Weapons :: Northern Virginia Community College

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Policy Number: 108

Categorized: General Policies

Responsible Office: College Police

Subject: Rules and procedures for the possession of weapons on campus grounds, in campus buildings, at campus events and college property

Related Policies: Campus and Workplace Violence Prevention


Additional Information: Regulation of Weapons (Appendix A) adopted by the State Board for Community Colleges

Effective Date: 05/20/2013

Last Reviewed Date: 09/20/2017

1.0 Scope

This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, contractors, and visitors entering campus buildings, on campus grounds, on college property or attending college-sponsored events.

2.0 Policy Statement

It is the policy of the College to promote a safe learning and working environment for all college locations by minimizing the risk of violence by use of a weapon. Possession or carrying of any weapon by any person, except a police officer, is prohibited on college property in academic buildings, administrative office buildings, student centers, child care centers, dining facilities and places of like kind where people congregate, or while attending any college-sponsored sporting, entertainment or educational events. Entry upon the aforementioned college property in violation of this prohibition is expressly forbidden.

Faculty, staff, and students may not possess or carry any weapon anywhere on college property, with the following exceptions.


  1. Current sworn and certified local, state, and federal law enforcement officers with proper identification, may possess or carry a weapon on college property, inside all campus buildings, and at all campus events.
  2. Faculty, staff, and students may secure unloaded handguns, rifles, and shotguns in a compartment or container of parked vehicles. Faculty, staff, and students who wish to secure a handgun in their vehicle must possess a valid concealed handgun permit. The compartment or container may be a trunk or other storage area. At no time shall a weapon to include handguns, rifles and shotguns be visible in plain view while inside a vehicle. Furthermore, at no time shall faculty, staff and students possess the weapon (except while in their vehicle) while on college property.
  3. Visitors and contractors may secure weapons to include handguns, rifles, and shotguns in parked vehicles. Visitors and contractors are encouraged to secure weapons in the trunk of vehicles or otherwise out of sight of passersby. If visitors and contractors store weapons to include handguns, rifles and shotguns in a parked vehicle, the weapon must be secured in a compartment or container inside the vehicle. Furthermore, at no time shall contractors possess the weapon (except while in their vehicle) while on college property.
  4. The Chief of the college police department or designee may authorize in writing a person to possess, store, or use a weapon: (i) when used for educational or artistic instruction, display, parade, or ceremony sponsored or approved by the college (unloaded or disabled only and with other specified safeguards, if appropriate); or (ii) for any college-approved training, course, or class. Because of the seriousness of the request to bring a weapon the following will be required for authorization. Thirty days prior to the date requested, a written request must be received by the Chief of Police. The written request must have been already approved by the requestor’s Dean/Provost or as appropriate Director/Vice President or will result in an automatic denial. Each request will be considered in totality of other on-going events and circumstances for the specific request. As such, each request must contain the date and times, reason, location, audience, handler of weapon and type of weapon. Any deviation, to include any change in date, time, reason, location, audience, handler of weapon or type of weapon will require a new submission and approval through the aforementioned procedure. Visitors are required to follow the same protocol except submission may be made directly to the Chief of Police.

3.0 Definitions

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, Chapter 17 (§ 23-232 et seq.) of Title 23, Chapter 2 (§ 29.1-200 et seq.) of Title 29.1, or Chapter 1 (§ 52-1 et seq.) of Title 52 of the Code of Virginia or sworn federal law-enforcement officers; similarly appointed law-enforcement officials from other states; and retired law enforcement officials who are credentialed under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act.

College property: any property owned, leased, or controlled by a member college of the Virginia Community College System and the administrative office of the Virginia Community College System.

Weapon: means (i) any pistol, revolver, or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind by action of an explosion of any combustible material; (ii) any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, slingshot, spring stick, metal knucks, or blackjack; (iii) 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; (iv) 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; or (v) any weapon of like kind, to include but not limited to, tasers.

Students and employees may possess and use appropriate tools, such as saws, knives or other such implements, necessary for the performance of their job duties. Contractors and others on campus whose duties require possession and use of construction equipment, including but not limited to pneumatic nail guns, may possess and use such equipment only in performance of their job duties through a valid contractual or legal relationship with the College.

"Weapon" does not mean knives or razors used for domestic purposes, pen or folding knives with blades less than three inches in length, or knives of like kind carried for use in accordance with the purpose intended by the original seller.

4.0 Procedures

If College police observe or receive a report of a violation of this policy, the police will direct the individual to leave the regulated location such as campus building or event immediately. (This includes requiring faculty, staff and students possessing a firearm in open areas to comply.) The individual, including faculty, staff, and students, may secure the weapon inside is or her vehicle and return. In the event the individual fails to comply, campus police will take appropriate action, to include potential arrest or as detailed in Section 4.4 of this policy.

In cases involving an immediate threat of violence, members of the campus community are encouraged to call 911 or College Police at (703) 764-5000 immediately. The College police may make an arrest or take other action as appropriate.

Persons observed on the open grounds of campus (streets, sidewalks, and other open areas on college property) may be asked by the College police to identify his or her relationship with the college to confirm whether a violation of this policy has occurred, (i.e., determine whether the individual is a student, employee, contractor or visitor). If the individual is a visitor who intends to enter a campus building or event where weapons are prohibited, College police shall advise that, pursuant to regulation (Appendix A), it is unlawful to enter such places while possessing or carrying a weapon. The individual shall be advised to secure the weapon inside his or her vehicle prior to entering the building or event. Faculty, staff and students shall be advised of same prohibitions and shall be advised to secure the weapon inside his or her vehicle prior to entering the building or event or anytime while on College property.

Violation of Policy

  • Students who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action under the student conduct code up to and including, dismissal.
  • Employees who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination, using existing policies and procedures including Section 3 of the VCCS Policy Manual or DHRM Policy 1.60, Standards of Conduct.
  • Pursuant to the Regulation of Weapons (Appendix A), visitors and contractors in violation of the prohibitions on the possession of weapons are subject to arrest and may be barred from the College.

5.0 Authority

Regulation of Weapons (Appendix A) adopted by the State Board for Community Colleges

VCCS Policy 3.14.6, Workplace Violence Prevention and Threat Assessment Policy Guidelines