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Weapons Policy

Purpose
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 Virginia Administrative Code: 95-10-10 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.

Authority
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.  The Virginia Administrative Code: 95-10-10 adopted by the State Board for Community Colleges sets out prohibitions for weapons possession on all college campuses within the VCCS.  College boards may approve policies consistent with guidelines set by the State Board for Community Colleges.

Policy
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 except as outlined in 8VAC95-10-30 Exceptions to Prohibition and those listed below.

Exceptions
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.

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 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 be visible in plain view while inside a vehicle.

Visitors and contractors may secure 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 handguns in a parked vehicle, the handgun must be secured in a compartment or container inside the vehicle.

The College Security Chief may authorize in writing for a person to possess, store, or use a weapon per VCCS guidelines.

Procedures
If a campus security officer observes or receives a report of a violation of this policy, campus security will direct the individual to leave the campus building or event immediately.  The individual may secure the weapon inside his or her vehicle and return.  In the event the individual fails to comply, campus security will take appropriate action, to include contacting local police.  In cases involving an immediate threat of violence, members of the campus community are encouraged to call 911 immediately.  Campus security will take appropriate action, to include contacting local police.

Persons observed on the open grounds of the campus (streets, sidewalks, and other open areas on College property) may be asked by campus 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, campus 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.

Violation of Policy
Students violating this policy will be subject to disciplinary action as outlined in their respective College Student Handbook, and other College policies as appropriate.

Employees violating this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination and criminal prosecution using existing policies and procedures including Section 3 of the VCCS Policy Manual or DHRM Policy 1.60, Standards of Conduct.

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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