Cosplaying "Gunmen" Arrested At Ottawa Comic Convention

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Cosplaying "Gunmen" Arrested At Ottawa Comic Convention

When visiting a comic convention in Ottawa, two cosplayers learned that traveling in public with fake weapons still attracts police attention.

There's a reason cosplayers have to register their weapons at conventions - sometimes it's hard to tell fake guns from the real deal. That's a lesson two cosplayers learned the hard way at the G-Anime convention, when the were arrested by police in a nearby parking lot. While the pair wasn't committing a crime, the arrest wasn't too surprising. Not only were the cosplayers wearing camo gear and carrying rifles, the convention occured mere months after a real gunman opened fire on Parliament Hill.

When the two cosplayers first arrived in a Gatineau parking lot, it sparked panic among employees in nearby government buildings. "At work news spread very quickly there were two guys with guns in the parking lot," federal public servant Luc-Rock Paquin explained. When the assailants reportedly had trouble putting money in the parking meter, that's when Paquin suspected they probably weren't a threat.

Regardless, that didn't stop the police from responding to a 911 call, dispatching a dozen officers to the parking lot within ten minutes. The cosplayers were arrested and fined $270 for violating municipal bylaws. Their weapons were taken as evidence and their vehicle impounded.

Whatever your thoughts on the response, it's not surprising given the circumstances. On Oct. 22, a gunman opened fire on Parliament Hill, leading to two deaths (including his own) and three injuries. With such a tragedy happening so recently, government employees were naturally frightened that the shooting would repeat itself. "That's the first thing that came to mind" Paquin said. "When people start talking about 'there's two guys in the parking lot with guns,' it's not something you want to hear."

G-Anime quickly posted a notice reminding attendees to only wear military cosplays and weaponry on the convention grounds. The arrested cosplayers have since been released.

Source: Ottawa Sun

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Wait I'm confused was this in Ottawa, or Gatineau? (I kid)

I all seriousness though, what where they thinking? Even above the common sense and legal stuff, G-Anime isn't even a convention worth cosplaying at given how tiny it is.

Weapons confiscated? Yeah I can understand that...
$270 fine? That's pushing it a bit but okay.
Vehicle impounded? What possible justification do they have to do that?

To be honest that were lucky to get away with just being fined. How stupid do you have to be to think wearing camouflage gear and carrying rifles was going to be ok. All it would taken would be a single twitch out of place and they would have been both dead.

marurder:
Weapons confiscated? Yeah I can understand that...
$270 fine? That's pushing it a bit but okay.
Vehicle impounded? What possible justification do they have to do that?

For being stupid morons and scaring the carp out of 1000s of people by not thinking.

Since they were cosplayers I assume that those guns were in fact not real?
And what municipal bylaws were violated?
This report is full of missing information to come to a well-grounded opinion.
You see in my country it is legal to wear camouflage as long as you do not pretend to belong to a government body e.g. military.
It is also legal to carry toy guns as long as they are easily recognizable. True to life replica weapons are illegal in public spaces.
Checking them up yea okay I can see that happening but without knowledge of these municipal bylaws that apparently got violated I don't see why you would deem an arrest "reasonable response".

Ishigami:
Since they were cosplayers I assume that those guns were in fact not real?
And what municipal bylaws were violated?
This report is full of missing information to come to a well-grounded opinion.
You see in my country it is legal to wear camouflage as long as you do not pretend to belong to a government body e.g. military.
It is also legal to carry toy guns as long as they are easily recognizable. True to life replica weapons are illegal in public spaces.
Checking them up yea okay I can see that happening but without knowledge of these municipal bylaws that apparently got violated I don't see why you would deem an arrest "reasonable response".

Yeah because when in you fear for life you are looking out window 50 meters away you can clearly see the detail of the weapon. Wearing combat gear and carrying anything that vaguely looks like a firearm in front of public building is just plain stupid. Not just in the wake of the Parliament hill shooting but events in Paris and Brussels means that those morons are lucky to be alive.

Ishigami:

It is also legal to carry toy guns as long as they are easily recognizable. True to life replica weapons are illegal in public spaces.

Real guns often look like toy guns - many are indistinguishable.

If they were Black and in the U.S. they'd be dead. (Or not, if the police are self-aware of the current controversy)

Yea I was at that convention when that happened. I think those people were just idiots when they went out like that especially after what happened at Parliament Hill last year. At least no one got hurt over this ordeal.

