Iron Man 3

Marvel/Walt Disney Pictures

Guns are not toys, people.

Unfortunately, a movie theater in Jefferson City, Mo., didn't remember this last weekend when, during a showing of Iron Man 3, they sent in costumed individuals carrying a fake guns.

Per, many moviegoers at Goodrich Capital 8 Theatres were, understandably, frightened when hired cosplayers came, some of which were wearing what appeared to be assault gear and carrying rifles. (Cosplay is short for costume play, aka a type of performance art form where people dress up and pretend to be various characters.) Another cosplayer entered the theater dressed as Robert Downey Jr.'s character, but it was the fake gun-toting individuals that led some audience members to call 911.

Police immediately responded to the incident, which happened less than a year after James Holmes killed 12 people and injured dozens of others during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colo.

Capt. Doug Shoemaker told KMIZ-TV in Jefferson City that the stunt gone awry came from the theater's "unfortunate lack of wisdom in this particular judgment that hopefully will never occur again."

Goodrich Capital 8 Theatres apologized on their Facebook page "to those who felt they were in harm's way with our character promotion for Iron Man 3," claiming, "This was not a publicity stunt."

"We have had many complaints about the members dressed specifically as S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives carrying fake guns," the statement continues. "We didn't clearly tell our customers and some people didn't realize it was for entertainment purposes only. We apologize that police were called to come out to our theater. We have a wonderful working relationship with the Jefferson City Police Department. Going forward we will take the necessary steps to make sure this doesn't happen again. Security and safety for our customers is our number one priority."

Um, yeah. Generally not a good idea to surprise people with fake weapons.

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