Earlier this year, there was a scary situation at the Phoenix Comic Con where an attendee came into the event armed with weapons and ammunition, with the intent to kill police officers, and actually attack the actor who played the Green Power Ranger, Jason David Frank.

Immediately, the local police and even organizers moved to ban all prop weapons from the event. Which plays into a growing concern around comic con events that's been growing for a few years. As these events get bigger, security and safety is becoming a bigger concern. With cosplay being such a large part of shows, it becomes a problem when attendees want to bring realistic looking weapons into events.

With Shreveport's Geek'd Con, this issue was something that was brought up early from venue security and the Shreveport Police. Authorities regularly refer to these events as a "soft target" due to the enclosed space, and ability for someone to wear a mask without creating panic (think about a grocery store, someone wears a mask, it's a red flag, but not at a comic con) who could then remove or change the mask, and disappear quickly after an incident.

Due to these issues, Geek'd Con instituted a "Toy Weapon" policy. The idea behind it is that you can bring a weapon to complete your cosplay, but it must LOOK like a toy. No prop weapons should appear to be real from a distance up to 50 yards.

So toy guns should be brightly color NERF guns, or gigantic over-sized "space" type weapons. Any weapon that appears to be bladed must clearly be rubber or plastic, or again a gregarious looking design.

This isn't a new, reactionary move based on what happened in Phoenix this year, it's the same policy that was in place previously. This policy shouldn't change before the 2017 Geek'd Con, unless changes are requested from the Shreveport Police Department or the venue's security.

Here are the rest of the Geek'd Con cosplay rules:

1. Geek’d Con is a family event. Because of that, we ask all cosplayers use a PG mentality. Not just with suggestive materials, but blood and gore as well. Think “Swimsuit coverage” and “General Halloween gore”

2. Due to the nature of our event, ANY weapon prop must be AN OBVIOUS TOY. Nothing that resembles a real weapon will be allowed in. THERE WILL BE NO TAG, ZIP TIE, OR OTHER EXCEPTIONS. NO airsoft weapons, nerf darts, bb guns, bladed weapons, or paintball guns.

Weapons that APPEAR to be real will be removed as well, even if they are plastic. Even painted Nerf weapons will be removed.

Items must be OBVIOUSLY A TOY from a distance (50 yards) Bright yellow Nerf guns, plastic light sabers, rubber swords will be allowed.There will be no judgement calls, it is zero tolerance.

3. No projectiles should be part of your cosplay.

4. No flames, pyro, smoke generators, fog machines, or vapors will be allowed.

5. We ask all attendees ASK before photographing other cosplayers.

6. No liquids or materials that could damage vendor merchandise if spilled will be allowed as a part of your cosplay. This includes, but is not limited to, fake blood and glitter.

7. Footwear must be worn at all times. The Shreveport Convention Center also bans the use of rollerskates, rollerblades, and other “roller” shoes.

8. If you plan to wear something that looks official, military or law enforcement, make it obvious that you are in cosplay. Shreveport PD will be on-hand all weekend, and would probably like to have a word with you otherwise.

9. There is a zero tolerance policy on cosplay bullying as well. If you find it necessary to mock someone, or their cosplay, you will be removed from the event. Our event is a safe environment for everyone to cosplay in.

10. Any hate symbols will be removed from Geek’d Con, more than likely with the person who brought them in.

11. All rules are subject to change at anytime. Neither Geek’d Con or the Shreveport Convention Center are responsible for lost or damaged cosplay property.