This policy applies to all Rice University students, faculty, staff members, contractors and visitors.
The university seeks to provide a safe, secure environment in which to pursue its educational mission. Consequently, all members of the Rice community, including faculty, staff, students, contractors and visitors are prohibited from possessing firearms, explosives, other dangerous weapons and replicas of dangerous weapons (as described in this policy) while on Rice property, in buildings where a Rice-sponsored activity is held or within or on Rice’s vehicles. This prohibition against weapons possession is in effect to the fullest extent allowed under Texas laws, including laws pertaining to weapons generally (Texas Penal Code § 46.03) and to concealed handgun licenses (Texas Penal Code § 46.035). The only exceptions to this weapons prohibition are those authorized in writing by the Rice University Police Department (RUPD) chief of police and those exceptions below, which include exceptions mandated by law.
Any Rice student, faculty member, staff member or contractor violating this policy is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion, dismissal or termination of employment. When appropriate, anyone violating this policy may also be subject to prohibition from the campus and/or criminal prosecution.
Rice University expects all members of the campus community to help safeguard the community by reporting promptly to RUPD any weapons discovered to be present on campus. Persons should report any concerns about violations of this policy to the chief of police, associate vice president for human resources, dean of undergraduates, dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies, Office of Student Judicial Programs or a supervisor. Any person concerned about an imminent threat of violence on university property or at a university-sponsored event should report the concern immediately to RUPD at 713-348-6000.
As used in this policy, the term “weapon” encompasses any object or substance designed to inflict a wound, incapacitate or cause injury, and includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Any questions about whether an item may constitute a “weapon” addressed by this policy should be directed to RUPD.
The term “possession” includes, but is not limited to, having the weapon on one’s person or storing the weapon in workplaces, residential facilities, lockers, desks, briefcases, any type of carrying bags or containers or in vehicles on university property.
The only exceptions to this prohibition on possession or storage of weapons at Rice are the following:
Persons licensed by the state to carry concealed handguns may not bring such weapons into any area not permitted by law, such as Rice buildings or residences (including the Rice Graduate Apartments, Rice Village Apartments, other residences owned by Rice and the Rice Children’s Campus), and they should instead store their weapons in a secure manner that does not violate state law or this policy.
The RUPD does not provide storage of non-RUPD firearms.
University classes, clubs and other sponsored activities that will be using items included in the definition of “weapons” (such as classes using martial arts weapons or theatrical productions using fake guns) must, prior to any use, obtain written permission from Rice’s chief of police to use weapons as part of the activity. It is important that RUPD be notified in advance of any weapons (including replicas or facsimiles) that are being used on the campus, even in university sponsored activities, in order to avoid misunderstandings with police officers and to permit RUPD to respond appropriately to any reports regarding the weapons. Any weapons permitted as part of university-sanctioned events must be stored in the location designated in the written permission obtained from the chief of police. For example, the chief of police may sometimes require that nonfirearm weapons be stored in the Recreation Center equipment room. Weapons storage is not permitted in Rice’s residential facilities unless written permission is obtained from the chief of police.
The responsible officer for this policy is the vice president for administration.
Rice University Police Department
David W. Leebron, President
July 6, 2015
October 3, 1996