Policy on Weapons on Campus
Policy Category: Executive
Effective Date: 05/31/2023
Responsible Officer: Chief of Police
Responsible Office: Wentworth Police
Department Location: Link
This policy is intended to provide guidance regarding the prohibition of weapons in and around premises owned or controlled by Wentworth Institute of Technology (university) and at university-sponsored events in other locations.
This policy applies to all university students, faculty, staff, visitors, contractors, and any other person on university property, in a university facility, or at a university-sponsored activity or event. This policy applies regardless of any federal or state license issued to the person possessing the weapon, with exceptions only as noted below.
- Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269 Section 10(j): Carrying Weapons on School Grounds
- Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 140 Section 122C
- Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 140 Section 122D
- Boston City Ordinance 16-45: Prohibiting the Carrying of Knives or Similar Weapons
- Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 141 Section 121: Definition of Stun Gun
Wentworth Institute of Technology is committed to providing a safe and secure environment to study, research, live, work, and visit. Prohibitions on possessing and using firearms and other dangerous weapons are essential to that goal and are required by law.
The university prohibits the use, possession, storage or sale of firearms, whether loaded or unloaded on campus, including residence halls, by anyone other than Wentworth Police Department or other law enforcement personnel, even if the person has a legal license or permit to carry the firearm.
In addition to the weapons identified in this policy, the university also strictly prohibits the use or possession of all other dangerous weapons, including, but not limited to: open flames (unless otherwise approved by Environmental Health and Safety), ammunition, explosives, paintball guns, replica guns (except as noted below), electronic control or other stun weapons (except as noted below), and any object (including an otherwise innocuous object) that the university determines
could be used (or is being used) to harass or injure another individual or that the university reasonably determines has the effect of intimidating another individual.
Improper use of laser beams instruments is also prohibited.
Firearm: Any pistol, revolver, smoothbore arm from which a shot, bullet, or pellet can be discharged by whatever means, including BB guns, air guns, paintball guns, and other projectile devices.
Dangerous Weapon: Items which are, by their nature, capable of causing serious injury or death, including but not limited to firearms, knives, stilettos, daggers, switch knives, double edge knives, ballistic knives, knives with a detachable blade capable of being propelled, metallic knuckles, black jacks, blow guns, sling shots, nunchaku, zoobow, kung fu sticks, throwing stars, leather armbands or other clothing that has metallic spikes, points, or studs, explosives, explosive agents of any kind, chemical sprays, mace, oleoresin capsicum (pepper spray), tear gas, or other dangerous weapons or articles. Any item, including innocent items, when used in a dangerous fashion such as assault and battery, may be considered a dangerous weapon.
Prop Weapon: Realistic replicas of firearms or other dangerous weapons
Self-Defense Spray: Chemical mace, pepper spray or any device or instrument which contains, propels or emits a liquid, gas, powder or other substance designed to incapacitate.
Electronic Control Weapons/Stun Gun: ''Stun gun'', a portable device or weapon, regardless of whether it passes an electrical shock by means of a dart or projectile via a wire lead, from which an electrical current, impulse, wave or beam that is designed to incapacitate temporarily, injure or kill may be directed.
The possession of any weapon on university property in violation of this policy by a university student, faculty member, or staff member will result in disciplinary action up to and including suspension or dismissal from the university or termination of employment. The university may issue a no-trespass order to enforce the terms of the no-trespass order against any person who violates this policy.
In addition to the consequences noted above, in most instances, the university will also pursue institutional and legal action against anyone who:
- Possesses a firearm on campus in violation of this policy;
- Possesses any weapon while not lawfully present on campus;
- Possess a weapon without proper licensure and/or weapons which are not stored as legally required;
- Uses any weapon in the commission of any other violation of law or university policy.
- Only members of the Wentworth Police Department and other law enforcement are authorized to possess firearms and electronic control weapons on campus.
- Any person, class, club, or other organization that plans to use prop, replica, training, or toy weapons of any description on the university campus as part of their activities must register all the details of the activity with the Chief of Police or designee as outlined below.
- Self-defense spray as outlined below.
- In accordance with Massachusetts General Law, any exceptions to this policy authorizing the presence of a weapon otherwise prohibited under the law (including any firearm) must be approved in writing by the President of the university. Any request for such an exception should be directed to the President in the care of the Chief of Police.
- Nothing in the policy precludes law enforcement, including the Wentworth Police Department, from taking appropriate law-enforcement action, including criminal complaints and/or arrests.
Registration & Exemption Requests
- Anyone wishing to carry a self-defense spray on campus must register it, in person, with the Wentworth Police Department, and request authorization from the Chief of Police, or designee prior to carrying on their person or storing it on campus.
- Only containers of 2.5 oz of pepper-spray will be considered for an exemption.
- Anyone wishing to use a prop weapon must provide the details of the activity with the Wentworth Police Department, and request authorization from the Chief of Police, or designee, prior to carrying on their person or storing it on campus. This must be done in person
Additional Infomation & Related Documents
Violations of this policy may also constitute a violation of state law. Massachusetts law prohibits anyone from carrying a firearm in any building or any grounds of a college or university campus. Violations of weapons laws are reported under federal and state law.
Interpretation & Revision
Any questions of interpretation regarding this policy shall be referred to the Chief of Police. They will be the final authority regarding the interpretation of this policy.
This policy shall be reviewed every three (3) years, however minor changes and updates can be made at any time.
Wentworth will typically apply the policy in place at the time it receives a report concerning the respected policy.
Additionally, in instances where two or more policies are implicated, a case-by-case determination will be made to determine what policy will be used.
Review and Revision History
This policy was drafted by representatives from the Dean of Students Office, Human Resources, and the Wentworth Police Department. It was reviewed by the Cabinet and approved by the President on May 31, 2023.
This policy replaces the language found in the Student Code of Conduct and the Employee Policies and Procedures Guide.