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The Blue & Gray Press | February 18, 2018

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Campus Police Seize Handgun in Eagle Landing

Campus Police Seize Handgun in Eagle Landing

On Monday night shortly after 10 p.m., University of Mary Washington police confiscated a handgun from a student on the third floor of Eagle Landing, after students who saw the weapon reported it to the campus police.

Doug Searcy, vice president of Student Affairs, said that the campus police determined there was no ongoing threat in the apartment building. The student in possession of the gun was identified and detained, and the weapon was removed immediately.

Searcy also said that in situations such as this, it is important to know and ask why the person had a weapon on campus, but he declined to comment on the specifics of this case. He would not identify the student.

The possession of the weapon violated the UMW Code of Conduct.

“No student may keep, use, possess, display, or carry any lethal or dangerous devices capable of casting a projectile, any martial arts weapons, any toy weapon resembling any real weapon, any swords, any illegal knives or knives with a blade longer than five inches, any explosives (including fireworks or sparklers) or any other such devices that could be used to threaten the health or safety of a person or property,” the Code of Conduct states, as listed in the Student Handbook.

“A weapon within the tight confines of a University campus can pose a potential hazard and jeopardize the safety and security of our community,” Searcy said.

The student who had the weapon was issued an administrative referral. According to Searcy, this means the student will face judicial charges, and an administrative hearing will result. However, there is no set penalty for the charge.

“There are no set minimums or maximums… but the University considers weapons on campus to be very serious issue,” Searcy said.

Since there was “no ongoing threat” to the community, according to Searcy, students and residents of Eagle Landing were not notified of the situation or of the firearm in the building.

However, when informed of the incident by the Bullet, this made third floor resident junior Jenna Randall apprehensive.

“I haven’t heard anything about that,” she said. “If there was someone with a handgun on my floor, I feel like that’s something the school should tell me about.”

Sophomore Dimitri Georgiadis said that he heard rumors about the incident from his roommate, but wasn’t really sure what the situation was.

“I thought it was odd that we didn’t get a campus crime alert,” Georgiadis said.

He said that if there was a credible threat, then the University should have sent out an alert, but he wasn’t sure of the situation.

Comments

  1. Alex

    Mr. Georgiadis, why should they issue a crime alert when no crime has been committed? It’s perfectly legal to own a handgun as long as you’re not a felon and over 21.

    The campus police involved should be suspended by the Commonwealth, pending investigation of the illegal arrest, search, and seizure.

  2. Not if you’re a student on campus grounds, you cannot.
    .
    No student may keep, use, possess, display, or carry any lethal or dangerous devices capable of casting a projectile, any
    martial arts weapons, any toy weapon resembling any real weapon, any swords, any illegal knives or knives with a blade 21
    longer than 5 inches, any explosives (including fireworks or sparklers) or any other such devices that could be used to
    threaten the health or safety of a person or property. Code of Virginia Sec. 18.2-311 lists weapon restrictions at http://www.vsp.
    state.va.us/Firearms.shtm. For additional information, visit umw.edu/judicialaffairs/weapons_projectiles.
    .
    Neither shall a student throw or project any item that has the potential for defacing or damaging property, causing
    injury, or causing disruption.
    .
    http://students.umw.edu/wp-content/blogs.dir/231/files/2011/09/Student-Handbook-2010_11-Final.pdf
    .
    The more you know.

  3. Alex

    Fleur,

    I am aware of the University’s rules. 🙂
    That is not a law. It is only a school policy.

    The law does not prohibit weapons on UMW campus. That’s because the people in the Commonwealth of Virginia still have rights.

    While the student may be subject to academic sanctions, the arrest and seizure was unlawful. It is a civil, not a criminal matter.

    Besides, the rule might be illegal, because UMW is a state school, and the Commonwealth claims pre-emption on all firearms laws.

  4. RLH

    Is Eagle Landing actual UMW property? Everything I see says it’s owned by the UMW Foundation or Eagle Housing LLC. As such, it’s questionable whether the UMW code of conduct is applicable and parts may be superseded by fair housing laws, state laws, or federal laws and constitutional rights.

  5. First, he should be kicked out of the dorm/apartment as a breach of the contract which he signed.
    .
    Second: http://students.umw.edu/judicialaffairs/searches-seizures-and-event-security/ Firearms aren’t allowed in the residencies, according to the contract that the student signed, so why shouldn’t they seize it? Would they just leave it there?
    .
    Third, I believe that the majority of students would prefer that heavy precautions are taken in regard to firearms and other such things that could affect their welfare on campus. Granted an arrest may have gone a little too far in your opinion, with previous incidents on college campuses involving firearms, I believe otherwise. He was taken in for questioning. He was maybe released relatively after his detaining. I don’t know. I do know that I’m glad the police handled themselves the way that they did and acted in the manner they had.

  6. Eagle Landing is owned by the University. Eagle Village is owned by the UMW Foundation.

  7. Anne Elder

    RLH,
    Eagle Landing is an on-campus housing option for students, so all the UMW codes apply to the residents of the building.

  8. RLH

    Per City of Fredericksburg tax records, the Eagle Landing apartments and the Apartments at UMW (corner of William St and College Ave) are owned by “Eagle Housing LLC.” In a spot check of actual UMW dorms, all city tax records show “UNIVERSITY OF MARY WASHINGTON” as the owner.

    Eagle Housing LLC is a subsidiary of the UMW Foundation.

  9. Alex

    I agree that he should be kicked out/evicted for breach of contract, but that is a CIVIL not a CRIMINAL matter. He should not have been arrested. False arrest and unlawful seizure is a crime.

    The right to self-defense does not end when you step foot upon a PUBLIC (this is Virginia, not the Communist People’s Republic of California) college campus.

  10. Eric

    Last I checked, California isn’t communist.

    If he wanted to have a handgun, there is nothing stopping him from living off campus.