By RUTH DALRYMPLE
A University of Mary Washington student received an administrative referral after being found by campus security with a green water gun.
The incident took place on March 22 on the fourth floor Eagle Landing elevator. The university has a ban on all firearms, swords, illegal knives, stun guns and pepper spray. All toy weapons are also banned including water guns, nerf guns, fake swords or any other toy that resembles a weapon.
“They make guns that come in bright pink and baby blue,” said James DeLoatch, the UMW police business manager. “This is for the safety of our officers.”
The University did not arrest anyone for a weapons possession for 2009, 2010 or 2011. However, there was an incident during the 2011-2012 school year when a student was in possession of an unloaded handgun in his Eagle Landing apartment. The student had recently purchased it at a local gun show and received an administrative referral for possessing the firearm.
Nerf guns are often given out as prizes during bingo nights at the Underground, but this may not be a violation of the firearm policy, according to DeLoatch.
“There are many gray areas with the policy,” said DeLoatch.
Many Virginia universities, including the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary, have bans in place that prohibit weapons on campus. All 23 members of the Virginia community college system have bans on guns on their campus.
Last week, however, the board of trustees at Liberty University changed its policy so that now all students, visitors, faculty and staff with a Virginia concealed carry permit can have loaded guns in its classrooms. There still is a ban on guns in the university’s residence halls.
Junior Psychology major Patrick Gasparini believes the firearms policy is too broad, especially when it comes to pepper spray or toy guns.
“They don’t cause any kind of real damage. As far as everything else, I agree with the policy, because there really is no need for knives and guns,” said Gasparini.