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How your cosplay gear could put you at risk for arrest in New York

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2020 | Criminal Law |

Cosplay was once a niche activity that most people had never heard of before. Now, there are professional cosplayers making thousands of dollars on Instagram just sharing their creations and thriving companies that supply costumes and weapons for cosplay enthusiasts. The weapons and armor people make are very impressive, but in some places, they could be illegal.

Attendance at conventions and cosplay events has boomed, with people sometimes traveling from all over the world to attend the biggest events or the events that cater directly to their specific fandom. The fantasy or historical settings of many mangas, animes and comics could mean that your perfect cosplay involves an impressive-looking sword.

Unfortunately for those attending events in New York, while owning swords may still be legal, carrying them in public could result in your arrest and prosecution, even if the sword is clearly part of a costume. The better you understand state laws, the easier it will be to avoid breaking them.

New York knife laws bans the carrying of certain knives

New York has relatively strict knife laws when compared with some other states. While people can own a broad range of knives, carrying many of them in public can constitute a crime. If someone visiting New York steps onto a subway car with a sword strapped to their back or in a scabbard attached to their belt, it is possible that law enforcement could wind up involved in the situation.

Although replica and obviously fake swords probably won’t result in charges, actual metal swords, even if they aren’t necessarily sharp enough to hurt someone, could potentially result in criminal charges.

Using a fake or replica sword may not seem as fun while you’re at a competition or convention, but winding up with a weapons charge could cause all kinds of issues, including difficulty passing background checks in the future and the potential to miss an event because you got arrested due to your costume.

While the state generally brings misdemeanor charges against someone accused of publicly carrying a sword, those with previous offenses on their record related to knives could face more serious charges and consequences.