Policy 1105
Prohibition of Weapons

Date of Current Revision: March 2018
Primary Responsible Officer: Chief of Police


This policy provides rules and regulations concerning the possession of weapons on campus and in all facilities and locations owned or operated by James Madison University (the university) in an effort to provide a safe and secure learning and working environment for its students, employees and visitors.


The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University. See Code of Virginia § 23.1-1600; § 23.1-1301. The Board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president.


The university has adopted regulations (8VAC45-10-10) regarding the possession of weapons on campus, in accord with Code of Virginia §18.2-308A.


Controlled Space:
Defined as any indoor or outdoor area owned or controlled by the university with limitations on use or access (i.e., residence hall, classroom, office, practice field, stadium, arboretum, farm, etc.). Areas open to the public (i.e., streets, lawns, sidewalks, parking lots, and the bookstore, library, and other publicly accessible buildings during hours of operation) with no limitations on access are not defined as controlled spaces.

Police Officer:
Law enforcement officials appointed pursuant to Article 3 (§ 15.2-1609 et seq.) of Chapter 16 and Chapter 17 (§ 15.2-1700 et seq.) of Title 15.2,  Article 3 (§ 23-1-809 et seq.) of  Chapter 8 of Title 23, Chapter 2 (§ 29.1-200 et seq.) of Title 29.1, and Chapter 1 (§ 52-1 et seq.) of Title 52 of the Code of Virginia and sworn federal law-enforcement officers.

Defined as any weapon as described in Code of Virginia §18.2-308A. This definition also refers to any weapon described in other provisions of the Code of Virginia including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. any gun, bow, crossbow or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile or projectile of any kind, including any pistol, revolver, rifle, musket, long gun or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind by action of an explosion of any combustible material;
  2. any stun weapon, including any device that emits a momentary or pulsed output, which is electrical, audible, optical or electromagnetic in nature, and which is designed to temporarily incapacitate a person;
  3. any knife, including any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete or razor, except a pocket knife having a folding metal blade of less than three inches;
  4. any slingshot, spring stick, metal knucks or blackjack;
  5. any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken or fighting chain;
  6. any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart;
  7. any frame, receiver, muffler, silencer, missile, projectile or ammunition designed for use with a dangerous weapon, including any cartridge, pellet, ball, missile or projectile adapted for use in a firearm;
  8. any explosive substance or explosive device, if such substance or device is intended to be used as a weapon;
  9. any tear gas, mustard gas, phosgene gas or other noxious or nauseating gases or mixtures of chemicals designed to, and capable of, producing vile, injurious or nauseating odors or gases, if such gas or chemical is intended to be used as a weapon; and
  10. any weapon of like kind as those enumerated.


This policy applies to all university faculty, staff, students, affiliates and contracted service representatives, as well as all visitors attending events (whether or not requiring a ticket) or entering buildings or controlled spaces on campus and to all property owned, leased, operated or controlled by the university.


Possession or carrying of any weapon by any person, except a police officer, is prohibited on university property in any buildings or any outdoor areas to which access is restricted to members of the university community and invited guests, or while attending any university events or university-sanctioned events.  Entry upon the aforementioned university property in violation of this prohibition is expressly forbidden.

No faculty or staff member, student, affiliate or contracted service representative shall carry, maintain or store a weapon, concealed or otherwise, on any property owned, leased or controlled by the university, except as provided herein. No visitor shall carry, maintain or store a weapon, concealed or otherwise, in any controlled space owned, leased or controlled by the university or at any university event. Items that are used as weapons on property owned or operated by the university, whether or not they fit the definition above, will also subject the user to discipline or removal.


6.1 Prop Weapons and Facsimiles
Any item that appears to be a weapon and that is utilized for any purpose on university property must be reported to and approved by the Office of Public Safety prior to being used in any activity. Examples include, but are not limited to, paint ball guns; props used in plays, props or weapons used in class presentations; and Military Science (ROTC) combat military exercises on campus.

6.2 Storage and Related Procedures
Students and employees residing in university housing may store no more than two weapons and limited amounts of ammunition with the university police station during the academic year for hunting purposes.  A Firearms and Ammunitions Storage Record form must be completed, which provides all requested information for each stored weapon and ammunition type, every time a weapon is added or removed from the University Police Department. Weapons and ammunition that are to be used by a student, faculty or staff member for hunting may be registered and stored before and during the appropriate hunting season. Weapons used for hunting must be checked and removed from campus by the end of the academic year.

Similarly, weapons (unloaded, disabled and facsimile) used for demonstration and educational purposes are to be stored at the campus police station until time of class or demonstration, then removed from campus as soon as possible. All such weapons are to be carried or transported in hard or soft case enclosures.

6.3 Reporting Violations
All members of the university community are encouraged to report violations of this policy to the police or the Office of Public Safety on campus. Employees and students are required to report violations to the police or the Office of Public Safety if they become aware of violations.


It is the responsibility of vice presidents, associate/assistant vice presidents, academic deans, academic unit heads, directors, managers and supervisors to ensure that the provisions of this policy are reviewed with employees and students in their areas.

It is the responsibility of each student, employee, contracted service representative, affiliate and visitor to comply with this policy.

It is the responsibility of each vice president, associate/assistant vice president, academic dean, academic unit head, director, manager and supervisor to enforce the provisions of this policy in their area of accountability and to report infractions to the Office of Public Safety.

It is the responsibility of the chief of police to ensure that the Office of Public Safety investigates matters of noncompliance, takes appropriate action, and reports resultant findings to the appropriate vice president. It is the responsibility of the chief of police to provide and maintain a safe and secure weapons locker and related record keeping for the purposes of legitimate weapons storage.

It is the responsibility of the chief of police and/or designated officials to properly inspect and certify stage prop, facsimile, disabled and/or academic demonstration weapons as unable to discharge a projectile or otherwise disarm and unload such weapons upon petition by employees, students, and invited lecturers and guests of the university.

All departments, offices and employees that generate, receive or maintain public records under the terms of this policy are also responsible for compliance with Policy 1109 - Records Management.


A student who violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary sanctions under the student judicial code, up to and including expulsion. An employee who violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary sanctions under misconduct policies of the university, up to and including dismissal. An affiliate who violates this policy will be subject to revocation of affiliate status. A visitor who violates this policy will be subject to removal from campus and being barred from campus.

Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense.


This policy does not apply to law enforcement officials duly authorized to carry such weapons. Also excepted are military drills, honor guards and color guards utilizing facsimile or functionally disabled weapons, and archery classes, team practice and competition utilizing target bows and arrows.

The terms and conditions of the university housing contract may establish additional restrictions on weapons for students living on campus.

This policy does not apply to single-family houses owned by the university and rented to individuals who work for the university and their families.  Renters of these houses are not prohibited by this policy from possessing legal weapons on the rental property, but they are still bound by the prohibition on possessing or carrying them on other university property.


The authority to interpret this policy rests with the president, and is generally delegated to the chief of police.

Previous version:  July 2015
Approved by the President: July 2009

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