Weapons and Fireworks Regulations

Weapons and Fireworks Regulations


The possession, carrying or use of any weapon, ammunition or explosive by any person is prohibited on University property except by authorized law officers and others specifically authorized by the University. No person shall possess, carry or use any fireworks on University property, except for those persons authorized by the University and local governments to discharge such fireworks as part of a public display.


  1. A weapon is any instrument or implement which is capable of inflicting serious bodily injury, and shall include but not be limited to:
    • Any rifle, shotgun, machine gun, or other firearm, or antique firearm suitable for use; any air gun, spring gun, B-B gun or implement that is not a firearm which propels a pellet of any kind with a force that can reasonably be expected to cause bodily harm; any starter pistol, flare gun, zip gun, spear gun, dart gun, sling shot; or ammunition of any type for weapons governed by these regulations.
    • Any knife with a blade larger than that of a folding pocket knife; dagger; razor or other cutting instrument, the blade of which is exposed in an automatic way by switch, push-button, spring mechanism, or otherwise.
    • Any striking instrument, including clubs, truncheons, blackjacks, sandbags, metal knuckles, or sap gloves.
    • Any Martial Arts weapon, including nunchakus, tonfas, staffs and throwing stars.
    • Any bow and arrow combination.
    • Any device which discharges chemical irritant or tear gas, including smoke grenades.
    • Any incendiary device, including flammable liquids enclosed in readily breakable containers that can be equipped with an igniter of any type.
    • Any explosive device, including hand grenades, bombs, black powder, smokeless powder, percussion caps, friction primers and pyrotechnic fuses.
  2. Fireworks are defined as any combustible or explosive composition or any substance or combination of substances or any article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or an audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration or detonation and shall include:
    • Any blank cartridge or toy cannon in which explosives are used.
    • The type of balloons which require fire underneath to propel them.
    • Firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, roman candles, aerials or other fireworks of like construction.
    • Any firework containing any explosive or flammable compound or any tablet or other device containing any explosive device.


  1. All use and possession of weapons must conform with all applicable state, federal and local laws.
  2. Possession and storage of weapons in on-campus residences is prohibited. Persons residing in permanent farm residences of the University are exempt from this prohibition and may maintain weapons at these locations. No person shall store any weapon in a vehicle on campus.
  3. At Penn State Altoona, storage facilities are available at Police Services for the lawfully possessed personal weapons of students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Weapons may be stored and/or removed on a 24 hour, 7 day-a-week basis.
  4. Persons may carry or transport weapons to and from Police Services for storage purposes. Persons who have been authorized to use weapons for educational, instructional, occupational, or recreational purposes, as authorized in paragraph seven below, may carry or transport such weapons to and from the authorized activity. Firearms are to be unloaded during such transport and while in storage.
  5. Weapons authorized by the Pennsylvania Game Law may be used and possessed for hunting during hunting season by licensed hunters on non-developed wooded and farm areas of University property, and then when not otherwise posted.
  6. Possession of commercially available aerosol dispensers of nonlethal chemical irritants for the purpose of self-protection is permitted. Any such use of such devices must be justifiable in accordance with the laws governing the use of force.
  7. Educational use, including instructional, research and authorized recreational use and possession of weapons is permitted under the supervision of appropriate faculty members.
  8. Occupational use and possession of weapons by employees of the University is permitted where authorized by appropriate supervision.
  9. Heads of those departments which have need for weapons and/or their use for educational, instructional, occupational, or recreational purposes must provide specific information pertaining to their individual needs to Police Services at the University Park Campus, or to the Director of Business Services or Chief Executive Officer at non-University Park locations. Police Services or the Director of Business Services or Chief Executive Officer of the non-University Park location will then issue appropriate written authorization which can be implemented by Department Heads as necessary. The safe use and security of weapons for such authorized purposes shall be the responsibility of the Department involved, subject to any conditions as required in the authorization.