Policy No: 2101 Responsible Office: Police Department Last Review Date: 12/02/2022 Next Required Review: 12/02/2027
The purpose of this Policy is to maintain a safe educational environment for students, employees, and visitors, free of dangerous weapons and firearms, except as otherwise authorized by law or this Policy.
This Policy applies to all members of the campus community, including students, employees, visitors, and contractors, and on all properties owned or operated by the University or a University affiliate.
Crime of Violence: The commission of or attempt to commit murder, manslaughter (except manslaughter arising out of the operation of a vehicle), rape, mayhem, assault with intent to rob, assault with intent to ravish, assault with intent to murder, robbery, burglary, or kidnapping. "Crime of violence" shall also mean any Class A or Class B felony that has as an element of serious physical injury or the distribution or manufacture of a controlled substance, or is of a sexual nature involving a child under the age of twelve (12).
Dangerous Weapons: Any object or substance designed to inflict a wound, cause injury, or incapacitate, including, but not limited to, all firearms, pellet guns, BB guns, paintball guns, air guns, stun guns, tasers, bows, swords, switchblades or gravity knives, non-kitchen knives with a length of more than three (3) inches, slingshots, clubs, blackjacks, brass knuckles, box cutters, butterfly knives, throwing stars, or ice picks.
Firearms: Shotgun, rifle, pistol, handgun, revolver, or other shoulder gun, including ammunition. This also includes starter guns, the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any firearm muffler or silencer, or any machine gun.
Pistol: Any firearm with a barrel less than twelve (12) inches in length.
4. Policy Guidelines
All dangerous weapons, including, but not limited to, firearms, are prohibited on University-owned or managed property, which includes student housing and University parking lots, except as expressly authorized by this Policy. Notwithstanding the foregoing, USA Police Department officers (and officers of other law enforcement agencies) are authorized to be armed in the lawful execution of their official duties.
4.1 Possession, Transportation, or Storage of a Firearm in Privately-Owned Vehicles
An individual not otherwise prohibited from owning a firearm by federal or Alabama law may transport or store a firearm in his/her lawful possession and ammunition for the firearm within his/her privately-owned motor vehicle only under the following circumstances:
- The motor vehicle is operated or parked in a location where it is otherwise permitted to be;
- The firearm is kept from ordinary observation; and
- If the motor vehicle is unattended by the individual, the firearm is kept locked within a compartment, container, or in the interior of the motor vehicle, or in a compartment or container securely affixed to the motor vehicle.
If the firearm is legal for use for hunting in Alabama (other than a pistol), the following conditions must also be satisfied:
- The individual possesses a valid Alabama hunting license;
- It is the season in which hunting is permitted by the above-referenced license;
- The firearm is unloaded at all times while on University property;
- The individual has never been convicted of any crime of violence, as defined above, nor of any crime set forth in Chapter 6 of Title 13A of the Alabama Code, titled “Offenses Involving Danger to the Person;”
- The individual is not subject to a Domestic Violence Protection Order, as that term is defined in Alabama Code § 13A-6-141; and
- The individual has no documented prior incidents on University property involving the threat of physical injury or which resulted in physical injury to another.
The USA Police Department has primary enforcement authority under this Policy. Any violations of this Policy may result in confiscation of the offending item and, if the offense is also a violation of Alabama law, arrest of the offending party.
Students who violate this Policy are subject to the Housing Student Conduct Process, if they live on campus, and/or the Student Code of Conduct. Penalties for violations of this Policy by students may include, but are not limited to, confiscation of the offending item, removal from USA Housing, removal from the University community, and/or criminal charges.
Employees who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination, and criminal charges may also be brought against the employee.
Contractors, vendors, and guests, invited or otherwise, are expected to comply with this Policy. Violations may result in removal from campus and/or criminal charges.