Policy on Weapons on Campus

Policy Number: 604

Safety and Security

The permanent link for this policy is: https://policies.northeastern.edu/policy604/

I. Purpose and Scope


Northeastern University is committed to providing a safe and secure environment in which to study, research, live, work and visit. In support of this commitment, the university prohibits the possession and use of firearms and/or other dangerous weapons on university-owned and -leased property and at university-sponsored events and activities, except as otherwise specified in this policy. The purpose of this policy is to describe the types of weapons prohibited by the university, outline circumstances in which exceptions are or may be authorized and identify reporting obligations and resources available to the university community.

This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, and visitors, and to all activities undertaken on any property owned, leased or otherwise controlled by the university, whether administered by the university or not; or while participating in university-sponsored activities off university-owned or controlled property unless otherwise specified in this policy.

II. Definitions

For purposes of this policy,

A. Firearm


Means any item statutorily classified as such and/or any pistol, revolver, rifle, smoothbore arm from which a shot, bullet, or pellet can be discharged by whatever means, including BB guns, air guns, paintball guns, or other projectile devices.

B. Dangerous Weapon



1. Any item that, by its nature, is capable of causing serious injury or death, including but not limited to firearms, long bows, crossbows, knives, stiletto dagger, 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, tear gas, or other dangerous weapons or articles; and any item that is statutorily classified as such in the jurisdiction (such as oleoresin capsicum spray, pepper spray, or mace in the United Kingdom); and

2. Any item, even if not inherently dangerous, when used in a dangerous fashion such that it reasonably appears to be capable of causing serious injury or death (e.g., a tool used in an assault).

III. Policy


A. General Policy Statement


1. Unless otherwise stated in this policy, the university prohibits the use, possession or sale of firearms, whether loaded or unloaded:

a.  On property owned or controlled by the university, including but not limited to in
offices, laboratories and residence hall rooms;

b.  At university-sponsored events or on university-sponsored activities;

c.  By anyone other than the individuals identified in and in the circumstances described in this policy, even if the person has a legal license or permit to carry the firearm.

2. The university prohibits the use, sale or possession of all other dangerous weapons, including replicas, except as permitted by this policy.

3. The university will comply with all relevant and applicable federal, state, and local laws and ordinances pertaining to the possession and use of weapons.

B. Exceptions


1. Law Enforcement/Security/Military Personnel


Authorized law enforcement officers, security officers contracted by Northeastern University, armored vehicle security personnel, or military personnel, in performance of their official duties, and to the extent that they are legally permitted to possess weapons in the jurisdiction in which they are located, are authorized to possess firearms or other dangerous weapons on university property. For the purposes of this policy, this includes members of the university’s Department of Military Science who are actively participating in Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program and participants in an authorized police academy hosted by the Northeastern University Police Department.

2. University-Sanctioned Groups/Events


University-sanctioned groups or events where a weapon is required as part of the curriculum or activity, including dramatic performances, athletic competitions such as fencing, or ceremonies involving an honor or color guard, must request authorization from the Northeastern University Police Department (NUPD) Chief of Police or designee to possess and/or use the appropriate weapon, which request must be approved in writing prior to the event. Unless otherwise specifically approved by the NUPD Chief of Police as part of the exception approval, such weapons must be inert replicas or working weapons which have been rendered inert. Weapons rendered as inert will be required to be transported in bags or boxes while on university property. Ceremonial swords will be carried in conformance with the applicable branch of service’s regulations. The NUPD Chief of Police or designee may impose additional requirements or conditions on any possession or use of weapons approved through this process.


C. Obligation to Report

Any member of the university community who observes an individual possessing or using a weapon contrary to this policy should immediately report the activity to the appropriate contact as listed in Section V of this policy.


D. Requests for Exceptions


Requests for exceptions to this policy must be made in writing to the NUPD Chief of Police or designee. The NUPD Chief of Police or designee will review the request in consultation with appropriate university officials and will respond with a decision. Possession of a weapon, as defined in this policy, is not permitted while a request for an exception is


E. Sanctions


Weapons in violation of this policy may be confiscated by the NUPD, security officers employed by NUPD or municipal law enforcement and violators may be subject to removal from campus, termination from employment, referral for student disciplinary action, including suspension or separation, and/or criminal prosecution.

IV. Additional Information


Violations of this policy may also constitute violations of state law. For example, Massachusetts law prohibits anyone from carrying a firearm in any building or any grounds of a college or university campus. Under North Carolina law, it is a felony to possess or carry any gun, rifle, pistol or other firearm of any kind on educational property. Violations of weapons laws are reported under federal and state law.

 Contact Information

Contact For:

Office Name

Phone Number

Email Address

To report violations of this policy and/or weapons law violations in Massachusetts

University Police Department

(617) 373-2121



(617) 373-3333



To report violations of this policy and/or weapons law violations in California

Department of

Public Safety

(510) 430-5555


To report violations of this policy and/or weapons law violations in London

CEO of the London Campus (Non- Emergency)






University Police Department




Metropolitan Police Department (Met)












(617) 373-2121








To report violations of this policy and/or weapons law violations in Maine

Dean and Chief Administrative Officer of Northeastern

University, Portland (Non-Emergency)

Portland Police (Emergency)

(207) 376-9960



To report violations of this policy and/or weapons law violations in North Carolina



Regional Dean and CEO of the Charlotte Campus (Non- Emergency)



Charlotte- Mecklenburg Police Department


(980) 224-8468




To report violations of this policy and/or weapons law violations in Toronto

Regional Dean and CEO of the Toronto Campus (Non- Emergency)

(888) 660-6938



To report violations of this policy and/or weapons law violations in Vancouver

Regional Dean

and CEO of the Vancouver Campus (Non-Emergency)

Vancouver Police Department (Emergency)

(778) 783-0609

(604) 717-2850


Questions regarding administrative enforcement of this policy and related policies in the Student Code of Conduct

Office of Student Conduct and Conflict


(617) 373-4390


Questions regarding administrative enforcement of this policy for faculty and staff

Human Resources


(617) 373-2230



Responsible Office/Department(s)

University Police

Related Procedures





Firearms; Guns; Weapons; Knives

Version History

Last Revision Date: September 8, 2023

Issued: January 1, 1975