Policy Statement

Tufts University is committed to maintaining a safe and secure environment where students, faculty, staff, visitors, and contractors can live, work, and learn.  In support of this commitment, Tufts University expressly prohibits the possession, manufacture, transfer, sale, or use of weapons by anyone on university property or at any university-sponsored event, except as explicitly authorized by this policy.


This policy applies to all university students, faculty, staff, visitors, and contractors on all campuses and on all property owned, leased, and/or controlled by Tufts University, including but not limited to buildings, grounds, parking lots/garages, roadways, and vehicles, and at any university-sponsored event.

  • Tufts University strives to comply with all relevant and applicable federal, state, and local laws and ordinances.  In relation to firearms on Tufts campuses, Massachusetts General Law prohibits carrying a firearm on the grounds of any elementary or secondary school, college, or university without the written authorization of the board or officer in charge of such elementary or secondary school, college, or university, under Chapter 269, Section 10 paragraph (j).

    Tufts University further regulates firearms and other weapons. Except as expressly authorized within this policy, no individual may manufacture, transfer, sell, possess, carry, store, use, or have in his or her custody and/or under his or her control, a firearm or other weapon defined within this policy anywhere on any Tufts University campus, grounds, in any university facility, or at any university-sponsored event.  This prohibition exists whether or not a federal or state license to possess the weapon has been issued to the possessor. Prohibited weapons include, but are not limited to: firearms of any nature, including shotguns, rifles, pistols and revolvers; paint ball guns; BB/pellet guns; flare guns; firearm replicas; ammunition; components of ammunition including bullets, cartridges, shell casings, primers, igniters, and gun powder; martial arts-type weapons such as nunchaku, zoobow, also known as klackers or kung fu sticks; or any similar weapon consisting of two sticks of wood, plastic or metal connected at one end by a length of rope, chain, wire or leather; a shuriken or any similar pointed star-like object intended to injure a person when thrown; or any armband, made with leather which has metallic spikes or points or any similar device made from any other substance; or a cestus or similar material weighted with metal or other substance and worn on the hand; or a manrikigusari or similar length of chain having weighted ends; explosives, including fireworks; spears; bows; crossbows; arrows; slingshots; blowguns; blackjacks; metallic knuckles or knuckles of any substance which could be put to the same use with the same or similar effect as metallic knuckles; stiletto; dagger or a device or case which enables a knife with a locking blade to be drawn at a locked position; any ballistic knife; or any knife with a detachable blade capable of being propelled by any mechanism; dirk knife; any knife having a double-edged blade; or a switch knife; or any knife having an automatic spring release device by which the blade is released from the handle; a folding knife having a blade of over three inches in length; double-edged knives; hunting (fixed-blade)-style knives of any length; throwing knives; swords; axes; mace; pepper gas/spray; and other dangerous chemicals; or any other destructive device or instrument that may be used to do bodily harm or to damage property.

    Nothing in this policy shall be construed to create regulation that is less restrictive than any applicable code, statute, law, regulation, or ordinance. When a conflict arises, the determination of an object or article as a weapon is subject to the sole discretion of the Director of Public and Environmental Safety or his/her designee.

    University departments, units, or schools may promulgate standards governing weapons that are more restrictive than those contained within this policy, but not less restrictive.

  • Exceptions to this policy are:

    Authorized law enforcement officers or military personnel, in performance of their official duties, and to the extent that they are legally permitted to possess weapons in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

    Weapons on display as objects of artistic, decorative, historical, or cultural value, provided that such weapons are secured in such a way as to prevent access to the weapon or removal of the weapon by unauthorized persons, and in the case of mechanical, electronic, or chemical weapons, rendered inert and inoperable. The Director of Public and Environmental Safety must approve such use in writing.

    University-sanctioned employee groups or events where a weapon is required as part of the curriculum or activity, including dramatic performances, sanctioned athletic competitions such as fencing, and official military ceremonies. Such weapons must be inert replicas, working weapons rendered inert, or military ceremonial swords carried in conformance with an applicable branch of service regulations.  Such use must be approved by the Director of Public and Environmental Safety at least two weeks before the event is to take place, and authorization must be in writing from the Director or designee.

  • Any member of the university community who observes an individual possessing, manufacturing, transferring, selling, or using a weapon and who reasonably believes that the individual is doing so without the consent of the university as outlined in this policy, should immediately report this activity to the Tufts University Police Department.

    Likewise, any member of the university community who observes unattended items that they reasonably believe to be weapons should immediately notify the Tufts University Police Department and provide the location and description of the item, remaining with the item until police arrive.

  • Exceptions to this policy will be rare and granted only under extraordinary or unusual circumstances.  Exception requests must be made in writing to the Director of Public and Environmental Safety or his/her designee. The Director or his/her designee will review the request in consultation with appropriate university officials and will respond with his/her decision.

    Exceptions cannot be lawfully granted for those weapons described as dangerous weapons unlawfully carried under Massachusetts General Law (MGL) Chapter 269, Section 10.

  • University Police will confiscate weapons and violators may be subject to criminal prosecution and/or referral for university disciplinary action, up to and including suspension, termination, or expulsion.

  • Questions about the applicability of this policy should be directed to the Director of Public and Environmental Safety or his/her designee; or the department/division’s Human Resources business partner.  This action must take place before the item in question is brought onto university property or to a university-sponsored event.

    Tufts University reserves the right to modify this policy in whole or in part, at any time, at its sole discretion.

Approval Date

September 11, 2014