Policy Prohibiting Deadly Weapons and Dangerous Instruments or Devices

Policy Statement

The Board of Trustees of Delaware Technical Community College, through its president, administration, faculty and staff, is committed to providing a safe, violence-free environment. In furtherance of its opposition to violence in the College environment, it adopts this Delaware Technical Community College Policy Prohibiting Deadly Weapons and Dangerous Instruments or Devices.


This Policy applies to the possession or use of any prohibited weapon, dangerous instrument or device and to any prohibited conduct (see Violence-Free College Policy) on any property owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the College or in any place where College students or employees are engaged in College-related activity or College-sponsored activity ("College Property"). This policy also applies to any College employee or student (including persons participating in any activity sponsored by the College) and to visitors to the College (collectively the "College Community"). Subject to the exceptions listed below, this policy applies regardless of whether a person covered by the terms of the policy has a permit to carry a prohibited weapon or is otherwise authorized by law to possess, discharge or use a prohibited weapon, instrument or device.


Subject to the exceptions outlined below, no member of the College Community shall, while on College Property, possess, use, attempt to use, or threaten to use a weapon, dangerous instrument, or device as defined below. Further, any violation of a federal, state, or local law or ordinance pertaining to the possession, use, attempt or threat to use a deadly weapon, dangerous instrument, or device, committed on College Property, shall constitute a violation of this Policy. Copies of Delaware and local law may be obtained from the Public Safety Office.

Delaware law defines dangerous instrument as: "any instrument, article or substance which, under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used or threatened to be used, is readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury, or any disabling chemical spray". "Chemical spray*" includes: mace, tear gas, pepper spray or any other mixture containing quantities thereof, or any other aerosol spray or any liquid, gaseous or solid substance capable of producing temporary physical discomfort, disability or injury through being vaporized or otherwise dispersed in the air, or any canister, container or device designed or intended to carry, store, or disperse such aerosol spray or such as gas or solid.

Delaware law defines a deadly weapon as: a firearm (any weapon from which a shot, projectile, or other object may be discharged by force of combustion, explosive, gas and/or mechanical means, whether operable or inoperable, loaded or unloaded but does not include a BB gun (which is considered a "device" under this Policy) a knife of any sort (other than an ordinary pocket knife, i.e., a folding knife have a blade not more than 3 inches in length, carried in a closed position), switchblade knife, billy, blackjack, bludgeon, metal knuckles, slingshot, razor, bicycle chain or ice pick or any dangerous instrument as defined above, which is used, or attempted to be used, to cause death or serious physical injury.

In addition to dangerous instruments and deadly weapons, members of the College Community while on College Property are prohibited from possessing, using, attempting or threatening to use any of the following or similar devices: BB guns, pellet guns, paint ball guns, decorative or functional swords, machete air rifles, martial arts devices such as throwing stars, garrotes, fireworks, explosives or substances possessed and/or prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration or detonation, chemical or biological agents possessed and/or used with the purpose of causing death, serious bodily injury or property damage or otherwise in violation of federal, state, or local law or ordinance.

This Policy is not intended to prohibit the possession or use of instruments or devices authorized for the pursuit of the mission of the College. Questions regarding the authorization of such instruments or devices should be directed to the Campus Director for use at a given Campus.

*Chemical sprays kept about the person for personal protection are not prohibited unless used offensively in a malicious or reckless manner.


  1. Reporting Procedures

    Members of the College Community who encounter an armed or otherwise dangerous person should not challenge or attempt to disarm the individual. In such an event, a person confronted by such an individual should proceed as follows:

    If possible,

    • Remove yourself from danger


    • Remain calm
    • Maintain eye contact
    • Talk to the individual
    • Cooperate as much as feasible
    • Notify law enforcement authorities first and then the Public Safety Office as soon as possible
  2. Enforcement Procedures

    Possession or use of any prohibited weapon, dangerous instrument, or device will not be tolerated in the College environment. Any College employee or student who is determined to have committed an act prohibited by this Policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment or expulsion depending on the severity of the violation and may be reported to law enforcement authorities. Action shall be taken in all cases of a chargeable offense under the provisions of the applicable state law or comparable federal law; however, a conviction of the charged offense shall not be necessary to take action against the employee/student for a violation of this Policy. The employee/student against whom such action is taken shall be entitled to the benefits of the procedures identified in the College Personnel Policy or Student Code of Conduct/College Policy for Student Rights and Standards of Student Conduct. Persons not subject to the College Personnel Policy or Student Code of Conduct/College Policy for Student Rights and Standards of Student Conduct who are suspected of violating or determined to have violated this policy will be directed to leave the premises and may be reported to law enforcement authorities for criminal prosecution, as appropriate. Other legal remedies may also be invoked.

  3. Exception Procedures

    A member of any bona fide law enforcement agency present on College Property who is in compliance with any applicable departmental Policy pertaining to the possession of a weapon is excluded from the prohibitions contained in this Policy. In addition, the prohibitions contained in this policy do not apply to members of the College's Public Safety Department who have been authorized to carry a deadly weapon and/or dangerous instrument or device while in the course and scope of their employment with the College. (Amended Board of Trustees 04/09/2013)

    Any member of the College Community who believes he or she has good cause to be excluded from the terms of this Policy may direct a request for an exception to the Campus Director for the campus at which an exception is desired, or to the College President for an exception pertaining to either the President's Office or a college-wide purpose. Exceptions may be granted in the sole discretion of the Campus Director to whom the request is directed or in the sole discretion of the College President when a request is made to the President. Exceptions may be granted in cases, including but not limited to, where an individual's personal safety is at substantial and identifiable risk, where an otherwise prohibited item is to be used for educational, scientific, professional, ceremonial or religious purposes, or in other circumstances where the purpose of this Policy would not be fostered through strict application. If an exception is granted, such exception will be identified in writing and include the terms, conditions, and duration of the exception. A copy of the document authorizing an exception to this Policy will be sent to the public safety office of an affected campus and to any other College official deemed appropriate under the circumstances at least 24 hours in advance of the effective date of the exception.

    Amendment to the College Policy for Student Rights and Standards of Student Conduct Item 4 of Section II. "Standards of Student Conduct" Section of the College Policy for Student Responsibilities and Student Rights is hereby amended to include this policy as part of the prohibition against the use and/or possession of weapons or firearms.