Weapons Policy

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James Cook University aims to provide a safe and non-threatening environment for all.


This policy applies to all staff, students, volunteers, adjuncts and contractors of the University and is to be read in conjunction with the Weapons Procedure.


Ammunition – includes bombs, grenades, rockets, mines, projectiles and other similar devices and all types of cartridges (including blanks) used in Weapons.

Approved User – means a University staff member who has been approved to use a University owned Weapon by the respective Dean of College, or Director and the University Licence Holder.

Firearm – as defined in the Weapons Act 1990 (Qld), means:

(a) a gun or other thing ordinarily described as a firearm; or

(b) a thing ordinarily described as a weapon that, if used in the way for which it was designed or adapted, is capable of being aimed at a target and causing death or injury by discharging:

(i) a projectile; or

(ii) noxious, corrosive or irritant liquid, powder, gas, chemical or other substance; or

(c) a thing that would be a firearm mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b), if it were not temporarily inoperable or incomplete; or

(d) a major component part of a firearm;

but does not include:

(e) an antique firearm, explosive tool, captive bolt humane killer, spear gun, longbow or crossbow; or

(f) a replica of a spear gun, longbow or crossbow; or

(g) a slingshot, shanghai or sword; or

(h) a public monument.

Group Weapons Licence – is a licence issued to the University pursuant to the Weapons Regulation 1996 (Qld) to satisfy an occupational need of the University to possess a Weapon. A Group Weapons Licence authorises the University’s officers and employees to physically possess and use the licensed Weapons for the purpose stated on the licence.  However, a Group Weapons Licence does not authorise an officer or employee of the University to possess or use a Weapon unless the officer or employee holds a current licence that gives them rights to possess and use a Weapon of the same type as that which is to be possessed or used under the Group Weapons Licence.

University Licence Holder – the nominated representatives of James Cook University as stipulated on the University’s Group Weapons Licence, who must also hold a current Queensland Firearms Licence.

Weapons – include Firearms and those items prescribed as weapons by the Weapons Categories Regulation 1997 (Qld), including knives of all types (eg flick, sheath), swords, slingshots, shanghai, sword, spear gun, longbow or crossbow, knuckledusters, flails and maces, gas powered dart guns and Paxarms.


1.   Prohibition

1.1 The possession, carriage and use of Weapons on University owned and/or controlled property is prohibited except for those Weapons acquired  and owned by the University for use by Approved Users where it is considered necessary for the collection of specimens for research or teaching or for the protection of University animals.

1.2 Section 1.1 does not apply to sworn officers of the Queensland Police Service or Australian Federal Police or contractors engaged by the University for feral animal destruction.

2.   University Licence Holders

2.1 Each University campus/site where a University owned Weapon is stored, must have a University Licence Holder, who is nominated by a member of the University Executive to hold the University’s Group Weapons Licence.

2.2 The University Licence Holders:

a) are responsible for keeping a record of all University owned Weapons at their campus/site including:

(i) all University acquisitions of Weapons; and

(ii) the issuing and return of ammunition and University owned Weapons to Approved Users; and

b) are legally required to know the location of all University owned Weapons at all times.

3.   Approved Users

3.1 Members of the University’s academic, research or technical staff are eligible to apply for Approved User status.

3.2 Approved Users must hold a current Queensland Firearms Licence.

3.3 Applicants for Approved User status must make application through their respective Dean of College or Director, following the process outlined in the Weapons Procedure.

4.   Use of University Owned Weapons

4.1 University owned Weapons may only be used by Approved Users and only for work-related purposes.

4.2 University owned Weapons must be stored, issued and serviced by a University Licence Holder.

4.3 Controls around storage, issue, servicing and acquisition of University owned Weapons are stipulated in the Weapons Procedure

4.4 Only commercially manufactured ammunition is to be used with University owned Weapons.

4.5 Each Approved User must exercise extreme care in handling a University owned Weapon.

4.6 When carrying out any activity involving Weapons, Approved Users must comply with the Weapons Act 1990 (Qld) and its regulations.

4.7 Prior to using a University owned Weapon on land, other than University owned or controlled land, Approved Users must obtain written permission from the local Police Station and the owner of the property on which the Weapon is to be used.

4.8 Without limiting sections 4.6 and 4.7, Approved Users must abide by the laws of the relevant State or Territory applying to the use and/or discharge of Weapons (including Firearms) and the conservation of wildlife. Relevant permits must be obtained, as required, from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service or other applicable State or Territory body.

Related policy instruments

Weapons Procedure

Related documents and legislation

Weapons Act (QLD) 1990

Weapons Regulation (QLD) 1996

Weapons Categories Regulation (QLD) 1997


NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy DomainUniversity Management
Policy Sub-domainEstate and Facility Management

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Approval Authority

Vice Chancellor

Date for next Major Review


Revision History


Approval date

Implementation date






Minor amendments to align with Weapons Procedure

Quality, Standards and Policy




Reviewed, re-titled (from: Firearms to: Weapons) and updated to bring it into alignment with the organisation restructure and with the Council approved Policy and Delegations Framework. Procedures embedded within it were removed to create  an associated procedure, the Weapons Procedure.

Manager Security – Estate Directorate



Policy established 2009



Weapons, firearms