We are a costuming couple out of the San Francisco Bay Area. We enjoy costuming together for conventions and charity work. Costuming for us is about creating accurate costumes based on movies, artwork, and video games. Hope you enjoy the site.

Finger Off The Trigger- Prop Gun Safety


Conventions all across the United States generally have a weapons policy. They can range either from ‘common sense’ to ‘EVERYTHING MUST BE TAGGED WITH RAINBOW COLORS’.

So why are the latter policies necessary? Is the convention owner a fan of Rainbow Dash or are there reasons for concern? Some could certainly point the fingers at several recent acts of violence involving guns, but I think that we need to look a little closer at ourselves, the attendees.

This is where “finger off the trigger” comes into play. When handling guns, EVEN fake ones, it is important to know gun safety.

  1. Finger off the trigger. ( Also known as trigger discipline)
  2. Don’t EVER point your gun (yes- even if it is fake) at another person.
  3. Treat any weapon as possibly being real/loaded.

Why the need for the above?

To demonstrate that we as a community can make conventions a safe place to attend. So we can continue to enjoy emulating our favorite genres through accurate costuming and by being granted possibly looser weapon’s policies.

“Oh come on…” someone might say. Let’s put it in perspective. You are a police officer assigned to patrol a convention. You have dealt with serious situations involving criminals shooting at you. You spot several figures dressed in military fatigues, vests, boots, and an assortment of guns. One of them draws a realistic looking pistol, finger on the trigger and raises it to point at another person.

What would be that police officer’s first instinct?

If people are aware of gun safety and refrain from such actions, there would be a lot less misunderstandings in regards to weapons at conventions.BONUS:Effective and safe gun handling makes your photos look more realistic.  Example: if you are taking a photo with a gun close to your face, your finger WOULD NOT be on the trigger. You wouldn’t risk blowing your face off.

Speaking of photos, what do you do when you need to pose with your weapon?? Or when people ask to take your photo and your character points it at another individual? You can point your weapon to the SIDE of the person, which actually in most cases makes for better photos. If you HAVE to point your weapon at someone, do so in a safe area, make sure that your posing partner knows that your weapon is fake and check it.  Make sure if it is airsoft or nerf that it is not loaded. Double check. You wouldn’t want to get banned from a convention for a mistake.
These principles can apply for swords, bats, etc. By using prop weapons respectfully and safely we can make everyone’s convention experience better.

So finger off the trigger and have some fun!



  • Combaticron Says

    Great post. Learn how to handle fake guns and then you’re less likely to have an accident or negligent discharge when handling a real one.

    • Byron Says

      I think this is a much more important reason to practice. There’s a decent chance that people who play with fake guns will eventually get to operate and handle a real firearm. If you build up safe, healthy habits you’ll have a much better time when you start operating a fully functional firearm.
      I wouldn’t bother with a con that doesn’t have rules in place to insure that only safe props are being used. So when you’re within the confines of the con, you should be able to operate with a certain level of understanding. More than anything, habits are being formed.
      Of course, once you start mingling with the public, beyond the convention area, practicing discipline should definitely be practiced.

  • John Clemens Says

    Also check your back blast area lol

    Seriously if you’re striking a pose check around and behind you especially if you have a large prop

    Everyone around you has tunnel vision on vendors displays and other costumes.

  • Jesse Cunningham Says

    There is nothing wrong with demonstrating proper fire arms safety, even with fake guns. A guy I went to high school with died because a real gun was pointed at him as a joke. The gun was loaded. Sorry to get all gloomy here. But I’m glad to see that you are setting a proper example. Thanks!

  • Jason (TheCreed) Bowman Says

    trigger discipline with all firearms is of utmost importance… with out proper control you are never IN control. This doesn’t matter if its a fake weapon or a real one. the general public doesn’t notice the differences. and don’t give me the orange tip comments are if I pointed a gun in your face fast tell me that the layperson is going to notice the little orange tip or are they going to notice the gun aimed at the face!
    btw I tend to do this with any weapon.. knives guns, swords.. big hammers… unless invited.. just don’t!

    • OfficialZenDragon Says

      I agree completely. Regarding the orange tips, I heard in the news recently that the police broke up some crime ring in which the recovered several weapons. Among those were guns which has been painted with orange tips to trick law enforcement into believing that they were fake.

  • Nightfall Says

    Or as my dear departed Grandaddy used to say “Booger hook off the bang switch!”

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