Cosplay photoshoot with giant fake rifle sparks public warning from California authorities

Jul 8, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Cosplay photoshoot with giant fake rifle sparks public warning from California authorities

Jul 8, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Last week, a cosplay photoshoot involving a large fake rifle caused quite a stir on the public Seacliff State Beach in Monterey Bay, California. The costumed model was seen carrying the huge replica gun at the beach, and judging from the photos, nothing indicated that it was fake. Some beachgoers reported the photoshoot to the police, and the whole case prompted a public warning from the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office.

According to KRON4, the incident occurred on Wednesday, 3 June. As you can see from the video, the woman was wearing a costume and she was at the beach with a photographer. Therefore, many people assumed that the “rifle” was merely a part of the photoshoot. However, others claimed that it wasn’t the right place or time to carry a rifle (even a fake one), especially with children around. The reports from concerned citizens prompted the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office to issue a public warning about carrying firearms. They said that even if it’s a replica, carrying weapons is definitely not a good idea.

“They may know it’s a replica. As we’ve seen in the picture they’re walking around having a good time with what they know may be a fake firearm, but our responding officers don’t have any idea what they’re walking into, as well as the other public member that are on the beach.”

As I mentioned, the fake rifle from this photoshoot didn’t have any indications that it was fake. According to regulations in California, it’s prohibited to buy, sell, manufacture, send and receive imitation firearm for commercial purposes, except in these cases:

  • A non-firing collector’s replica that is historically significant and offered for sale in conjunction with a wall plaque or presentation case;
  • A BB device
  • A device where the entire surface is certain bright colors, or which is entirely transparent so that the contents are completely visible; or
  • Starting January 1, 2016, a spot marker gun which expels a projectile that is greater than 10mm caliber.

The legislation also notes that “brandishing or displaying the imitation firearm in public may cause confusion and be a crime.” According to DPReview, it could end up in paying a fine for the first and second infractions and potentially be followed by a misdemeanor for future violations.

Honestly, I wouldn’t go into the US law about owning and carrying firearms, as it’s way more liberal than the regulations in my country. In this particular case, I can understand that some people figured out this was a fake rifle. The lady was wearing a costume and she was posing, so they didn’t pay much attention to it. However, I also understand those who felt threatened and reported the photoshoot to the police. There was no way they could be sure that the gun was fake and they naturally felt uneasy.

But the bottom line is, if you’re a photographer, make sure to check the laws and regulations regarding firearms, even fake firearms, before you do a photoshoot like this in public. Otherwise, you could get in trouble. Heck, sometimes police officers even mistake a tripod for a gun, but that’s another story.

[via DPReview, KRON4]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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11 responses to “Cosplay photoshoot with giant fake rifle sparks public warning from California authorities”

  1. Mike Avatar
    Mike

    So a ‘right to bear arms’ so long as they are not fake. Only in the USA.

  2. Les Cameron Avatar
    Les Cameron

    … just make sure you don’t shoot a man in Reno, just to watch him die … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wG0fS4DoGUc

  3. Martin Roth Avatar
    Martin Roth

    The moment I read “especially with kids around” my blood started boiling. First the Zeiss photoshoot and now this. Just lighten the fuck up!!!these are people in costumes and with cameras! Just explain to your fucking kids what it is and be done with it and stop complaining why farts smell bad.

  4. Rob Swackhamer Avatar
    Rob Swackhamer

    We actually discussed this in our team chat… and one thing we noticed (or at least as near as we can tell from the photos) was that the tip of the barrel was not bright orange. That would have been the very first thing I would have thought of if we were to consider doing an outdoor session with any sort of prop firearm. The cosplayer might complain but 1) safety is the most important thing, and 2) that sort of thing can be edited in post. I would much rather take the extra time in post instead of possibly dealing with law enforcement.

  5. Daniel Fernandez Avatar
    Daniel Fernandez

    California, enough said. I’ll go back to my photography with live firearms and ammo in a state with decent gun laws. ?

    Mmm… muzzle flashes.

  6. Ralph Horne Avatar
    Ralph Horne

    From the way she is holding the Dragunov (?) it would be my guess that they have no clue as to how guns should be handled and the pictures end up being totally clueless. Even if they are toys you should practice proper gun handling, if for no other reason than to set a good example for the ‘children around’.

    1. Piotr Ostrowski Avatar
      Piotr Ostrowski

      You’re right: it is SWD Dragunov. Russian sniper rifle. :) But this girl shouldn’t even touch this gun…

  7. Chongo Yu Avatar
    Chongo Yu

    Votes and media matters. Lol

  8. Clayton Glover Avatar
    Clayton Glover

    But..if your an illegal alien with a stolen gun abd shoot a woman.. Well. Thats ok then..smh

    1. Tasha Avatar
      Tasha

      not to mention he was a seven-time felon, deported from the US five times! Smh.

  9. Clayton Glover Avatar
    Clayton Glover

    Maybe she is holding it in a non threatening manor to not spook people?