SEC-030: Regulation of Weapons, Fireworks, Explosives, and Other Prohibited Items

Date: 12/12/2011 Status: Final
Last Revised: 10/02/2019
Policy Type: University
Oversight Executive: Associate Vice President for Safety & Security, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Applies To: Academic Division and the Medical Center.
Reason for Policy:

The University promotes a safe environment for its students, faculty, staff, patients, and visitors on University property by the (1) reasonable regulation of weapons, fireworks, and explosives; (2) prohibition of other items during certain occurrences (incidents or planned events); and (3) adoption of enhanced safety and security protocols when deemed necessary.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Academical Village:

    The property bounded by the Rotunda to the north, Hospital Drive to the east, McCormick Road to the west, and including the South Lawn/Homer Flat to the south (thereby including the Rotunda, Lawn and Range rooms, hotels, gardens and pavilions) as noted on the map of the Academical Village.

  • Clear Bag Protocol:

    The use of a bag made of clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC which does not exceed 12" x 6" x 12" or which is a clear one-gallon plastic food storage or freezer bag.

  • Firework:

    Any combination of explosives and combustibles set off to generate colored lights, smoke, or noise.

  • Law Enforcement Officer:

    Any sworn law-enforcement officer who has the duty and obligation to enforce the penal or traffic laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, or any portion thereof, as certified by his appointing authority and including, but not limited to, any person appointed pursuant to §§ 4.1-100, 9.1-101, 15.2-1609, 15.2-1700, 23.1-809, 29.1-200, 30-34.2:1, 52-1, 53.1-1, 53.1-143, and 66-25.3 of the Code of Virginia; any attorney for the Commonwealth as provided in § 18.2-308 B 9 of the Code of Virginia; any conservator of the peace exempt from § 18.2-308 A of the Code of Virginia pursuant to § 18.2-308 C 4 of the Code of Virginia; and any sworn federal law-enforcement officer or agent and any law-enforcement agent of the armed forces of the United States who is authorized to carry a weapon by federal law and who is within his territorial jurisdiction or who is contracted with the university to provide services within the university's territorial jurisdiction and who is on duty or providing services to the university.

  • Metal Detection Equipment:

    An instrument which detects the presence of metal, including a handheld unit used to scan individuals or a standing structure which a person passes through.

  • Prohibited Items during an Occurrence - Limited:

    Any weapon (see definition) and any taser, stun gun, heavy gauge metal chain, length of lumber or wood, brick, rock, metal beverage or food can or container, glass bottle, axe, axe handle, hatchet, ice pick, acidic or caustic substance or material, hazardous or flammable or combustible substance, skateboard, sword, knife (regardless of size), dagger, razor blade or other sharp instrument or item, pipe, pepper or bear spray, mace, aerosol spray, catapult, wrist rocket, bat, pole, stick, club, explosive, firework, unmanned aircraft system (a/k/a “UAS” or “Drone”)*, open fire or open flame**, and any other item considered an “implement of riot.”

    Note: Glass bottles; metal beverage and food cans or containers; and personal toiletries are prohibited items unless used exclusively for their intended purpose.

    *Unless approved in accordance with SEC-040: Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems ("UAS" or "Drones").
    **Unless approved in accordance with SEC-032: Open Burn and Open Flame Operations.

  • Prohibited Items during an Occurrence – Expanded:

    Any weapon (see definition); any prohibited items during an occurrence - limited (see definition); and any artificial noisemaker*; laser pointer; frisbee; outside ball, bat, stick or other sports equipment (excluding baseball or softball gloves); outside container (including plastic or glass bottle, cup, can, cooler, or flask); outside food and beverage; tent; stroller (except umbrella stroller) (prohibited at Scott Stadium & John Paul Jones Arena only); umbrella (prohibited at Scott Stadium only); animal (except service animal under control); and any bag larger than 12" x 6" x 12" including but not limited to a purse larger than a clutch bag, briefcase, backpack, fanny pack, cinch bag, luggage, computer bag, or camera bag.

    Note: Seat cushions and seat backs are permitted as long as they do not have pockets and are not in a carrying bag.

    *For men's and women's soccer matches only, artificial noisemakers are allowed; however, air horns, whistles, bullhorns or devices that amplify electric sound, including battery-operated devices, are prohibited.

  • University Medical Center (Medical Center):

    The hospital and buildings that are University Property in which health care, research, administrative support, and ancillary services are provided that are owned or leased by the University. (Also referred to as the Health System.)

  • University Property:

    Land or buildings that the University owns or leases and that is under the control of the Board of Visitors. University property also includes premises the University uses for activities of its offices, departments, personnel, or students.

  • University–Owned Vehicle:

    A vehicle that is licensed for road use and is owned by the University as evidenced by the vehicle’s title, registration, and license plate (normally light blue in color with an S as the last digit), regardless of the source of the funding the University used to purchase the vehicle, or whether the vehicle was acquired through donation in accordance with University Policy EXT-006, Solicitation and Acceptance of Gifts of Real Property, Life Insurance, Personal Property, and Fine Arts.