With how often I see people dressed up as soldiers, or Raccoon City police, or other video game/anime types with realistic weaponry walking or transiting to conventions, I am surprised this isn't a more common occurrence.

This is like screaming "bomb" at an airport. You just don't do it.

I'm assuming they drove from far enough away to have not heard of, or forgot about, the shooting last year. They should definitely have checked with the convention and local authorities for what kind of fake gear they can carry.

Why does it not surprise me at all that this happened in Gatineau? (haha lol Quebec stupidity comments, etc)

marurder:

Vehicle impounded? What possible justification do they have to do that?

I'm wondering this as well. The fine and confiscating the guns are perfectly reasonable to me, but the car had nothing to do with the crime

albino boo:

Ishigami:
Since they were cosplayers I assume that those guns were in fact not real?
And what municipal bylaws were violated?
This report is full of missing information to come to a well-grounded opinion.
You see in my country it is legal to wear camouflage as long as you do not pretend to belong to a government body e.g. military.
It is also legal to carry toy guns as long as they are easily recognizable. True to life replica weapons are illegal in public spaces.
Checking them up yea okay I can see that happening but without knowledge of these municipal bylaws that apparently got violated I don't see why you would deem an arrest "reasonable response".

Yeah because when in you fear for life you are looking out window 50 meters away you can clearly see the detail of the weapon.

Yeah, because the dozen police officers who helped arrest them never got close enough to take the weapons and find out they were toys (and talk to the cosplayers to find out they weren't a threat). Oh, wait...

Wearing combat gear and carrying anything that vaguely looks like a firearm in front of public building is just plain stupid.

Ummm, excuse the rather stupid question, but since carrying them is the stupid approach, what's the smart way to get the toy guns from the parking lot to the convention? Portals? Bag of Holding? How!?

OT: OK, a fine I can definitely get behind. Arresting them and taking away their toys - even though I think it's a tad overkill - is also understandable. But impounding their car? What possible reason is there for that? Oh no, they broke municipal bylaws and had toy guns. Quick, take all their stuff! And for anyone going to use the bomb card, watch the first video - the linked one is part 2 - there was a K9 unit sniffing out the entire parking lot.

This whole thing smacks of overzealotry on the police's part, which isn't surprising given recent events. You see it all the time after shootings: the police gotta look tough and in charge, so the next few unfortunates get hit hard.

kael013:

albino boo:

Ishigami:
Since they were cosplayers I assume that those guns were in fact not real?
And what municipal bylaws were violated?
This report is full of missing information to come to a well-grounded opinion.
You see in my country it is legal to wear camouflage as long as you do not pretend to belong to a government body e.g. military.
It is also legal to carry toy guns as long as they are easily recognizable. True to life replica weapons are illegal in public spaces.
Checking them up yea okay I can see that happening but without knowledge of these municipal bylaws that apparently got violated I don't see why you would deem an arrest "reasonable response".

Yeah because when in you fear for life you are looking out window 50 meters away you can clearly see the detail of the weapon.

Yeah, because the dozen police officers who helped arrest them never got close enough to take the weapons and find out they were toys (and talk to the cosplayers to find out they weren't a threat). Oh, wait...

Wearing combat gear and carrying anything that vaguely looks like a firearm in front of public building is just plain stupid.

Ummm, excuse the rather stupid question, but since carrying them is the stupid approach, what's the smart way to get the toy guns from the parking lot to the convention? Portals? Bag of Holding? How!?

OT: OK, a fine I can definitely get behind. Arresting them and taking away their toys - even though I think it's a tad overkill - is also understandable. But impounding their car? What possible reason is there for that? Oh no, they broke municipal bylaws and had toy guns. Quick, take all their stuff! And for anyone going to use the bomb card, watch the first video - the linked one is part 2 - there was a K9 unit sniffing out the entire parking lot.

This whole thing smacks of overzealotry on the police's part, which isn't surprising given recent events. You see it all the time after shootings: the police gotta look tough and in charge, so the next few unfortunates get hit hard.

By the time they would be close enough to properly check the guns, the people would have been able to open fire if they were real. They have to respond strongly to any possibility of weaponry, you call them toy guns like they were little plastic orange things, replica guns can look identical.

As for how they get their guns to the location, literally any bag that's long enough, everyone else manages to do it without causing a panic

albino boo:
Yeah because when in you fear for life you are looking out window 50 meters away you can clearly see the detail of the weapon. Wearing combat gear and carrying anything that vaguely looks like a firearm in front of public building is just plain stupid. Not just in the wake of the Parliament hill shooting but events in Paris and Brussels means that those morons are lucky to be alive.

