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Weapons on Campus Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The purpose of this Procedure is to describe that certain sporting equipment, firearms, knives and Prohibited Weapons must not be carried, possessed, or stored on the University campus, University premises or during University activities without appropriate authorisation, unless an exemption is granted, and a current and valid license or permit is held where required by law.

(2) This Procedure specifies responsibilities and actions when a weapon on campus is identified, and procedures for obtaining authorisation to carry or maintain possession of a weapon on University premises and related areas or during University activities.

(3) This Procedure should be read in conjunction with the University’s Critical Incident Management Policy and Emergency Management Plan.


(4) This Procedure applies to all Students, Staff and Affiliates of the University and its Controlled Entities. Visitors are bound by NSW Acts and Regulations as enforceable by NSW Police.

(5) Members of the Police, the Australian Defence Forces, and armed Security Guards are exempt from the requirements of this Procedure.

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Section 2 - Policy

(6) Nil.

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Section 3 - Procedures

Identifying a Weapon on Campus

(7) Weapons are those that are included in or covered by Schedule 1 of the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 (NSW) the Summary Offences Act 1998, the Firearms Act 1996 and the Firearms Regulation 2017. These weapons include Laser Pointers over one milliwatt; bottle rockets (under clause 4(9) Schedule 1 Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 (NSW)); PVC cannons; spear guns less than 45cm unloaded; swords; knives; guns; theatrical weapons; air rifles; and ball bearing (BB) guns.

(8) In order to manage an emergency situation including where weapons are present, all staff should be familiar with the University’s Critical Incident Management Policy and Emergency Management Plan.

(9) An unknown person carrying a weapon must not be approached. Any person carrying a weapon and behaving in a threatening manner, must not be approached.

(10) If a weapon is found or identified on campus or on University premises, Security Services must be contacted (Security on Campus) phone 9850 9999 and provided with as much identifying information as possible, including:

  1. a description of the weapon;
  2. the location of the weapon including:
    1. building number; and
    2. room number 
  3. if known, a description of the person carrying the weapon, including:
    1. age;
    2. height and weight;
    3. hair colour;
    4. ethnicity;
    5. clothing; and
  4. the contact details of the person who found or identified the weapon.

(11) When notified of the presence of an unauthorised weapon, the Campus Security Manager will contact NSW Police and request urgent assistance.

Authorisation to Carry, Possess or Store a Weapon

(12) Any person seeking to carry, possess or store a weapon on the University campus or on University premises must seek authorisation from the Campus Security Manager.

(13) Authorisation will only be granted for NSW Police Prohibited Weapon Permit holders or Firearms licence holders where the weapon is to be used under the conditions of that permit or licence or where a valid exception or exemption or reasonable cause is provided.

(14) Changes to any information relating to previous authorisations must be provided to the Campus Security Manager as soon as practicable.

(15) The following are exempt from requiring authorisation whilst the conditions specified are being met:

  1. Sporting equipment (e.g., archery and fencing equipment) that could be considered a dangerous weapon if used inappropriately. These may be carried, possessed or stored on the University campus or University premises provided that:
    1. such equipment is not in the possession of individuals when they are not using it for the approved purpose;
    2. appropriate, safe, and secure storage is available, and the equipment is secured within its designated storage space when not in use for the approved purpose; and
    3. the University has approved the activity for which they are to be used in advance and has allocated an appropriate facility for its conduct.
  2. Domestic utensils and professional tools of trade (e.g., kitchen knives, Stanley knife, nail gun). These are automatically exempt when the tools are used for their professional purposes on the University campus or University premises by people who are qualified and authorised to use them.
  3. Weapons used for religious purposes. These are exempt if a weapon is required to be worn for religious observances and if custody complies with the conditions of the “Custody of knife in public place or school” (Section 11C of the Summary Offences Act 1988 (NSW)).
  4. Laser pointers over one milliwatt are exempt where they are used for the purposes of astronomical observation and the holder is a registered member of an approved astronomical organisation. Safe storage requirements to Level 1 under the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998(NSW) will apply.

(16) A notification to is required 2 weeks prior to the date and time when it is expected that any of the items identified in Clause 15 a, c or d may need to be carried, possessed or stored on University campus or University premises.

(17) Authorisation to carry, possess or store all other weapons or items outside the above conditions must be requested in writing to The request must include:

  1. sufficient details to enable the Campus Security Manager to make a reasonable determination;
  2. a risk assessment, safe storage arrangements and a management strategy to ensure public and personal safety (except for requests for exemption on religious grounds); and
  3. a copy of the current NSW Police Prohibited Weapon Permit or Firearms licence and conditions.

(18) Requests must be made at least four weeks prior to the date and time when it is expected that the weapon will be carried, possessed or stored on University campus or University premises.

(19) The Campus Security Manager will review requests for authorisation and will approve or reject the request.

(20) The Campus Security Manager will maintain a register of requests and approvals.

(21) Evidence of authorisation and/or notification must be provided to University staff, including Campus Security, event organisers, WHS personnel or relevant Managers, when requested.

Compliance and Breaches

(22) Failure to comply or cooperate with this Procedure is considered misconduct under the Student Code of Conduct and may be dealt with under the Student Conduct Rules.

(23) If a Staff member or Affiliate is alleged to have breached the provisions of this Procedure, the University will investigate the alleged breach in accordance with the applicable policy, enterprise agreement or relevant industrial instrument, and may take commensurate action.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(24) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(25) The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. Affiliate means persons holding Honorary titles with the University, consultants and contractors, and volunteers working for the University.
  2. Controlled Entity means a person, group of persons or body over which the University has control. Note: See also the definition of controlled entity in Section 16A of the Macquarie University Act and By-Law  1989 (as amended); Sections 39 (1A) and 45A of the Government Sector Audit Act 1983 and Australian Accounting Standard AASB 127 Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements. Refer to the Controlled Entities Procedure for examples of evidence of control.
  3. Prohibited Weapon means any weapon described in the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998(NSW), Schedule 1.
  4. Staff member means all persons employed by Macquarie University, including continuing, fixed term, and casual Staff members.
  5. Student means any undergraduate, postgraduate or Non-Award student duly enrolled in the University, whether based on or off-campus.