Carnegie Mellon University

Deadly Weapons

POLICY TITLE: Policy on Deadly Weapons
DATE OF ISSUANCE: This Policy was approved by the President's Council on June 23, 2000.


Vice President for Operations. Questions on Policy content should be directed to University Police, 412-268-6232.


Deadly weapons are not permitted on property owned or controlled by the university.


Policy on Workplace Threats and Violence


This Policy is part of a broad initiative aimed at maintaining the university as a safe place for students, faculty, staff and visitors. The prohibition of deadly weapons on campus is a proactive step toward reducing the risk of injury or death due to the intentional, accidental, inexpert or improper use of firearms.


Deadly weapons are not permitted on any property owned or controlled by the university.

For the purposes of this policy, a deadly weapon is any device designed to produce death or serious bodily injury. Deadly weapons include, but are not limited to:

  • Firearms, whether loaded or unloaded
  • Pellet, flare, tranquilizer, stun, spear and dart guns
  • Knives with blades larger than that of a folding pocket knife.
  • Switchblades
  • Daggers
  • Striking instruments, including clubs, truncheons, blackjacks, metal knuckles and sap gloves
  • Martial arts weapons, including nunchakus, tonfas, staffs and throwing stars
  • Bow and arrow combinations
  • Explosive devices, including hand grenades, bombs, black powder, smokeless powder, percussion caps, friction primers and pyrotechnic fuses.

The definition of deadly weapons under this policy does not include devices such as commercially available aerosol dispensers of non-lethal chemical irritants, pocket knives or general tools not designed as weapons.

This prohibition against deadly weapons applies equally to those carried by persons with a government-issued permit or license. The only exceptions to this policy are those listed below.


This policy does not apply to:

  • Commissioned Carnegie Mellon police officers
  • Other duly-appointed law enforcement officers
  • Members of the United States armed forces when on duty
  • Any trained security personnel when approved in advance by the Chief of Police or his designee.

It is recognized that there may be activities related to the educational mission of the university (e.g., physical fitness activities or theatrical productions) that may appear to violate the letter but not the intent of this policy. In such cases, the department or organization coordinating the activity is responsible for obtaining written approval from the Chief of Police or his designee, in advance, to conduct the activity. Such approval may extend for up to one year at a time.


Persons who possess deadly weapons in violation of this policy will be required by University Police to remove the weapons and/or themselves from university property.

Any university student, faculty or staff member who violates this policy shall be subject to action in accordance with university disciplinary policies and procedures for students, faculty and staff. Further, possession of a deadly weapon in violation of federal, state or local laws will be referred to University Police or other appropriate law enforcement authorities and may result in legal sanctions.

Call University Police at ext. 8-2327 to report violations or suspected violations of this policy.