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W&M BOV approves proposed weapons regulation

The William & Mary Board of Visitors approved a proposed regulation on Sept. 23, 2011, that would restrict visitors from bringing weapons in College buildings and to organized campus events. It also approved a policy covering employees, which restricts them from carrying weapons on university property.

The proposed regulation will be posted Oct. 24, 2011 in the Virginia Register and return to the Board in December for final action. It follows a ruling last year by the Virginia Supreme Court and a supporting opinion by the Attorney General that public colleges and universities within the Commonwealth can adopt regulations to restrict weapons on campus. The Virginia Supreme Court ruling upheld a George Mason University regulation, which the William & Mary proposed regulation closely tracks. 

Current College policy prohibits weapons possession by students and state policy covers certain staff, but neither covers visitors or all staff. The proposed regulation and policy were recommended by the Emergency Management Team in consultation with William & Mary Police and reviewed by the Attorney General's Office. 

The policy and regulation will bring William & Mary in line with other Virginia universities, which already restrict weapons possession on their campuses.

The regulation reads, in part, “Possession or carrying of any weapon by any person, except a police officer or an individual authorized pursuant to university policy, is prohibited on university property in academic buildings, administrative buildings, student residence and student life buildings, or dining or athletic facilities, or while attending an official university event, such as an athletic, academic, social, recreational or educational event, or on vessels that are university property. Entry upon such university property in violation of this prohibition is expressly forbidden.”

Weapons are defined by the regularly updated list in the Code of Virginia.

The policy and proposed regulation are posted on the university’s website.

The Board’s next regular meeting is Dec. 7-9, 2011.