Because for all the extensive measures that Comic-Con is taking – among probably dozens more we don’t know about – it does not appear to me that visitors without cosplay weapons are subject to not even the most minimal level of screening. They simply walk in. Without metal detectors (handheld or entryway) or bag searches, anyone can walk in with a hidden gun, knife, or bomb.
The rules underscore the tension between authenticity and safety, which became a serious issue following the May arrest of a man who gained access to Phoenix Comicon armed with loaded handguns, a shotgun, knife, pepper spray and throwing stars. For the rest of the convention, organizers banned all weapon props, including those made from foam and cardboard. The man, who was wearing body armor, said he wanted to kill "bad police" at the event.
Denver Comic Con followed suit earlier in June by banning toy guns. Other prohibited items included blunt weapons such as wooden or metal bats, clubs, brass knuckles, mallets, whips and golf clubs.
In 2017, a man was arrested at the Phoenix Comicon who was carrying four guns and wearing body armor. He was apparently going to murder popular Power Rangers actor Jason David Frank, who was appearing at the show. The alleged assailant was also supposedly targeting police officers who were working there. The man was stopped when an acquaintance called in a tip to local police. The armed man wore a Punisher t-shirt.
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