The safety of the University’s campuses is of paramount importance to the Administration of The University of Southern Mississippi. In an effort to ensure the safety of our campuses in compliance with the State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) policies and in light of statutory enactments of the Mississippi Legislature, the University has developed this policy regarding the possession of weapons on its campuses. This policy is required for the effective communication of University policy regarding the possession of weapons by employees, students, guests and visitors on all campuses of The University of Southern Mississippi.
Reason for Policy/Purpose
The University of Southern Mississippi recognizes that the possession of weapons on its campuses or at University or student functions off-campus, by persons other than duly authorized law enforcement officials, other authorized persons, and those participating in University approved programs, creates an unreasonable and unwarranted risk of injury or death to its employees, students, visitors, and guests, and further creates an unreasonable and unwarranted risk of damage to property of the University and of its employees, students, visitors, guests and properties of others. The University of Southern Mississippi must comply with the State Institutions of Higher Learning policies, state law, and any other locally applicable laws or regulations regarding the possession of weapons, including firearms, on its campuses. This policy is being implemented to protect the health and safety of the students, employees, guests and visitors on all of The University of Southern Mississippi campuses.
Who Needs to Know This Policy
All employees, students, guests and visitors of The University of Southern Mississippi community.
Website Address for this Policy
For purposes of this policy, a weapon is any dangerous instrument if it is used, attempted or threatened to be used, or is readily capable of being used to cause death or serious physical injury, including but not limited to the following: firearms (any weapon from which a shot, projectile, or other object may be discharged by force, whether operable or inoperable, loaded or unloaded), bombs, knives (except small, personal, pocket knives with a folding blade no longer than three (3) inches, or culinary knives with blades of four (4) inches or less used exclusively for food preparation), slingshots, etc.
I. POSSESSION OF WEAPONS/FIREARMS
The University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg Campus, Gulf Park Campus, and Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Gulf Coast Sites) prohibits the possession of pistols, firearms or other weapons in any form by any person other than duly authorized law enforcement officials, institutional security officials and other authorized persons.
“Authorized persons” includes those individuals authorized by applicable law and by the institutional executive officer or his/her designee. “Authorized persons” also includes those who have in their possession a valid, unexpired state firearms permit with the “Instructor Certified” (IC) sticker on the back, or the equivalent permit issued by a state with a reciprocity agreement with Mississippi.
Even so, those possessing such permits are not permitted to possess firearms in any institutional facilities and/or areas that are deemed non-public. Students and employees are not authorized to possess firearms on institutional property or at institutional off-campus events regardless of possession of firearms permits.
The possession of weapons in violation of this policy may subject one to criminal liability, removal from campus or campus events or facilities, employment discipline, and/or sanctions under the University Student Code of Conduct system.
II. PUBLIC LOCATIONS – The definition of public locations contained herein is only for the purpose of this policy.
B. Gulf Park:
III. NON-PUBLIC LOCATIONS - The definition of non-public locations contained herein is only for the purpose of this policy.
A. Hattiesburg Campus, include but are not limited to:
B. Gulf Park Campus include; but are not limited to:
C. GCRL; include, but are not limited to:
D. Other Gulf Coast Locations; include, but are not limited to:
The Vice President for Student Affairs is responsible for the review of this policy every fouryears (or whenever circumstances require immediate review).
Amendments: Month, Day, Year – summary of changes
11/01/11: Formatted for Institutional Policies website.
03/04/13: Formatted for template. Minor editing throughout.
04/12/16: Reviewed by Executive Cabinet, revised and updated