I carry a real pistol concealed carry AND open carry because it's legal where I live and I have the appropriate documentation. I have had the cops called on me twice at this point because, how did you say it... "For being stupid morons and scaring the carp out of 1000s of people by not thinking." But because I did nothing illegal and I know what's expected of me I've walked away with my pistol and my life every time. Best one was there was a smug looking couple that was watching as the cops talked to me and when they gave me my gun back and wished me good day they look appalled and said the cops HAD to arrest me or take my gun because THEY were scared. The cops asked what I had done to scare them and they answered, "He has a gun." To which the cops replied, "So do I. Are you afraid of me?" and then they explained I had done nothing wrong and walked off. It was quite satisfying. Perhaps people need to grow a pair and understand that someone carrying something is not the same as being threatening, hum?

But as for your actual points, what little there was, the people probably saw the silhouette of a gun and made an assumption. "Toy" guns (be them actual toys, airsoft, ext) are supposed to have an orange tip to alleviate confusion. While I'm all for being safe instead of sorry, we really do need to know more to make an informed decision. What laws did they supposedly break? Why the harsh reaction once the situation was understood (I mean confiscating the car, really...)? To simply say they were at fault and deserved everything they got is just as asinine as saying they were completely in the right. I hope you see the irony of that.

I can understand the police response and taking them into custody in order to get this sorted out but the fine and impounding the car is serious overkill here. These two weren't posing a real threat beyond just being there (which wasn't smart with what they had on) and it isn't like they were pointing weapons at people, running around like they were going to attack, or acting aggressive in any manner. Remember these are fake weapons and while I believe proper precautions should be taken, hence why I'm fine with the cops coming out and detaining them to see what was going on and stop any potential threat, once it was discovered that they weren't really carry actual weapons, ammunition, or anything like that they should have been let go without anything beyond a written warning.

I'm sorry but it seems like they are sending a message by targeting people who weren't really doing anything wrong. I can understand the government workers being worried and calling the cops but these two didn't break any laws nor did they act to incite panic and be disruptive to the peace. Or are we now at the point where as a society anyone who is deemed to be threatening should be arrested, fined, and have their vehicle impounded once it is discovered they pose no actual threat? If that is the point we're at then I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

marurder:
Weapons confiscated? Yeah I can understand that...
$270 fine? That's pushing it a bit but okay.
Vehicle impounded? What possible justification do they have to do that?

Actually the fine isn't pushing it at all since there are laws regarding it, here is a quote from a newspaper article I think that could have also led to why the vehicle was impounded.

They were fined $270 for violating a municipal bylaw against having weapons like a knife, sword, machete, slingshot or bow or similar items in public or in a vehicle.

One thing to consider too is that even though they aren't real weapons in Canada weapons that are replicas are illegal unless you have the proper permits as well (if you didn't own it before 1998 when the law was passed). Here is a link to the RCMP's information.

Replica Firearms

Sarge034:
"Toy" guns (be them actual toys, airsoft, ext) are supposed to have an orange tip to alleviate confusion.

I don't know about Canada, but in Norway(and Sweden) they're not required to have orange tips, so wearing a replica gun can be an actual threat.

What laws did they supposedly break? Why the harsh reaction once the situation was understood (I mean confiscating the car, really...)? To simply say they were at fault and deserved everything they got is just as asinine as saying they were completely in the right. I hope you see the irony of that.

As for what law they broke, probably the same one where screaming ''BOMB'' in a theater is illegal.

OT:Why did they take the car? That's the only thing that really stands out for me.

Sanunes:

marurder:
Weapons confiscated? Yeah I can understand that...
$270 fine? That's pushing it a bit but okay.
Vehicle impounded? What possible justification do they have to do that?

Actually the fine isn't pushing it at all since there are laws regarding it, here is a quote from a newspaper article I think that could have also led to why the vehicle was impounded.

They were fined $270 for violating a municipal bylaw against having weapons like a knife, sword, machete, slingshot or bow or similar items in public or in a vehicle.

One thing to consider too is that even though they aren't real weapons in Canada weapons that are replicas are illegal unless you have the proper permits as well (if you didn't own it before 1998 when the law was passed). Here is a link to the RCMP's information.

