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PAX Security Mini-FAQ and Weapons Policy

TangoTango Registered User
edited August 2011 in PAX Archive
Hi, I'm Tango, one of the Enforcers' security specialists at PAXes Prime and East, as well as PAX Dev. I'm posting this thread to help raise awareness of some refinements to PAX security policy that will be 'live' effective Prime 2011.

Be aware that the content of this post has been given the nod by PA, and so can be considered official. As such, only the most basic and definite information is presented here.

First off, the main change:

NEW PAX ATTENDEE COSTUME WEAPON POLICY
While PAX is mainly intended to facilitate gaming, we recognize that many Attendees will want to dress in awesome costumes. These awesome costumes often come with prop 'weapons,' and the question: "can I bring this to PAX?" Needless to say, real weapons are NOT permitted, but what about props?

Well, there are some informal rules that we've been using to decide this for the last few PAXes. As of now, they have become official, and are as follows:

A COSTUME WEAPON IS NOT PERMITTED AT PAX IF:
- It fires or can fire any sort of projectile.
(Yes, even Nerf.)
- It looks like a real firearm at "second glance." (Yes, even if it's a kid's toy.)
- It's sharp or pointy enough to cut or pierce someone with moderate pressure. (Yes, even if it's not made of metal.)
- It's weighty enough to bludgeon someone with a moderate-force swing. (Yes, even if you're a TF2 Scout.)

If you bring something in that's not allowed you will be politely required to leave, stow the offending item in your vehicle/hotel room/etc, and then return. If you have any doubt as to whether your prop weapon falls under these restrictions - it probably does. Err on the side of caution!

OTHER CLARIFICATIONS

THERE'S A MEDICAL EMERGENCY OR FIRE! WHAT SHOULD I DO?
You should definitely alert an Enforcer or a member of venue staff. Particularly in the big con centers, they can often get the venue's own emergency responders on the way for the fastest possible response.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I SEE A THEFT / FIGHT / FAKE PASS / (INSERT INCIDENT HERE)?
You probably won't, as PAX is pretty laid-back. But the answer is always "alert an Enforcer or member of venue staff." Do NOT take matters into your own hands!

WHO DOES SECURITY AT PAX, ANYWAY?
Enforcers, venue/event staff, and a few police officers. Enforcers are generally the first contact point for Attendees, and things get escalated from there if necessary. Enforcers and event staff both have security specialists who are in charge of ensuring those groups implement their security policies. The police are there for emergencies, and to prevent any lines that spill out onto public streets from causing problems.

WHAT CAN I, AS AN ATTENDEE, DO TO HELP KEEP PAX SAFE AND SECURE?
1. Obey the above costume weapons policy.
2. Obey Wheaton's Law.
3. Be excellent to each other!
4. Let an Enforcer know if you have any issues.

Thanks for reading, and have an awesome PAX!

Tango on
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Posts

  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General in the treesRegistered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    This is fantastic information, and definitely something that was needed as a quick reference. Thanks for posting it!

  • yanthraxyanthrax Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    edit: i'm smrt, disregard.

    yanthrax on
  • flatlineflatline Registered User regular
    Is there anything that prohibits carrying leatherman-type multitools (not as a costume prop, I just always have a leatherman on me most of the time)?

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  • TangoTango Registered User
    flatline wrote:
    Is there anything that prohibits carrying leatherman-type multitools (not as a costume prop, I just always have a leatherman on me most of the time)?
    Let me put it this way: brandishing one would be a bad idea.

  • LigerLiger Registered User regular
    TANGO: A serious question about NERF for you, because there has been a grey area in the last few years:

    If a costumer modifies a nerf gun to remove the firing mechanism and thus rendering it a hollow, gun-shaped yellow shell, is it allowed then?
    If so, I can provide a tutorial for the forum here.

    5932306549_6b4d957b56.jpg CUSTOM LANYARDS FOR PAX
  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General in the treesRegistered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    Liger wrote:
    TANGO: A serious question about NERF for you, because there has been a grey area in the last few years:

    If a costumer modifies a nerf gun to remove the firing mechanism and thus rendering it a hollow, gun-shaped yellow shell, is it allowed then?
    If so, I can provide a tutorial for the forum here.

