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VIII. University Policy and Procedures Concerning Weapons on Campus

The possession or use of a weapon on university-owned or university-controlled property is incompatible with the academic mission and programs of the university. In addition, any threat to commit bodily harm, either by the use of a weapon or physical force, is also inappropriate in an academic community. All university constituents, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors, should respect the institutional mission and help to ensure that a safe and secure environment, which is conducive to learning, is present at all times. Therefore, each constituent should respect and obey the following rules and regulations pertaining to weapons on university property. This policy does not apply to an individual’s legal right to possess or own a weapon off campus. Any member of the university community who violates North Carolina General Statute 14-269.2 pertaining to weapons on campus is subject both to prosecution and punishment in accordance with state criminal law and criminal procedures and to disciplinary proceedings by the university.

G.S. 14-269.2 makes it unlawful and, in some circumstances, felonious conduct “for any person to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any gun, rifle, pistol, or other firearm of any kind, or any dynamite cartridge, bomb, grenade, mine, or powerful explosive on educational property.” The statute makes it a misdemeanor “for any person to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any BB gun, air rifle, air pistol, bowie knife, dirk, dagger, slingshot, leaded cane, switchblade knife, blackjack, metallic knuckles, martial arts weapons, razors and razor blades (except solely for personal shaving), and any sharp pointed or edged instrument except instructional supplies, unaltered nail files, and clips and tools used solely for the preparation of food, instruction, and maintenance on educational property.” The statute does not apply to:
  1. A weapon used solely for educational or school-sanctioned ceremonial purposes or used in a school-approved program conducted under the supervision of an adult whose supervision has been approved by the school authority
  2. Armed forces personnel, officers and soldiers of the militia and national guard, law enforcement personnel, and any private police employed by an educational institution, when acting in the discharge of the official duties
The director of the ECU Police Department is responsible for authorizing weapons on campus that meet either of these two criteria.

It is not “double jeopardy” for both the criminal law enforcement authorities and the university to proceed against and punish a person for the same specified conduct. The university will initiate its own disciplinary proceedings against a student, faculty member, administrator, or other employee when the alleged conduct is deemed to affect the interest of the university. A resident student should also understand that he or she may be removed from the residence hall for violating the housing contract regulation pertaining to the possession or use of a weapon in the residence halls (see Sec. IV A.3. East Carolina University Campus Living Contract).

Penalties will be imposed by the university in accordance with procedural safeguards applicable to disciplinary actions against students, faculty members, administrators, and other employees. These safeguards are found in the East Carolina University Faculty Manual, the Board of Governors’ policies applicable to employees exempt from the State Personnel Act, the policies and procedures of the East Carolina University Student Judicial System, and by the regulations of the State Personnel System.

The penalties to be imposed by the university may range from written warnings to expulsions from enrollment and discharges from employment. All mitigating and aggravating circumstances associated with an incident involving weapons, including threatening to use a weapon, will be taken into account when considering an appropriate penalty. However, the following penalties shall be established for the particular offenses described:
  • Persons who possess or use a gun, rifle, pistol, or other firearm of any kind or powerful explosive* will be suspended for a period of not less than one year (student), or discharged (faculty member, administrator, or other employee). For a second offense, the student will be expelled.
  • Persons who possess or use a BB gun, air rifle, air pistol, bowie knife, dirk, dagger, slingshot, leaded cane, switchblade knife, blackjack, metallic knuckles, razors and razor blades (except solely for personal shaving), and any sharp pointed or edged instrument except instructional supplies, unaltered nail files, and clips and tools used solely for the preparation of food, instruction, and maintenance, will be suspended from enrollment for a minimum period of at least one semester or its equivalent (student), or discharged (faculty member, administrator, or other employee). For a second offense, any student will be expelled.
In certain instances, established penalties may be reduced due to mitigating circumstances. The established penalty, however, may not be reduced if the violation involves use of a weapon in a manner where bodily harm or injury occurs or where the weapon was involved in another violation of university regulations. In cases where the penalty is reduced, the person should expect some penalty which may include probation, counseling, community service, or loss of certain privileges. A subsequent violation of this policy will result in a progressively more severe penalty, which includes suspension or expulsion of students and discharge of a faculty member, administrator, or other employee.

* This list is not intended to be inclusive of all items that would be considered weapons and, therefore, prohibited by the university.