Replica Firearms

Except airsoft guns (with a specific FPS range) don't count as replica firearms here. Also this isn't really that surprising, we have quite a few unpleasant people in the police force here that probably wanted to try and look like they were helping the community for once by swarming the pair and taking everything. Bet those two had fun walking back to wherever they came from.

Ushiromiya Battler:

As for what law they broke, probably the same one where screaming ''BOMB'' in a theater is illegal.

except that it is not. it is completely legal to scream anything in a theater. its rude and will cause a lot of confusion, but you do not actually break a law by screaming "bomb".

OK, seriously though, what kind of idiot carries something like that openly and doesn't expect trouble?

I have a sword, which, let's be honest here, is considerably less threatening than a gun, just for basic practical reasons. You do not however walk around in public with it and not expect there to be any problems.

I've carried it with me plenty of times (taking it somewhere. Travelling), but I have a bag for it. Quite a challenge because bags that size are hard to come by. But I knew the kind of problems that would result if I carry it openly.

It is in no way illegal to have it (well, it is in the state I just moved to. Not sure what to do about that yet, since it's currently in storage in another country), but that doesn't mean you can carry it around openly.

And yes, I know these are toy guns. But that doesn't change anything, and depending on what they look like, the same issues apply.

Remember, it's not the actual threat that counts, it's that you appear to be threatening...

And as for cosplay, weapons are always something to be cautious with.

I've at times flirted with cosplaying characters which use swords, but while it would make it more authentic in some ways, I'd definitely think twice about taking even a fake sword, let alone my real one...

Idiotic overeaction befit of scared toddlers without any sense of reason.
I don't care if there was a shootout on the very spot they stood, this is just pathetic.

Strazdas:

Ushiromiya Battler:

As for what law they broke, probably the same one where screaming ''BOMB'' in a theater is illegal.

except that it is not. it is completely legal to scream anything in a theater. its rude and will cause a lot of confusion, but you do not actually break a law by screaming "bomb".

You do realize there are laws against simply disrupting the peace, right? Most likely you'd just get thrown out, but it would in fact actually be fine-able.

Smilomaniac:
Idiotic overeaction befit of scared toddlers without any sense of reason.
I don't care if there was a shootout on the very spot they stood, this is just pathetic.

So if two men in camouflage welding guns are walking through the streets mere months after a shooting at the parliament buildings it's idiotic to arrest them?

The idiots are the two people who thought that carrying guns (Which the police had no way of knowing were real or not) and dressing like paramilitary wouldn't get them arrested or attract attention, especially outside a building full of people in an area that was on lock down following the shootings. But no, I guess arresting two people holding real looking weapons in public following a shooting still fresh in the public memory is a pathetic and dumb way to handle the situation.

Strazdas:

Ushiromiya Battler:

As for what law they broke, probably the same one where screaming ''BOMB'' in a theater is illegal.

except that it is not. it is completely legal to scream anything in a theater. its rude and will cause a lot of confusion, but you do not actually break a law by screaming "bomb".

You are yet again factually incorrect

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shouting_fire_in_a_crowded_theater

Sarge034:

albino boo:
Yeah because when in you fear for life you are looking out window 50 meters away you can clearly see the detail of the weapon. Wearing combat gear and carrying anything that vaguely looks like a firearm in front of public building is just plain stupid. Not just in the wake of the Parliament hill shooting but events in Paris and Brussels means that those morons are lucky to be alive.

I carry a real pistol concealed carry AND open carry because it's legal where I live and I have the appropriate documentation. I have had the cops called on me twice at this point because, how did you say it... "For being stupid morons and scaring the carp out of 1000s of people by not thinking." But because I did nothing illegal and I know what's expected of me I've walked away with my pistol and my life every time. Best one was there was a smug looking couple that was watching as the cops talked to me and when they gave me my gun back and wished me good day they look appalled and said the cops HAD to arrest me or take my gun because THEY were scared. The cops asked what I had done to scare them and they answered, "He has a gun." To which the cops replied, "So do I. Are you afraid of me?" and then they explained I had done nothing wrong and walked off. It was quite satisfying. Perhaps people need to grow a pair and understand that someone carrying something is not the same as being threatening, hum?

But as for your actual points, what little there was, the people probably saw the silhouette of a gun and made an assumption. "Toy" guns (be them actual toys, airsoft, ext) are supposed to have an orange tip to alleviate confusion. While I'm all for being safe instead of sorry, we really do need to know more to make an informed decision. What laws did they supposedly break? Why the harsh reaction once the situation was understood (I mean confiscating the car, really...)? To simply say they were at fault and deserved everything they got is just as asinine as saying they were completely in the right. I hope you see the irony of that.