    From Tango, in the cosplay thread:
    Tango wrote:
    zerzhul wrote:
    it has been said in the past that anything that has *ever* had the ability to fire is banned
    Clearing up things like this is one of the reasons for the new weapons policy.
    The wording in the weapons/props post didn't explicitly call out deactivated things one way or the other.
    Deactivated things are covered by implication:
    Deactivated real firearms - Obviously no, as they are / resemble live firearms.
    Deactivated airsoft - Also no, for the above reason.
    Deactivated Nerf - In general this will get a pass, but please don't be offended if an Enforcer checks it!

    Also, don't worry too much if an Enforcer does ask to see your cool prop weapon - I know that I sometimes ask just because I want to admire the work that went into them :)

    Looking forward to the awesome costumes this year, again!

  • LigerLiger Registered User regular
    Cheers Zerzhul (and Tango)!

    5932306549_6b4d957b56.jpg CUSTOM LANYARDS FOR PAX
  • TangoTango Registered User
    Just bear in mind that if something looks obviously Nerf-like, there's a fair chance it will be checked for functionality.

  • tokyodovetokyodove Perth, WARegistered User regular
    im not cosplaying, but just for reference, would something like a tf2 medic gun be considered a weapon?

  • TangoTango Registered User
    edited August 2011
    tokyodove wrote:
    im not cosplaying, but just for reference, would something like a tf2 medic gun be considered a weapon?
    For all questions like this, refer to the above list of criteria in the OP. They were established to be applied to any weapon-like prop object so that I or PA don't have to answer 200 questions of the form "So, is this a weapon?"

    Tango on
  • tsrblketsrblke Registered User regular
    tokyodove wrote:
    im not cosplaying, but just for reference, would something like a tf2 medic gun be considered a weapon?

    If you do it right (drop handle, large, etc.) It shouldn't look much like a weapon, more like a fire hose. When they say "weapon" they mean "real life weapon" not "in game weapon." (i.e. you don't want someone screaming "GUN!" in the middle of a crowded room)

  • XLASHERXLASHER Registered User
    edited August 2011
    >Deactivated airsoft - Also no, for the above reason.

    What if the gun has an orange tip that is almost bigger than the gun itself? These "Rules" still aren't very clear.

    XLASHER on
  • dyaballikldyaballikl PAX Main Theatre House & Security Manager • PAX Community Cartographer Registered User regular
    XLASHER wrote:
    >Deactivated airsoft - Also no, for the above reason.

    What if the gun has an orange tip that is almost bigger than the gun itself? These "Rules" still aren't very clear.
    Tango wrote:
    Deactivated airsoft - Also no, for the above reason.
    pretty clear.

    a.k.a. dya
    "Riding a mongoose reminds me of having sex with a man, which is something I do frequently because I am gay!" -Gabe

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  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General in the treesRegistered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    XLASHER wrote:
    >Deactivated airsoft - Also no, for the above reason.

    What if the gun has an orange tip that is almost bigger than the gun itself? These "Rules" still aren't very clear.
    Tango wrote:
    - It looks like a real firearm at "second glance." (Yes, even if it's a kid's toy.)
    This likely also applies.

  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    Even if the deactivated airsoft is painted COMPLETELY safety orange, it still isn't allowed. No airsoft, under any circumstances.

    sig-500x65.jpg
  • TangoTango Registered User
    zerzhul wrote:
    Tango wrote:
    - It looks like a real firearm at "second glance." (Yes, even if it's a kid's toy.)
    This likely also applies.
    Yes, it does. It's very easy to take a real handgun and spray-paint it orange, or etc.

  • ploogleploogle Registered User regular
    Drat! I was wanting to cosplay as Thane Krios, and this puts a serious damper on that.

    Why no Nerf guns, even? Has there been a problem that warrants these new rules, or just extra precautions?

    P.L.O.O.G.L.E. - Positronic Lifeform Optimized for Online Gratification and Logical Exploration.
  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General in the treesRegistered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    edited August 2011
    ploogle wrote:
    Drat! I was wanting to cosplay as Thane Krios, and this puts a serious damper on that.

