Firearms and Combustible Materials

Firearms or ammunition, explosives, combustible fuels, firecrackers, and potential ingredients thereof are forbidden from University property. Open flames of any kind are prohibited in House and dormitory rooms and common areas.

Possession and/or use on University property of firearms or other dangerous weapons (as defined below), or ammunition, explosives, combustible fuels, firecrackers, and potential ingredients thereof is forbidden by University policy. The Summer School may make occasional exceptions, on a case-by-case basis, for students who wish to participate in club sports that involve the use of dangerous weapons (as defined below), but in all such cases advance approval must be obtained from both the HUPD and the Club Sports Office, and the participating students must comply with any and all Summer School rules and requirements for use and storage of the weapons. Summer School rules require, at a minimum, that any weapons shall be stored in a secure place and not in a student’s room. The applicable Massachusetts law is as follows:

Whoever, not being a law enforcement officer, and notwithstanding any license obtained by him under the provisions of chapter one hundred and forty, carries on his person a firearm as hereinafter defined, loaded or unloaded or other dangerous weapon in any building or on the grounds of any elementary or secondary school, Summer School or university without the written authorization of the board or officer in charge of such elementary or secondary school, Summer School or university shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. For the purpose of this paragraph, “firearm” shall mean any pistol, revolver, rifle or smoothbore arm from which a shot, bullet or pellet can be discharged by whatever means.
Any officer in charge of an elementary or secondary school, Summer School or university or any faculty member or administrative officer of an elementary or secondary school, Summer School or university failing to report violations of this paragraph shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars.

[Massachusetts General Laws, c. 269 § 10(j)]

Under Massachusetts law, the definition of dangerous weapons includes many items designed to do bodily injury:

. . . any 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, having a blade of over one and one half inches, or a slung shot, blowgun, blackjack, metallic knuckles or knuckles of any substance which could be put to the same use with the same or similar effect as metallic knuckles, 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 starlike object intended to injure a person when thrown, or any armband, made with leather which has metallic spikes, points or studs 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…

[Massachusetts General Laws, c. 269 § 10(b)]

Students should recognize that even when they are away from the University, Massachusetts law requires a permit or firearms identification card or compliance with other specialized rules (depending upon the type of weapon) for possession of any firearms. The definition of firearms is broad, and includes pistols or guns operated by air, carbon dioxide, or other gases. Carrying any firearm (even if unloaded) in violation of the law is punishable by imprisonment with a mandatory minimum sentence of eighteen months, which cannot be suspended or reduced. [Massachusetts General Laws, c. 269 § 10(a)]. Students should consult the local police department in the city or town in which they reside if they intend to possess firearms on non-University property, in order to assure strict compliance with the applicable statutes.

Harvard Summer School students may lawfully possess and use pepper spray for self-defense. Anyone enrolled in HSS must be 18 years old or older to possess pepper spray.