The UMass Amherst Police Department would like members of the campus community to be informed about the state laws that apply on campus that may differ from what was acceptable at your previous residence. One such area of concern involves firearms and dangerous weapons. The presence of firearms in a college setting can be disruptive and frightening to the members of the community. While most people immediately recognize the hazards, some may be unaware or naïve about the laws of the Commonwealth regarding firearms and other weapons.
It is a violation of Massachusetts General Law to possess a firearm on school grounds (this includes your residence hall room). It does not matter if you are properly licensed to carry a firearm in the State of Massachusetts; it is still a crime to bring it to UMass Amherst. (Unlicensed possession is an additional and more serious crime.) The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has recently ruled that even a “BB gun” is a firearm for purpose of this statute. The more obvious firearms include pistols, rifles, and shotguns. If it is determined that you have a firearm or other dangerous weapon at this university, you are subject to criminal prosecution in State Court and/or suspension or expulsion from UMass Amherst.
MGL Chapter 269 s 10(j)
“Whoever, not being a law enforcement officer…carries on his person a firearm…loaded or unloaded or other dangerous weapon in any building or on any grounds of any elementary or secondary school, college 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.”
MGL Chapter 269 s10 (felony) also prohibits possession of “dangerous weapons” and lists many types of weapons that are considered inherently dangerous, including but not limited to: several types of knives, metallic knuckles, nunchaku (two sticks attached to each other by a rope, chain…), shuriken or similar pointed star like throwing object, any armband, made with leather which has metallic spikes, points or pointed studs, or other dangerous weapon.
If you unwittingly brought any dangerous weapon to UMass Amherst it is in your best interest to remove it from the premises immediately. If you are found to have a dangerous weapon in your possession, the consequences may affect your future ability to obtain or maintain a firearms license, in addition to the penalties listed above.
If you have knowledge of someone in possession of a firearm or dangerous weapon, or if you have other concerns about this issue please contact the UMPD at 413-545-2121 (5-2121 from campus phones), the UMPD Detective Unit at 413-545-0893, or through the anonymous tip line (413-577-8477, 7-8477 from campus phones).
This notice is intended for informational purposes only and is not the result of any investigation or specific knowledge about the existence of illegal items.