    Why no Nerf guns, even? Has there been a problem that warrants these new rules, or just extra precautions?
    zerzhul wrote:
    Liger wrote:
    TANGO: A serious question about NERF for you, because there has been a grey area in the last few years:

    If a costumer modifies a nerf gun to remove the firing mechanism and thus rendering it a hollow, gun-shaped yellow shell, is it allowed then?
    If so, I can provide a tutorial for the forum here.

    From Tango, in the cosplay thread:
    Tango wrote:
    Deactivated Nerf - In general this will get a pass, but please don't be offended if an Enforcer checks it!

    zerzhul on
  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    ploogle wrote:
    Drat! I was wanting to cosplay as Thane Krios, and this puts a serious damper on that.

    Why no Nerf guns, even? Has there been a problem that warrants these new rules, or just extra precautions?

    No nerf has been the rule since about 2006. It's not a new rule.

    sig-500x65.jpg
  • ploogleploogle Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    zerzhul wrote:
    Deactivated Nerf - In general this will get a pass, but please don't be offended if an Enforcer checks it!
    I can't read, apparently! I'll just deactivate a nerf and let whomever check it if they wish.
    Moe Fwacky wrote:
    No nerf has been the rule since about 2006. It's not a new rule.
    You mean besides deactivated nerf?

    ploogle on
    P.L.O.O.G.L.E. - Positronic Lifeform Optimized for Online Gratification and Logical Exploration.
  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General in the treesRegistered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    Moe Fwacky wrote:
    ploogle wrote:
    Drat! I was wanting to cosplay as Thane Krios, and this puts a serious damper on that.

    Why no Nerf guns, even? Has there been a problem that warrants these new rules, or just extra precautions?

    No nerf has been the rule since about 2006. It's not a new rule.

    It was said that completely deactivated nerf is allowed this year, which is a rule change.

  • WingedillidanWingedillidan Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    Deactivated nerfs were allowed in the past, but you will probably be stopped for checking... several times...

    Wingedillidan on
    (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
  • TangoTango Registered User
    ploogle wrote:
    Has there been a problem that warrants these new rules, or just extra precautions?
    No single problem, but... well, as PAX has grown and expanded over the last few years, there have been more and more incidences of well-meaning Attendees bringing in stuff that makes the venue staff, the police, the PAX team or all three groups sit up and take notice.

    While PAX doesn't specifically cater to cosplayers the same way as, say, an anime con might, everyone concerned still wants to minimize the number of times we have to say "Sorry, but you can't have that..." to people who just came to PAX to have fun. Other than things like draconian cosplay bans, which would run totally counter to the spirit of PAX, the best way to reduce this is for as many people as possible to be aware, in advance, of what is and isn't okay.

    To this end, there's been a costume weapons policy in place for some time. However, PAX in 2011 is a different beast than in, say, 2006. And so, this year, the policy has been refreshed to better reflect what the Enforcers' security specialists have been dealing with over the last few PAXes. Posting it on the PA Forums is part of an effort to make people aware of this before PAX; it's on the PAXsite FAQ, too, but as much as we'd like to believe that every single Attendee reads that, well... :)

  • Hobbit2513Hobbit2513 Registered User
    Hi all, I'm attending PAX for my second time but I was wondering, Would it be ok if I brought my NECA Lancer from Gears of war 2?

    gow2lanceramazonmain_229x128.jpg

  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    I'm going to go out on a limb and say the answer is probably, "no".

    sig-500x65.jpg
  • Hobbit2513Hobbit2513 Registered User
    I just want a for sure answer. But thanks.

  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    At a glance, it looks like it falls into at least one of these categories. Is that "for sure" enough for you?
    Tango wrote:
    A COSTUME WEAPON IS NOT PERMITTED AT PAX IF:
    - It fires or can fire any sort of projectile.
    (Yes, even Nerf.)
    - It looks like a real firearm at "second glance." (Yes, even if it's a kid's toy.)
    - It's sharp or pointy enough to cut or pierce someone with moderate pressure. (Yes, even if it's not made of metal.)
    - It's weighty enough to bludgeon someone with a moderate-force swing. (Yes, even if you're a TF2 Scout.)

    sig-500x65.jpg
  • Hobbit2513Hobbit2513 Registered User
    Well no need to be a prick. Your the one that said probably.

