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