Weapons Policy

University policy strictly prohibits the possession or use of weapons as defined by this policy on campus by anyone except law-enforcement officials, armored car couriers, or others specifically authorized by the university to support curricular or co-curricular programs. 

A weapon means any firearm, explosive, knife, club or other object that has been designed with the intent to harm another person or property (or replica of such a firearm or object) or any object used to inflict harm to another person or property.  This definition does not include objects that are authorized, designated and used in accordance with departmental policies for operational, academic and/or recreational purposes (e.g., cutlery used in dining services operations, tools used in facilities services operations, props used in the theatre department, fencing equipment used in athletics) unless used in a way that is intended to harm another person or property.  The university at its sole discretion will grant or deny the authorization and use of such objects.  Staff members, faculty members, students, or others should disclose the intended use of objects that may fall into the definition of weapon as defined by this policy. “Weapons” also include, but are not limited to: a pellet or BB gun, paintball or airsoft gun, blackjack, slingshot, billyclub, sandclub, sandbag, or metal knuckles (including replica or facsimile weapons), toy weapons (including squirt guns and nerf guns or any device capable of launching a projectile or substance) or any other devices which could reasonably be mistaken for a weapon or explosive.

Possession includes, but is not limited to, storage in residential facilities, academic or administrative offices, lockers, desks, briefcases, or personal vehicles parked on university property. With respect to university personnel (faculty, staff and student staff), possession of weapons on campus or while attending or participating in a university-sponsored activity off campus is subject to sanctions, up to and including termination of employment. With respect to students, possession of weapons on campus or while attending or participating in a university-sponsored activity off campus is subject to sanctions up to and including expulsion. Sanctions will be imposed in accordance with the procedures of the Student Integrity Code, Staff Policies and Procedures, or Faculty Code, as appropriate. With respect to visitors, possession of weapons is subject to expulsion from campus by Security Services.

This policy does not prohibit small quantity personal protection chemical spray devices (e.g., key chain sprays) intended for defensive purposes.

Reporting Weapons
The university expects all members of and visitors to the campus community to help maintain safety and security at the institution and at university-sponsored activities off campus. All students, faculty, and staff who have knowledge of weapons on campus and at university-sponsored activities off campus have an obligation to report that knowledge promptly to the Director of Security Services or, in the Director's absence, the Assistant Director or an on-duty Security Officer.

In cases of suspected possession of weapons by university personnel (faculty, staff and student staff), the university reserves the right, as stipulated in the Privacy and Appropriate Use of Resources policy, to search personal belongings on university property, including but not limited to articles of clothing, purses, briefcases, bags, and vehicles. All such searches must be approved in advance by the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer or the chief human resources officer in the case of staff, or the Provost in the case of faculty, or the Vice President for Student Affairs in the case of students. In the absence of the pertinent university officer, the President may authorize the search. The university may request the involvement of law enforcement officials in cases of suspected possession of weapons. Persons may be asked to leave campus or remain in the presence of Security Services or Tacoma Police until a search is conducted or until the situation is resolved safely and appropriately. Security staff may take weapons discovered in a search into temporary custody, for safe-keeping.

The above policy applies to anyone on the Puget Sound campus, including university personnel, students, and visitors. It also applies to university personnel and students attending or participating in a university-sponsored activity off campus.

Origination Date: 11/2002
Revised: 8/2009