  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    I was being polite. In the future, read the first post of a thread before asking questions.

    Also, the global rules seem to be missing since the software changeover, but calling somebody a prick is in gross violation of the Glorious Edict, which states that you are only allowed to call somebody a "Silly Goose". Please keep that in mind when insulting moderators in the future.

    sig-500x65.jpg
  • TangoTango Registered User
    As I said in the original post:
    Tango wrote:
    If you have any doubt as to whether your prop weapon falls under these restrictions - it probably does. Err on the side of caution!

    And so:
    Hobbit2513 wrote:
    Would it be ok if I brought my NECA Lancer from Gears of war 2?
    I'd have to say no. It definitely falls foul of the "looks like a firearm" category; remember that not everyone is as familiar with particular game weapons as some of us are.

  • GilesGGilesG Registered User
    Tango wrote:
    Needless to say, real weapons are NOT permitted, but what about props?

    Needless to say, PAX hates the US and the Washington State Constitution.

  • LigerLiger Registered User regular
    GilesG wrote:
    Tango wrote:
    Needless to say, real weapons are NOT permitted, but what about props?

    Needless to say, PAX hates the US and the Washington State Constitution.

    While I don't feel qualified or knowledgeable enough to argue Open Carry vs. the civil right to refuse service, I think your statement is extreme. PAX obviously doesn't hate America, or else these two conventions would take their money and popularity elsewhere.

    The issue with these cosplay weapon rules is that attendees are bringing their prop weapons to SHOW OFF. If you showed off your concealed pistol at PAX, you would be brandishing your weapon - a misdemeanor. Brandishing is essentially considered aiming your gun at another person, whether loaded or not. Considering how many people attend PAX in such a confined space, any attempt to get the gun out of its holster would likely result in brandishing - whether that be intentional or accidental.

    Not only that, but live weapons in public places make a lot of people uncomfortable, myself included. I will call security if I see a real gun at PAX. I have a difficult time trusting any civilian who would bring a deadly weapon to a peaceful gathering. There's no need to openly carry a gun at PAX unless you are a member of the police force or hired security team.

    (Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion and in no way an official statement representing PAX or Penny Arcade, Inc. I'm speaking here as an attendee, and not a volunteer.)

    5932306549_6b4d957b56.jpg CUSTOM LANYARDS FOR PAX
  • TangoTango Registered User
    edited August 2011
    GilesG wrote:
    Needless to say, PAX hates the US and the Washington State Constitution.
    This cannot be inferred from the original post. You will note that the headline of the relevant section reads, with italics added here for emphasis:

    Tango wrote:
    NEW PAX ATTENDEE COSTUME WEAPON POLICY
    I don't think it's unreasonable to require that real weapons -- whether firearms, blades or anything else -- not be brandished as part of a costume at PAX, a private event held in private venues.

    Please understand that it's not my job to set the policies of the venues, the cities or the states concerned when it comes to open vs. concealed carry, interpretation of Second Amendment rights, or anything else. It's my job to help keep both PAXes as safe as I can, with the minimum of interference in letting Attendees do their thing

    If you have any further questions about this, please PM me, as I want to keep this thread on-topic and not have it turn into yet another place on the Internet where the Open Carry Debate rages. Thank you.

    Tango on
  • GilesGGilesG Registered User
    Hey,

    I just wanted to let any interested parties know that if they possess a WA State CCW license, they cannot be denied entry into PAX if they wish to carry.

    More information can be found here: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.41.300

    But in essence:
    (2) Cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities may enact laws and ordinances:

    (b) Restricting the possession of firearms in any stadium or convention center, operated by a city, town, county, or other municipality, except that such restrictions shall not apply to:

    (i) Any pistol in the possession of a person licensed under RCW 9.41.070 or exempt from the licensing requirement by RCW 9.41.060

    This is on topic and anyone who will be working PAX entry should keep this in mind. If you deny a licensed person, you could be setting up the organizers for legal trouble.

    If anyone can point towards laws/rules which may disallow the carrying into PAX, please post it, as it most definitely would be on topic.

    Thank you.