  • Weapon:

    Any (i) firearm including any pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, air-pistol, paintball gun, or other instrument designed or intended to propel a bullet, cartridge, or other missile of any kind including a bow or cross-bow; (ii) dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, butterfly knife, sword, machete, or other bladed weapon with a blade longer than four inches in length; (iii) razor slingshot, spring stick, metal or lexan knucks, or blackjack; (iv) flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain; or (v) disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades that is designed to be thrown or propelled and that may be known as throwing star or oriental dart.

Policy Statement:

Except as otherwise stated in this policy, the University prohibits the possession, storage, and use of weapons, fireworks, and explosives on University property and in University-owned vehicles. In addition, during certain occurrences (incidents or planned events), persons lawfully in charge (see Section 2) may prohibit other items (selected from the prohibited items during an occurrence limited or expanded lists) and adopt enhanced safety and security protocols.

  1. Regulation of Weapons, Fireworks, and Explosives:
    1. Weapons:
      1. Members of the University Community:
        The possession, storage, or use of any weapon by any University student, faculty, employee, contractor, trainee, or volunteer on University property is prohibited. This prohibition also applies regardless of whether a person has a concealed weapon permit. This prohibition shall not apply to a law-enforcement officer who is on duty or who is contracted with the University to provide services within the University's territorial jurisdiction and who is providing contracted services to the University at that time.

        Note: 3-D Printers: University-owned 3-D printers shall not be used to create any kind of weapon.

      2. General Public and Visitors:
        The possession, storage, or use of any weapon by the general public or visitors on University property in academic, administrative, athletic, entertainment, or student residence buildings; child care or dining facilities; within the Academical Village (including the Lawn), or the University Medical Center, or while attending sporting, entertainment, or educational activities is prohibited. This prohibition applies regardless of whether a person has a concealed weapon permit. This prohibition shall not apply to a law-enforcement officer who is on duty or who is contracted with the University to provide services within the University's territorial jurisdiction and who is providing contracted services to the University at that time.

      3. Enhanced Safety and Security Protocols:
        Occurrences may necessitate the use of enhanced safety and security protocols. Enhanced safety and security protocols may include but are not limited to:
        • the use of metal detection equipment;
        • prohibition of items as selected from the prohibited items during an occurrence lists (either limited or expanded); and
        • implementation of a clear bag protocol.

        Enhanced safety and security protocols may require ticketing or displaying a photo I.D. for entry.

        The use and extent of enhanced safety and security protocols to be implemented on University property, in the Academical Village, or at an occurrence shall be determined by those persons lawfully in charge (see Section 2).

      4. Exceptions:
        The Chief of the University Police Department, or designee, may authorize in writing a person to possess, store, or use a weapon in the following circumstances,: (i) educational, research, or artistic display, parade, or ceremony in connection with a University-sponsored activity (unloaded or disabled only and with other specified safeguards, if appropriate); (ii) official military or Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) activities; (iii) University contracted protection or security details; (iv) any University-approved training, course, or class; or (v) University personnel, other than law-enforcement officers, required to possess a weapon as part of their official duties.

        A request for permission pursuant to one of the exceptions in this subsection shall be addressed in advance to the Chief of the University Police Department where it will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with state and federal law, University policy, and the safety of the University community.

    2. Fireworks and Other Explosives:
      Except as approved by authorized University personnel or otherwise authorized by applicable University policies and procedures, the possession, storage, or use of any firework or other explosive or any lethal combustible chemical or combination of chemicals on University property or while attending sporting, entertainment, or educational activities is prohibited.

  2. Persons Lawfully in Charge:
    In addition to University personnel responsible for the management or supervision of University property and activities, University law-enforcement officers are lawfully in charge of University property for purposes of forbidding entry upon or within or prohibiting remaining upon or within University property while possessing weapons or other devices, instruments, fireworks, explosives, combustible chemicals, or other prohibited items in violation of this policy.

  3. Compliance with Policy:
    Failure to comply with the requirements of this policy may result in denied entry, removal from University Property, and/or disciplinary action up to and including termination and expulsion in accordance with relevant University policies.

    Questions about this policy should be directed to the Office of the Associate Vice President for Safety and Security.

Related Information:

Regulation of Weapons, Fireworks, and Explosives [Link to University Regulation published in the Virginia Administrative Code 8 VAC 85-20]
SEC-018: Fireworks Display
Leases for single student, student family, and faculty/staff housing
Medical Center Policy 0174: Regulation of Weapons, Fireworks and Explosives on University Property

Major Category: Safety, Security and Environmental Quality
Next Scheduled Review: 01/18/2019
Approved by, Date: Policy Review Committee, 04/14/2009
Revision History: Revised 10/2/19; 12/13/11.
Supersedes (previous policy):
SEC-030: Regulation of Weapons, Fireworks, and Explosives; XV.J.1: Security & Firearms.