Lakehead University Weapons Policy

Policy Category: 
Health and Safety
Approved By: 
Executive Team
Effective Date: 
May 5, 2015


Purpose:  The purpose of this policy is to regulate the possession of any kind of weapon on every Lakehead University (“University”) campus and for University business off-campus (for example, for academic and/or research purposes in the field).

Definition:  A weapon is defined as any object used, designed to be used, or intended for use, in causing death or injury to any person, or for the purpose of threatening or intimidating any person, or a device designed to look like a weapon. Examples of weapons include, but are not limited to, firearms, explosives ( including fireworks), air guns, pellet guns, BB guns, paint guns, crossbows, long bows, swords, martial arts weapons, prohibited blades, combat knives, brass knuckles, replica or imitation firearms including toys and any other prohibited device as defined by the Criminal Code of Canada. This definition does not include objects that are authorized, designated and used in accordance with departmental policies for operational, academic and/or recreational purposes (e.g. cutlery in dining services or student housing, tools in laboratories or other academic settings, explosives used by licensed contractors for site servicing purposes, etc.) unless used in a way that is intended to harm another person or property.

Scope: This policy applies to all members of the University community, including students, employees, governors, alumni, agents, volunteers, contract employees and contractors while on campus or while engaged in University business off-campus, as well as to visitors to the University’s campuses.


1)    In the interests of providing a safe and secure environment for all members of the University community, no person, while on property owned, leased, or controlled by the University shall possess or use a weapon. To “possess“ includes, but is not limited to, storage in residential facilities, academic or administrative offices, lockers, desks, briefcases, or in personal or corporate vehicles parked on University property.

2)    Every proposed use, including transportation and storage, of firearms, ammunition or restricted weapons for University business off campus, for example, for legitimate academic and/or research purposes, must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate University administrator of at least the rank of Dean or Director (“University Officer”) and the Director of Risk Management and must comply with all applicable laws.  Once the off-campus use has been approved, Security Services shall be notified of both the nature of the use and the storage methods of the equipment.

Failure to comply with this policy may result in seizure of weapons and disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the University, or termination of employment, depending on the circumstances. In the case of prohibited or non-registered firearms and other illegal weapons, the individual may also be subject to criminal prosecution.


1)    This policy does not apply to law enforcement officials, armoured car couriers, or members of the Canadian Armed Forces carrying issue weapons while attending University premises in the performance of their respective duties. 

2)    This policy may exempt ceremonial knives (as defined within the Human Rights Code) required to meet religious obligations and small folding or utility knives used for a lawful purpose that are not brandished or worn in such a manner as to cause concern or alarm.

3)    Exceptions to this policy may be granted for an on-campus University-sanctioned event or activity (for example, theatrical productions requiring props, martial arts demonstrations).  Exceptions for such events or activities require written approval signed by a) the appropriate University Officer and b) the Director of Risk Management. The written approval shall include a detailed list of what weapons are approved and for what purpose, who will be using them, how long they will be on campus and the provisions made for safe storage of the weapons when not in use. A copy of the approval will be forwarded by the Director of Risk Management to the Director of Security Services who will then inform the relevant University departments/units (and the local police, if appropriate) about any sanctioned activities taking place on campus involving weapons or replica weapons.


The Vice- President (Administration and Finance) will review this policy within five years and recommend any changes deemed necessary to the Executive Team.

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