Firearms and other weapons are not permitted at Howard Community College’s (HCC) college-owned or college-controlled property, except as specified in this policy. This includes the storage of a firearm or weapon, such as in a vehicle parked on college property. Weapons include, but are not limited to, knives, arrows, axes, machetes, nunchucks, throwing stars, firearms, fireworks, explosives, electronic control devices (i.e., TASERS and stun guns), dangerous chemicals to include pepper spray and mace, or arms classified as weapons. An instrument designed to look like a weapon or an instrument used by an individual to cause reasonable apprehension or harm is expressly included within the definition of weapon.
Individuals may possess weapons on HCC’s campus under certain circumstances. HCC’s commissioned Special Police Officers (SPOs) are expressly authorized to carry a weapon on campus. Other instances when individuals may be permitted to carry a weapon are listed below.
Employees of law enforcement organizations who are required to carry a weapon must give advanced written notification to the director of public safety of their intent to carry a licensed weapon on campus. Written notification may be transmitted by email. This notification should typically take place at least two weeks in advance, or on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the director of public safety. On-duty federal, state, or local law enforcement officers entering campus property on official business are exempt from this provision. Absent exigent circumstances, however, any investigative contacts or action initiated by such officers should be coordinated through the public safety department.
A faculty member or other designated instructor may also carry a weapon for instructional purposes when authorized by HCC. The faculty member must notify the immediate supervisor, the area department chair, and the division dean of the intent to use a weapon for instructional purposes prior to the class. The faculty member or designated instructor must give advanced written notification to the director of public safety at least two weeks in advance or on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the director of public safety. Weapons may not be left unattended and must be locked in a secure location immediately prior to and after use in class.
Students who want to bring a weapon to class for instructional or presentation purposes must first obtain written permission from the faculty member or instructor. The appropriate area department chair and division dean must be informed and copied on the written permission. The student must then provide the director of public safety advanced written notification of the intent to carry a weapon on campus, which includes the written permission of the faculty member or instructor, copied to the area department chair and division dean. If permission to bring a weapon to class for instructional or presentation purposes is granted, the weapon may not be loaded and must be stored in a locked vehicle prior to class and stored in a locked vehicle or taken off-site immediately following class.
Any student, faculty member or designated instructor, staff member, or visitor who uses a weapon inappropriately in class or on the campus, even if the person is authorized to carry a weapon and has notified the director of public safety, is subject to disciplinary action and criminal sanctions.