Weapons and Prop Policy

These rules are for the safety of Geekfest attendees and all other library patrons, and to allow those in costume to wear them responsibly at our convention. This policy will be strictly enforced, and any decisions made by Akron-Summit County Public Library Staff are final.

We appreciate the time and effort put into the creation of your costumes, props, and replica weapon/weapon-like items and understand that props and weapons are often a vital part of a character’s costume. However, safety does come first.

Please read and understand this weapons policy before using/making any props for your costume. It is imperative that any props, weapons or weapon-like items (called ‘weapons’ from here on forward for simplicity’s sake) comply with this Weapons Policy as well as with all local, state, and federal laws. This policy is not a summary of the laws nor does this policy constitute legal advice. You are solely responsible for understanding and complying with all applicable laws.


All props and weapons will need to be submitted to inspection prior to being allowed within the library. Weapons inspection desks will be located near entrances to the library

All items must be inspected and will be zip-tied for compliance with this weapon policy. The zip-tie must be visible at all times to indicate that the item has been inspected.

There may be times where a judgement call by the Akron-Summit County Security Department will need to be made on the acceptability of a prop or weapon. Please understand that Akron-Summit County Public Library reserves the right to refuse the entry of any prop or weapon it deems unfit, ill-constructed or unsafe to the convention, and the decisions made by staff are final.

Uncostumed prop/weapon-bearing

All props or weapons must support the overall look the you are currently wearing. Wearing a prop or weapon for its own sake is not allowed. For example: you may not wear regular street clothes and carry a sword or a staff. Decisions about what constitutes uncostumed prop-bearing are at the discretion of the Akron-Summit County Public Library staff, and their decisions are final.


Brandishing is defined as drawing, exhibiting, waving or using any item, prop or weapon in an unsafe manner. Any such display of an item, prop or weapon in an aggressive or threatening manner, real or implied regardless of intent, or any other activity thought to be unsafe is strictly forbidden.

The only exception to the brandishing rule is for photography/videography. For the limited period you are posing and if the area around you is clear of bystanders. You are allowed to pose with an item, prop, or weapon in a brandishing-like manner so long as no reasonable person would interpret the pose as anything but safe and no real threat. However, please exercise great caution when doing so – we want everyone (including yourself) to be safe!

Misuse of a prop or weapon will be considered grounds for removal or ejection from the convention. Anyone brandishing an item, prop, or weapon will be warned and asked to remove said item from the library grounds. If the individual ignores this warning and / or brings the banned item back, he or she will be asked to leave.

Anyone found fighting (real or otherwise) or threatening someone with an item, prop, or weapon will be immediately removed from the library grounds. They may also be turned over to the local authorities as required.

Staff of Akron-Summit County Public Library, in their sole and absolute discretion, are empowered to determine whether a particular act constitutes “Brandishing” and its severity.

Edged weapons, metal

  • No sharpened edged weapons – all metal blades must be blunt
  • No unsheathed edged weapons – all metal blades must be sheathed
  • Any edged weapons that cannot be peace-bonded to permanently secure the metal blade within its sheath will not be permitted.
  • Clubs / bludgeoning weapons (including wooden swords)
  • No rigid metal piping may be used in the construction of any weapon / prop
  • No brittle construction materials (for example, glass or acrylic sheet) can be used in the construction of any weapon / prop
  • No ‘sharp’ points – all points must be constructed of non-rigid / soft materials

Miscellaneous weapons

  • No kunai – all kunai-type weapons regardless of construction material may not be used.
  • Bows & slingshots – real bows and slingshots may be used, but without bowstrings and propelling tubing
  • Chains – no metal chains. Short lengths of plastic chain (12″ or less) are acceptable
  • Whips – whips which are peace-bonded to prevent uncoiling will be permitted.


  • No real guns of any type are allowed.
  • No metal pellet / BB guns are allowed.
  • No paintball guns are allowed.
  • No Airsoft guns of any type are allowed.
  • ‘Nerf’-type weapons – allowed as long as no ammunition is present
  • Waterguns – allowed as long as no liquid is present
  • All ‘firearms’ must have an orange tip and it must be present on the weapon at all times. When holstered, either the orange tip must be visible through the holster, or the weapon’s zip-tie peace-bond must be visible.

Thank you for reading our weapons policy! With your help, we can make this convention truly amazing!

Our Mission: The Akron-Summit County Public Library provides resources for learning and leisure, information services, meeting spaces, and programs for all ages that support, improve, and enrich individual, family, and community life.