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Weapons Policy


The purpose of this policy is to promote a safe learning and working environment for all college locations by minimizing the risk of violence by use of a weapon. This policy provides rules and procedures for the possession of weapons on campus grounds, in campus buildings, and at campus events. It is consistent with the Regulation of Weapons (Appendix A) adopted by the State Board for Community colleges, Policy 3.14.6, Workplace Violence Prevention and Threat Assessment Policy Guidelines of the Virginia Community College System, and the laws and regulations of the Commonwealth of Virginia.


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


The State Board for Community Colleges is authorized by Virginia Code §§ 23-215 and 23-217(g) to promulgate regulations for carrying out its responsibilities. State Board for Community Colleges Regulation 8VAC95-10-10 et seq. (Appendix A) sets out prohibitions for weapons possession on all college campuses within VCCS. College boards may approve policies consistent with guidelines set by the State Board for Community Colleges.


  1.  “Police officer” means 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.
  2.  “College property” means 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.
  3.  “Weapon” means (i) any pistol, revolver, or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind by action or 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 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.


  1. 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 event. Entry upon the aforementioned college property in violation of this prohibition is expressly forbidden.
  2. Faculty, staff, and students may not possess or carry any weapon anywhere on college property except as outlined in Section F of this policy.


  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 handguns, rifles, and shotguns in a compartment or container of parked vehicles. Faculty, staff, and students who wish to secure a weapon in their vehicle must possess a valid concealed weapons permit. The compartment or container may be a trunk, glove compartment or other secured storage area in the vehicle. At no time shall a weapon to include handguns, rifles and shotguns be loaded or 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 passerby. 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 Patrick & Henry Community College Chief of Police 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 enclosed in a suitable storage case and with other specific 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. Ten (10) days prior to the date requested, a written notice must be received by the Chief of Police.

The written request must have been already approved by the requestor’s Dean/Program Head or as appropriate Department Head/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, and audience, handler of weapon, or type of weapon will require a new submission and approval through the aforementioned procedure. The requestor shall notify the campus police office at 276.732.2406 when they arrive on campus with the weapon that has been approved for the educational purpose. An officer will meet the requestor and confirm the weapon is meeting the safeguards before escorting the requestor to the appropriate class/course location.


  1. If college police and/or security observe or receive a report of a violation of this policy, the college police and/or security will direct the individual to leave the 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 his or her vehicle and return. In the event the individual fails to comply, college police will take appropriate action, to include potential arrest or internal disciplinary referral.
  2. In cases involving an immediate threat of violence, members of the campus community are encouraged to immediately call the college police at 276.656.7422 from any phone. College police may make an arrest or take other action as appropriate.
  3. Persons observed on the open ground of campus (streets, sidewalks, and other open areas on college property) may be asked by the college police and/or security 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, or visitor). If the individual is a visitor who intends to enter a campus building or event where weapons are prohibited, college police and/or security shall advise that, pursuant to regulation 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

  1. Students who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action under the student conduct code up to an including dismissal.
  2. 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.
  3. Pursuant to the State Board for Community Colleges Regulation of Weapons, visitors and contractors in violation of the prohibitions on the possession of weapons are subject to arrest and may be barred from the campus.

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