  • LigerLiger Registered User regular
    If I see a real weapon out of its holster and pointed anywhere but the floor, I am calling security. I don't intend to deny anyone entry for a licensed firearm, but if a gun is out then it is clearly an emergency situation that requires extreme self defense, in which case security should be alerted anyway.

    5932306549_6b4d957b56.jpg CUSTOM LANYARDS FOR PAX
  • MonkeyConQuesoMonkeyConQueso Registered User regular
    Also, if someone has a WA CCW license, a pistol won't be part of a costume or visible in any way since it's a CONCEALED carry permit and no one will know said person will be carrying. And as Liger said, if a real weapon is being flashed, a real law enforcement officer will be called. I don't believe the intent is to deny anyone access to PAX that are following established laws and rules. This thread is for the general audience, most of which will not have a WA CCW license, and are wanting to bring faux-weapons to a convention.

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  • Masta_FuMasta_Fu Registered User regular
    You're all silly geese :3

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  • TubeTube Administrator, ClubPA admin
    We are not interested in posts that encourage people to contravene our rules. Weapons are not allowed at PAX. If you have a problem with that, feel free to write to your senator.

    If you'd like an anime thread, please PM me to discuss it. Include pics/video of your favorites.
  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    I also want to point out to Mr. Goosey McGooseyhead up there, that if he wants to play lawyer, he better know how to play lawyer:

    First, the relevant statute:
    RCW 9.41.300:

    (2) Cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities may enact laws and ordinances:

    (a) Restricting the discharge of firearms in any portion of their respective jurisdictions where there is a reasonable likelihood that humans, domestic animals, or property will be jeopardized. Such laws and ordinances shall not abridge the right of the individual guaranteed by Article I, section 24 of the state Constitution to bear arms in defense of self or others; and

    (b) Restricting the possession of firearms in any stadium or convention center, operated by a city, town, county, or other municipality, except that such restrictions shall not apply to:

    (i) Any pistol in the possession of a person licensed under RCW 9.41.070 or exempt from the licensing requirement by RCW 9.41.060; or

    (ii) Any showing, demonstration, or lecture involving the exhibition of firearms.

    Okay, first off, based of a mere cursory glance, Section (2)(b) of this statute clearly says that a city may restrict the possession of firearms in "any stadium or convention center, operated by a city" except that such restrictions shall not apply to "any pistol" possessed by someone with a concealed handgun permit. But this statute clearly left something out. Something about the city operating in a contractual capacity with another organization when said organization wants to use aforementioned stadium or convention center.

    Hmmmm....I think, is there a case that addresses this? By jove, there is!

    Shooting Park Association v. City of Sequim (pronounced "Sqwim"), a 2006 case heard by the Supreme Court of Washington. You can read the .pdf here.

    But I'll sum it up for Mr. Goosey:

    Shooting Park Association wants to hold a gun show, Sequim says okay, but here are some restrictions. Shooting Park Association says 'buwhat!?" and sues. So the court looks at RCW 9.41.300 up there and asks "Did the City of Sequim violate the law?" The answer? No.

    While the court doesn't address section (b)(i), instead focusing on b(ii), the court holds that the city absolutely could restrict the possession of firearms in a city-owned stadium/convention center when a city acts as a private property owner in order to protect its property interests. The critical point is "that the conditions the city imposed related to a permit for private use of its property. They were not laws or regulations of application to the general public." I'm more than willing to bet that the Supreme Court of Washington would happily apply the same logic to section (b)(i).

    And of course, this means fuck-all when it's not the city imposing restrictions on firearms, but the private party itself who is leasing the property from the city, and private parties can pretty much do whatever the hell they want to with their private/leased property, which includes restricting the possession of firearms.

    So to quote you:
    GilesG wrote:
    Hey,

    I just wanted to let any interested parties know that if they possess a WA State CCW license, they cannot be denied entry into PAX if they wish to carry.

    Yeah, they probably can. Silly goose.

    steam_sig.png
  • LigerLiger Registered User regular
    Well said, DoctorLawyer.

    Now, since this is a COSTUME WEAPONS thread, let's get back on topic.

    Make sure your fake weapons look fake!

    5932306549_6b4d957b56.jpg CUSTOM LANYARDS FOR PAX
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