Skip to main content

Judicial Affairs Office

5 Rope Ferry Road, Room 203
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755
Phone: (603) 646-3482
Fax: (603)646-0421
Hinman Box 6020

Weapons, Firearms, Fireworks, and Projectiles

All weapons are prohibited on the Dartmouth campus. The policy, below, describes an exception for how hunting rifles/shotguns, knives, bows as well as archery supplies and related supplies must be registered and stored with the Department of Safety and Security. The term "weapons" should be understood to include, but not limited to, firearms (including antique and military "trophy" firearms), paint guns, BB and pellet guns, air guns, slingshots, bows and arrows, swords, spears, various kinds of knives other than cooking utensils or pocket knives with a blade length of less than 3", switchblades, and various martial-arts devices capable of being used as weapons. Privately-owned handguns are prohibited anywhere on the Dartmouth campus.

No student may possess or use a firearm, archery equipment, hunting knife or weapons of any type, and corresponding supplies, in Hanover or its environs without a registration receipt for weapon storage, issued by the College Proctor, Department of Safety and Security. Firearms, including rifles, shotguns, air guns, and gas-powered guns, and all ammunition or hand-loading equipment and supplies for same, must be stored in the gun room at the Department of Safety and Security. This applies to students living on or off-campus. Weapons of any type, and corresponding supplies, are not allowed in any College building or in any student residence in Hanover.

Irresponsible use or handling of weapons may be grounds for revocation of permission to register, store or use permitted weapons at Dartmouth. Members of the College community are responsible for understanding all local, state and federal laws governing the use of firearms, as well as the safe handling procedures and risk factors related to the specific firearm(s) they intend to use. The standard hunter safety course will be given each fall to accommodate student demand and will be coordinated by the Department of Safety and Security. Incoming students who have previously passed a recognized Hunter Safety Course from any state need not repeat the course but must submit a copy of the Hunter Safety certificate to obtain a Registration Receipt for Firearms Storage. Students and employees storing weapons solely for marksmanship purposes may substitute evidence of having successfully passed a certified Safe Weapon Handling Program upon approval of the Department of Safety and Security. No registration receipts for firearms storage will be issued for the possession of rifles or shotguns that cannot be legally used in the State of New Hampshire. It is the responsibility of students and employees to determine whether their guns comply with New Hampshire law before they present them for examination and storage.

Registration receipts for firearms storage are issued for one school year and can be renewed upon request and without further examination. When receipts are granted, the make, model, serial number, and caliber of the weapon concerned are recorded on the receipt and filed in the Department of Safety and Security.

Registered firearms are available for withdrawal and storage 24 hours a day through the Department of Safety and Security, but only the authorized receipt holder is permitted to pick up and deposit the firearm. During normal working hours, students have access to their firearms for maintenance, for which the College supplies a limited amount of cleaning equipment.

State and Local Ordinances

State and local ordinances regarding firearms govern all members of the College community as well. Community members are responsible for compliance with state and local laws concerning weapons as well as with Dartmouth policy, which is more restrictive. The usual interpretations of the intent of the state and local ordinances are as follows:

• No type of firearm may be fired within the limits of the "Compact Part" of the Town of Hanover, (as defined by Ordinance 31 of the Town of Hanover) without permission of the Chief of Police.
• Rifles and shotguns, unloaded, may be carried in hand or in a vehicle.
• A person carrying a firearm of any kind "in woodland" is violating hunting laws unless licensed by the Fish and Game Commission. Pasture land and open country off the highways as well as wooded areas are included in this definition.
• The use of certain types of guns and ammunition is prohibited. Specific information may be obtained from the local chief of police and game wardens.
• No one may possess with intent to sell, or carry weapons such as stilettos, switchblades, daggers, or metal knuckles.
• No one may provide a martial-arts weapon to a person under 18 without written consent of that person's parent or guardian.
• Specific information may be obtained from the local chief of police or game warden.


No student or recognized organization may possess or use fireworks on campus. Possession or use of fireworks will result in an automatic fine of $50 and may result in further disciplinary action.


Propelling any object in such a way as to endanger health or property is prohibited and will result in an automatic fine of $20 and may subject an individual student or recognized organization to further disciplinary action. Students are prohibited from possessing any slingshot, catapult, or any devise to hurl a missile. Possession of such a device will result in an automatic fine of $50, and further disciplinary action may result.

2008-2009 Student Handbook


Last Updated: 12/10/08