Internet lawyer versus the the real lawyers, I know who wins

kael013:

Ummm, excuse the rather stupid question, but since carrying them is the stupid approach, what's the smart way to get the toy guns from the parking lot to the convention? Portals? Bag of Holding? How!?

OT: OK, a fine I can definitely get behind. Arresting them and taking away their toys - even though I think it's a tad overkill - is also understandable. But impounding their car? What possible reason is there for that? Oh no, they broke municipal bylaws and had toy guns. Quick, take all their stuff! And for anyone going to use the bomb card, watch the first video - the linked one is part 2 - there was a K9 unit sniffing out the entire parking lot.

This whole thing smacks of overzealotry on the police's part, which isn't surprising given recent events. You see it all the time after shootings: the police gotta look tough and in charge, so the next few unfortunates get hit hard.

Yeah because they don't make bags long enough to carry weapons in, thats because people always carry weapons without covers on them.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Deluxe-Gun-Bag-Black-2-Strap-Rifle-Carry-Case-Gun-Slip-Padded-/271732385832
carrying that in normal street clothes no one would have given a second look

Strazdas:

Ushiromiya Battler:

As for what law they broke, probably the same one where screaming ''BOMB'' in a theater is illegal.

except that it is not. it is completely legal to scream anything in a theater. its rude and will cause a lot of confusion, but you do not actually break a law by screaming "bomb".

I would have disagree here depending on the outcome and intent. If it causes a panic and people are injured then at the very least you would be looking at a charge of criminal mischief causing harm. Freedom of speech protection ends when that speech is directly responsible for people getting hurt.

Strazdas:

Ushiromiya Battler:

As for what law they broke, probably the same one where screaming ''BOMB'' in a theater is illegal.

except that it is not. it is completely legal to scream anything in a theater. its rude and will cause a lot of confusion, but you do not actually break a law by screaming "bomb".

Oh, so they've changed that then? As it was in fact illegal at some point.

albino boo:

marurder:
Weapons confiscated? Yeah I can understand that...
$270 fine? That's pushing it a bit but okay.
Vehicle impounded? What possible justification do they have to do that?

For being stupid morons and scaring the carp out of 1000s of people by not thinking.

QFT. Seriously, how the flying fuck did they ever think this was going to end well? The only answer is they simply didn't think at all.

For those wondering...

Yes, up here, it's illegal to carry replica firearms, or something that could be conceived as a gun, real or not, unless it is painstakingly easy to tell that it is indeed not a real gun. For example, a paintball gun without a hopper can easily pass as a threat.

It's all about panic. If you saw my gun, you might not be able to tell it's a paintball marker. You have to think, "What would the average person think"? If it's, "That looks like a firearm." Then don't take your gun out.

How does one get around such a thing? A case. Duh. Carry your markers/props/toys in a friggen case. You can't tell what's in a case, and people looking at it will just think it's just a funky lookin' suitcase.

Shadefyre:
Except airsoft guns (with a specific FPS range) don't count as replica firearms here. Also this isn't really that surprising, we have quite a few unpleasant people in the police force here that probably wanted to try and look like they were helping the community for once by swarming the pair and taking everything. Bet those two had fun walking back to wherever they came from.

According to the RCMP page I linked if they look too realistic they are still classified as replica firearms, so without knowing what they looked it that might be what happened.

This is fair. It is for security that such measures have to be enforced, because if individuals like that are not checked what happens when a real shooter exploits this security flaw and walks around in camo and a "fake" rifle?

Either have something that clearly marks your gun as fake (that is why toy guns usually have that orange snub at the end of the barrel) or keep it concealed until you are in the convention grounds proper.

albino boo:
Yeah because when in you fear for life you are looking out window 50 meters away you can clearly see the detail of the weapon.

Mind telling me where in my comment I blamed the people calling the police? Oh right I didn't.

albino boo:
Wearing combat gear and carrying anything that vaguely looks like a firearm in front of public building is just plain stupid. Not just in the wake of the Parliament hill shooting but events in Paris and Brussels means that those morons are lucky to be alive.

Sounds like you are from the USA where it is alright to kill children with toy guns?

In civilized countries the police usually verifies the situation before opening fire...

Like I said checking them up? Yes very much to be expected. Outright arresting them? For that we need more information than what was given in this news.

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