You shall not pass: The weapon inspectors of San Diego Comic-Con


Every year, a handful of people see every sword, spear, gun, and hammer that makes it to the floor of Comic-Con – and a few that don’t. Halfway down the convention center, at a small booth labeled “costume weapons check,” a steady trickle of characters from every conceivable fandom wait for security to give them the all-clear. Most cosplayers won’t go through it, but if you’re carrying anything that looks like it could hurt someone, it goes to weapons check. If it’s deadly in fiction but safe in real life, it gets a small, shiny blue band. If there’s a significant chance of injuring a fellow con-goer with it, it doesn’t go in — and making the call isn’t as easy as just sifting out real-world weapons.

“We look at thousands of…

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