So, this was a weird article to write, as the facts literally changed while I was writing it. Wizard World Chicago, which began today and runs through the weekend, is one of the biggest conventions in the midwest. It’s also the center of one of biggest convention controversies at the moment. You see, while most conventions are locking down their weapons policies, banning realistic gun props, and adding additional security, Wizard World Chicago almost let a literal gun dealer exhibit.
The company, DS Arms, arranged their booth through a third party company — where they were classified as a “Fan Car.” That’s a category reserved for, y’know, replicas of famous cars and not gun dealers (so we’re in weird country to start with). While initial reports stated that the dealer was dis-invited from the con, that position was apparently reversed by Wizard World.
And then, just to confuse me more, earlier today that policy was re-reversed, excluding the dealer.
If they had been allowed, DS Arms would have only been selling replica weapons at the event, but they would still have had listings to purchase and order real weapons off the show floor. In many ways it would’ve been a dangerous precedent for the biggest chain of conventions in the country though, opening the door to future firearms dealers.
Fan conventions are very different than gun shows, and the idea that firearms might be purchasable at events like this is, frankly, kind of scary. Cons are primarily entertainment events, and it’s hard enough to deal with sword dealers already in the mix. Disallowing the vendor was, frankly, the best move the company could have taken.
In a weird footnote, on a comment on DS Arms’s Facebook page, the company states they will be at Dragon Con in a few weeks. We’re pretty sure this isn’t true though, as Dragon Con (which is held in Atlanta, GA) does not list DS Arms on their exhibitors and vendors list.