hey /cgl/ I have a question. I'll be attending Dragon con this year, and I'll be heading out from Germany. I have a very convincing full steel rilfe. I am wondering what's the best way to transport my gear without complications?
Pick related, its my costume.
I have no idea about German law, but in the US the general rule is that you have to have that neon orange "cap" on the prop rifle. I would also avoid "brandishing" it outdoors.
I don't know what airports you'll be going through, but you'll probably end up in Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta at the end, lord help you. Here is their customer service line, they should be able to transfer you to someone that can answer your questions: +1 (404) 530-6667
OP your best bet would be to assume that people are going to look at it and think it's a real gun. With that in mind, I would follow some of the protocol for transporting firearms. I imagine it would travel similarly to a paintgun, which is checked into your luggage but doesn't require a hardcase.
When you get to the airport and are checking in, I would tell the agent that you have a fake gun in your checked luggage. IMO it's better to just go through the hassle of letting them inspect your luggage from the get-go rather than raising a flag later and having to backpedal. If you want to be extra cautious, perhaps call the airline/airport ahead of time and ask for their regulations on flying with a fake/model/toy gun. You may also want to consider adding the note in pic to your luggage to serve as a reminder to whoever inspects your bag that the gun is fake.
On another note, I would like to point out that the TSA search engine does distinguish between "fake gun" and "replica gun" when pinging back results, the latter implying stricter regulations are in effect even though technically they should be treated the same by TSA. If you're talking to anyone about it i would make a point to refer to your prop as "fake." Hope this helps!
definitely research ahead of time what your particular airline's policies are when it comes to fake guns. some will treat them as if they were actual firearms and require you to use the firearms policy which involves having a hard case and locks for said case. others are fine if you just have them in your check in luggage
for reference the actual firearm policy for US flights is:
1) you need a hard container locked by keys/combination only you have access to. so no "TSA approved" locks
2) declare firearm at the check in desk
3) fill out paperwork
4) worker checks to see if your stuff is indeed locked
5) your container goes on its way
6) wait a little bit to see if they need you to open the case for any reason (so allow extra time)
7) get on flight if they don't need you
I had my bags searched on my flight from Germany to the US because appearantly they thought my camera stand was a gun...so pack your stuff safely and be prepared for an opened suitcase...
>I have a very convincing full steel rilfe. I am wondering what's the best way to transport my gear without complications?
It is perfectly legal to transport actual firearms in the US when you are going on a long-distance flight somewhere - as long as it's in the checked luggage, of course, in a padlocked hardcase, etc, etc. Since this is a replica (one that isn't made to be a replica of any real firearm, in addition,) you should have far less trouble. However, the United States is a BIG fucking country, and local politics and culture can vary widely from state to state. In the South, most states won't give a fuck. In New York? People have been arrested and had the pistol in their checked luggage confiscated - illegally - for no reason.
The local culture of the state/city the convention is in will also affect things, and most US conventions keep to the basic rule of mandating an orange tip (at the very least) on prop guns (it's a law in the United States that any non-firearm, like an airsoft gun, needs orange on the tip to distinguish it from a real weapon. I've got a cheap spring gun that's a perfect, millimeter-for-milimeter replica of a Beretta M-9, and the "orange" on it is just some orange paint painted around the very end of the muzzle. Not very much.) When you're walking to and from the convention there will probably be local police out to keep an eye on things (to protect con-goers from muggers in bigger cities, and just to keep them from getting run over in intersections in ANY city, from what I'm used to.) Police are also out in higher numbers during conventions simply to deal with the inevitable drunk otaku. They're out there for the specific reason of dealing with issues raised by the convention - they know it's going on, and the gamut of costumes they can expect.
Add to this that it is actually legal in 90% of the US to walk around in public with a rifle slung on your back (doesn't mean people LIKE it, or that you won't get the cops called on you and/or a scene won't ensue, but it is legal.) So pre-warned cops who see you coming down the sidewalk in a full costume with a slung "rifle" with an orange tip on it? I doubt they'll give a fuck, my friend. As others have said you're most likely to have issues at the airport itself, most likely on our end. Us Americans consider the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to be a bunch of fucking retards, mainly because they are.
If you want to ensure smooth transit, having pictures of your costume on your phone, or printed out, will help. Have a printout of Dragon Con's flyer or something too.
Also it WOULD be a good idea to ask /k/. Plenty of people on /k/ are into "Cowboy Action Shooting," where people fly around the country for shooting matches where they dress up in period cowboy clothing and use modern replica firearms of 1880s-1890s guns. These people fly with guns all the time and have flown into almost every state - you're sure to get SOMEONE who can give you better advice than we can.
I'm a /k/ommando. And when I was a young lad, I dressed up in authentic leather chaps, boots, hat and shirt and admired my dashing self in the mirror. Inside every /k/ommando is a /k/osplayer fighting to get out. Don't sweat it.
Forgot to add: damn nice costume. I was going to suggest tracking down an orange camouflage gun wrap to keep in your pocket in case con security gets worried about it not being orange-y enough (since your costume is desert-camo themed, the colors wouldn't even clash that much,) but I can't find any on Amazon, more's the pity.