are allowed only if such weapon cannot be misconstrued by AMA-CON organizers to be a real firearm. A cap made of bright colored plastic (orange, red, yellow) may be placed OVER the end of the barrel and secured against removal. This includes any weapon that may be “fired” such as a homemade replica meant to duplicate a character’s weapon that you are portraying.

While an obviously non-lethal weapon such as a water gun is allowed as a prop, filling said prop with water passes it into non-acceptable weapons group and is subject to removal from the convention.

Bows or other manual projectile replicas are allowed only if they are rendered incapable of firing a projectile. Airsoft weapons in any configuration are not allowed as props.

All items purchased from vendors are merchandise until they are removed from their packaging, at which time they fall under the weapons policy.  Any prop or replica purchased at the dealer’s room which would violate the weapons policy must be wrapped in plastic before leaving the vendor’s table so that it is not recognized as said weapon and then immediately taken to a room or car.

Personal firearms, while permitted by the State of Texas for individuals with a valid and current license for a concealed handgun, are not allowed into any convention space regardless of reason. Any individual caught with such weapon in a convention space will be asked to leave convention space and/or reported to the Amarillo Police Department.

If you are under 18 you are not allowed to carry a bokken, live steel sword, or a hard wood weapon. This is the law and Amarillo PD will ticket your parents.

There will be absolutely no play-acting with props allowed outside of the cosplay contest.  View the AMA-CON Cosplay Policy for appropriate play-acting during the event.

Exceptions

Some replica weapons such as swords or other props integral to a costume may be presented to Amarillo Public Library staff at the registration tables for consideration of peace bonding. Peace bonding is the securing by AMA-CON organizers of a weapon so that it cannot be drawn or used.

Any tampering of the peace bonding is a violation of the weapons policy and is subject to removal from the convention.

The Amarillo Police Department will be present on site and have the right to require removal of an item.