M. Policy Prohibiting Firearms, Weapons, and Explosives

1. Scope

This policy applies to all members of the Georgetown University community, including but not limited to faculty, staff, students, contractors, vendors, volunteers, alumni, visitors and guests.

2. Defintions

a. Firearm – a firearm is defined as any device which is designated to fire a bullet, pellet, shot, flare, spear or other projectile. This includes, but is not limited to, handguns, rifles, pistols, shotguns, revolvers, and cannons made of any material, including those made with 3D printers and similar technology, whether loaded or unloaded, as well as the ammunition for these devices.

b. Weapons – a weapon is any device that is designed to or traditionally used as an instrument to inflict or threaten bodily harm or to damage or destroy University property or the property of others. Weapons include, but are not limited to, knives that have blades that are longer than 3 inches, firearms, bows and arrows, and common objects and materials modified for use as a weapon or any other object legally controlled as a weapon.

c. Explosives – any chemical compound or mechanical mixture that contains oxidizing and combustible units, or other ingredients, in such proportion, quantities, or packing that an ignition by fire, friction, concussion, percussion or detonator, or any part of the compound or mixture, may cause a sudden generation of highly heated gases that results in gaseous pressure capable of producing destructive forces on contiguous objects or of destroying life or limb. This definition includes, but is not limited to, fireworks, toy cannons or toy guns in which explosive material are used or other devices containing any combustible or explosive substance used to propel another object.

d. Imitations, Replicas and Antiques – any items that could be reasonably mistaken for a Firearm, Weapon, or Explosive, such as imitations, replicas, or antiques, regardless of whether they were designed to fire a bullet, shot, or other projectile. The definition includes devices which are designed to fire a projectile and powered by a propellant, including CO2 (as in paint ball weapons).

3. Policy

Georgetown University is committed to maintaining a safe learning and working environment for all members of the Georgetown Community.  Except as expressly authorized within this policy the use, possession, or storage of any Firearm, Explosive, Weapon, Imitation, Replica or Antique, is expressly prohibited (i) on all Georgetown University campuses, grounds, facilities, University leased or controlled property, (ii) at University sponsored events, or (iii) in any vehicle owned, leased or controlled by the University.  This prohibition exists even if a federal or state license to a carry or possess the weapon has been issued to the possessor.[1]

4. Exceptions

Exceptions to this policy are:

a. Authorized law enforcement officers, military personnel, and individuals who are in the business of transporting mail or money (such as armed guards), and U.S. agency personnel.  This authorization is limited to United States federal, state, and local employees vested by their agency to carry a weapon and individuals invited onto campus in their official capacity, to the extent that they are legally permitted to possess weapons in the jurisdiction in which the University premises are located.

b. Weapons, Firearms, Imitations, Replicas or Antiques on display as objects of artistic, decorative, historical, or cultural value, provided that they are secured so as to prevent access or removal of them by unauthorized persons, have been rendered inert and inoperable, and prior approval for such display is obtained from the Chief of Police/Assistant Vice President of Public Safety.

c. University-recognized groups, activities or events where a Weapon, Firearm, Imitation, Replica, or Antique is required as part of the curriculum or activity, including dramatic performances, student clubs, and official military ceremonies. The Weapons, Firearms, Imitations, Replicas or Antiques used must be inert replicas, working weapons rendered inert, or military ceremonial swords carried in conformance with applicable branch of service regulations. They must be stored in a secure location, which has been inspected and approved by the Georgetown University Police Department (GUPD). Prior to any such use in the curriculum or activity, approval by the Chief of Police/Assistant Vice President of Public Safety must be obtained at least one week before the scheduled activity.

d. Easily identifiable toys, such as brightly colored or clear water guns. Toy replicas designed to resemble real weapons or firearms are prohibited.

e. Chemical compounds used for scientific, teaching, or research purposes by faculty or under the supervision of faculty.

f. Pepper Spray / Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) Spray stored, possessed, or used for self-defense.

g. Knives that are intended and used solely for cooking or in the course of an individual’s job.

5. Reporting Requirements

Any member of the Georgetown University community who observes an unattended Weapon, Explosive, Firearm, Imitation, Replica, or Antique, or who observes an individual in possession of one, which is not connected to that individual’s status as someone who is authorized to possess it, is expected to report this sighting to the Georgetown University Police Department immediately.

6. Violations of this Policy

Any member of the Georgetown University community, including but not limited to faculty, staff, students, contractors, vendors, alumni, visitors and guests, who violates the terms of this Policy will be subject to the applicable University disciplinary process for that violation.University sanctions may include, but are not limited to, suspension, barring from campus and university activities, dismissal or termination. In addition, any Weapon, Explosive, Firearm, Imitation, Replica, or Antique carried onto University property in violation of this policy may be confiscated.In addition, because conduct which violates this policy may also be a crime, the University may refer any violation of this policy to law enforcement officials who may arrest and prosecute the violator.

7. Effective Date

This Policy goes into effect on February 14, 2019.

8. Governance

The Georgetown University Police Department (GUPD) is responsible for overseeing this Policy.  Any questions regarding its interpretation or implementation should be directed to GUPD.


[1] See D.C. Code § 7–2509.07(a)(2) (“No person holding a license shall carry a pistol in the following locations or under the following circumstances . . . (2) The building and grounds, including any adjacent parking lot, of an childcare facility, preschool, public or private elementary or secondary school; or a public or private college or university.”) (excerpt). (Return to text)