201 General Prohibition on Firearms And Weapons



Except for the permitted exceptions described below, firearms and other weapons may not be carried, possessed, or used on property owned or occupied by the Archdiocese, a parish, or Archdiocesan school or during any events or activities of the Archdiocese, a parish, or Archdiocesan school.


Firearm – The term firearm refers to firearms of every and any type, including handguns, pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, muskets, assault weapons, zip guns, and any other similar device.

Weapon – For purposes of this Policy, weapons and dangerous instruments shall include, but are not limited to:

  1. Firearms;
  2. Cutting and puncturing devices, including dirks, daggers, knives and razors;
  3. Explosive and/or incendiary devices, including pipe bombs, time bombs, cap guns, containers of inflammable fluids, tear gas, and other hazardous devices;
  4. Any other dangerous device, instrument or weapon, including a blackjack, slingshot, billy club, nunchaku, metal knuckles or any metal plate or other object of any type or description designed to be used as a weapon;
  5. Imitation weapons, including any device, not inherently dangerous in and of itself, designed or utilized for the purpose of imitating or appearing to be a weapon or dangerous instrumentality as defined in numbers 1 through 4 above such as a facsimile stun gun;
  6. Pepper spray and mace in possession of a student or minor visitor or when used by any person in an offensive manner (paper spray and mace are not considered weapons when possessed by adults and used solely for self-defense);
  7. Any other device capable of inflicting grievous or serious bodily harm which, although not initially designed to be utilized as a weapon, is utilized as a weapon and/or for the purposes of committing an assault or battery, or threatening the physical well-being of another individual such as a baseball bat, a tire iron or any other object when utilized as herein defined.

201.3 SCOPE

The prohibition on firearms and weapons extends to all buildings, grounds, and property, including unimproved land, owned or occupied by the Archdiocese, a parish, or Archdiocesan school. The prohibition on firearms and weapons also extends to events and activities of the Archdiocese, a parish, or Archdiocesan school, regardless of where the event or activity is held (i.e., at a third-party venue).

The Archdiocese, a parish, or Archdiocesan school may adopt additional policies related to weapons (for instance, policies directed to employees or students) that are more restrictive than the terms of this Policy. To the extent the terms of any weapons policy are less stringent than the terms of this Policy, however, the terms of this Policy shall control.


The prohibition on firearms and weapons does not apply to:

  1. Current law enforcement officers performing their lawful duties;
  2. Off-duty officers acting in accordance with departmental regulations including carrying appropriate law enforcement credentials;
  3. Retired law enforcement officers who have separated in good standing, maintain a properly issued carry permit through the State of Maryland, maintain proper credentialing in accordance with the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) handgun qualification for the current year, and are in possession of their LEOSA identification card;
  4. A person hired by the Archdiocese, a parish, or school specifically for the purpose of guarding the Archdiocesan, parish, or school property;
  5. A person engaged in approved, organized shooting activity for educational purposes with proper supervision;
  6. A person engaged in approved safety instruction and training related to the use of weapons (such as the use of knives, axes, hatchets, and similar tools, but excluding bows/arrows and firearms) for scouting, camping, or similar activity with proper supervision;
  7. A person who, with a written invitation from the parish administrator or school principal, displays or engages in a historical demonstration displaying a weapon or a replica of a weapon for educational purposes;
  8. Armored car service employees lawfully carrying a firearm while performing their duties;
  9. Weapons kept by priests in their personal living quarters, provided that the weapons are lawfully possessed and kept locked in a secured place and, in the case of firearms, are kept unloaded;
  10. Weapons used or possessed by the Archdiocese, a parish, or School for use as a tool or utensil (e.g, kitchen knives).
  11. Swords or similar decorative weapons carried by honor guards (e.g., for the funerals or weddings of military or law enforcement members) or members of the Knights of Columbus; and
  12. Lawfully possessed firearms and weapons kept unloaded and locked in an individual’s vehicle.

In order to ensure the safety of the Archdiocesan school community and to avoid circumstances in which an individual possesses a firearm on school grounds without the knowledge of school administration, the following procedures apply to off-duty officers and retired law enforcement officers exempted from the Policy as noted above:

  1. Upon entering a school building, the officer must immediately advise a school staff member of his or her status as an off-duty officer or retired law enforcement officer and that he or she is in possession of a firearm.
  2. The officer must also present to the school staff member the proper credentials that allow for his or her lawful possession of the firearm.
  3. It is within the sole discretion of the school principal or administrator designee as to whether an officer is permitted to possess the firearm on school grounds. The school principal or administrator designee also reserves the right to refuse the officer entry to the school building beyond the administrative office area while armed.
  4. If the school principal or administrator designee concludes that allowing an officer to possess a firearm on school grounds would present a safety hazard or otherwise be disruptive to school operations, the principal or administrator designee may require the officer to remove the weapon from school grounds and return without it, secure the weapon in his or her vehicle, or secure the weapon in a locked and secure area provided by the school (such as a lock box or small safe designated for this purpose and which is only accessible to the officer.)
  5. If the school principal or administrator designee allows the officer to possess the weapon on school grounds, the officer must conceal the firearm either by use of concealed holster or by wearing clothing covering the firearm.


Archdiocesan, parish, and school administrators should make parishioners, employees, student families, and other members of their communities aware of this Policy.

If an Archdiocesan, parish, or school administrator is aware that an individual qualifying for permitted exception (1), (2), or (3) plans to attend an event or activity held at a third-party venue, the administrator should request that the individual contact the venue to determine whether the venue will permit the individual to carry a weapon.


Employees or students who violate this Policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination (in the case of employees) or expulsion (in the case of students). Parishioners, visitors, parents, and other community members who violate the terms of this Policy may be prohibited from accessing Archdiocesan, parish, or Archdiocesan school property or attending Archdiocesan, parish, or Archdiocesan school events or activities.