TAP No. 48: Weapons and Violence—Campus and Workplace


This policy applies to students, faculty, staff and visitors.


The purpose of this policy is to identify prohibited behaviors, reporting expectations and sanctions related to classroom and workplace violence, as well as, to expressly prohibit weapons on campus.

I. Overview

Duquesne University is committed to maintaining a safe learning and working environment for all members of the University community. The University will not tolerate acts of aggression, harassment, or violence on its campus, at off-campus locations administered by the University, or in its programs. This policy of "zero tolerance" includes but is not limited to verbal and/or physical aggression, attacks, threats, harassment, intimidation, bullying, domestic violence, the possession, display or threat of a weapon, or other disruptive behavior which causes or could cause a reasonable person to fear physical harm by an individual(s) or group(s) against any person(s) and/or property. Such behavior is prohibited by Duquesne University.

II. Weapons on Campus

All members of the campus community and all visitors are prohibited from possessing or carrying weapons of any kind while on University property, regardless of whether they are licensed to carry the weapon or not. Such prohibition extends to individuals having weapons in briefcases, purses, toolboxes, personal vehicles or other personal property or effects.

  1. Description of Weapons:

    For the purposes of this policy, "weapons" include:
    1. Firearms, such as handguns, shotguns, rifles, pellet guns, machine guns, stun guns, tasers, or electronic stun weapons;
    2. Explosives, such as bombs, grenades, blasting caps, or other containers containing explosive substances; and
    3. Other equipment, material, and devices that, in the manner they are used could ordinarily be used, or are readily capable of causing serious bodily injury. The items described in clause (3) include, but are not limited to, knives (except small personal pocket knives with folding blades that are less than three (3) inches long.), tear gas, chemical substances, brass knuckles, clubs or chains.
  2. The only exceptions to this policy are:
    1. Firearms in the possession of University police officers;
    2. Firearms in the possession of on duty law enforcement officers;
    3. Legal chemical dispensing devices that are sold commercially for personal protection; 
  3. Sanctions:

    University sanctions will be imposed on offenders as appropriate and, in addition, criminal charges may be filed.

III. Reporting Procedure

  1. A. Responsibility to Report:

    Anyone witnessing or receiving a report of prohibited behavior, or possession, display or use of any weapon shall immediately notify the appropriate authorities as listed below. Any supervisor who fails to make such a report shall be subject to corrective and/or disciplinary action.
  2. Emergency of Life-Threatening Situations:

    In the case of an emergency or life-threatening situation, immediately call the Department of Public Safety 412-396-COPS (2677). As per the University emergency operations plan, be prepared to provide as much information as possible, such as:
    1. What is happening;
    2. The location of the incident;
    3. Who is involved;
    4. Type of weapon(s) involved, if any; and
    5. Your name and current location.
      The Department of Public Safety is charged with the responsibility for security and law enforcement on campus. Please follow this link to a list of programs and services offered by the Department of Public Safety: http://www.duq.edu/public-safety
  3. Non-Emergency Situations:

    In the case of a non-emergency situation, all levels of management should be involved. Employees should initially notify their immediate supervisor. If the immediate supervisor is otherwise unavailable, or if the situation involves the immediate supervisor, notify the Dean, Director, Divisional Vice President, Human Resources, University General Counsel and/or Department of Public Safety as appropriate.
    Students are urged to report concerns about acts of aggression, harassment, or violence to the Office of Residence Life, Office of Commuter Affairs, Vice President of Student Life, Department of Public Safety, the Dean of their respective academic program or a member of the Campus Community Risk Team.
  4. Sexual Misconduct:

    If complaint is related to sexual misconduct, see TAP No. 31, Sexual Misconduct and Gender Discrimination.
  5. Campus Community Risk Team (CCRT):

    The focus of the Campus Community Risk Team is to prevent violence on campus, and its span is community wide, including administrators, staff, faculty, students, and visitors.

    To the degree that local regulations allow, campus entities may report concerns about campus violence to the CCRT even if they are already reporting to other campus entities.  The committee is not meant to displace or diminish the roles of existing violence-prevention programs in any way. Its purpose is to add a centralized layer of information.

    Link to Campus Community Risk Team members:

IV. Enforcement

Individuals who engage or threaten to engage in prohibited behavior shall be held accountable under University policy and under local, state and federal law. Any employee or student who commits or threatens to commit prohibited behavior may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including, dismissal or expulsion, as well as arrest and prosecution. Any visitor or affiliate who commits or threatens to commit prohibited behavior may be subject to exclusion from campus, arrest, prosecution, termination of his/her business relationship with the University, and/or any other appropriate action.

Reports of aggression, harassment, violence or threats of violence will be promptly investigated, and, if warranted, disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with applicable procedures. The University will notify law enforcement authorities of criminal conduct as appropriate. In addition, the University may refer individuals accused of violations of this policy for an assessment of the likelihood that they will carry out violent acts or are a danger to themselves or others. The Employee Assistance Program and/or University Counseling Center will be available for consultation as appropriate.

V. Anti-Retaliation

The University will not permit retaliation against anyone who, in good faith, brings a complaint of acts of aggression, harassment, or violence or serves as a witness in the investigation of a complaint of campus violence.

VI. Miscellaneous

Vendors who conduct business on University premises must conform to the requirements of this policy. The University reserves the right to remove from campus vendor employees who engage in acts prohibited by this policy.

VII. Related Information

TAP No. 31, Sexual Misconduct and Gender Discrimination

VIII. Violations

See Section IV, Enforcement

IX. History

Date of most recent revision: November 2023

X. Ownership of Policy

Office of Human Resources

Department of Public Safety