New Massachusetts Law Outlaws Possession of Firearms On Campus

Students possessing firemarnis on campus without written authorization are now subject to prosecution by the court as well as the University. An act passed by the state legislature on June 20 provides punishments of a fine of up to one thousand dollars or imprisonment for up to one year.

Dean May's office will mail a copy of the law, which is printed below in full, to each student.

The new act does not alter the current regulations of Harvard College, which provides for "severe disciplinary action" against any student who possesses explosives, firecrackers, or "potential ingredients thereof" without a special permit from the Dean or a House Master.

Robert Tonis. Chief of the University Police, said yesterday, "We've never had a single problem about firearms." He speculated that the law was enacted because other campuses in the state do not have regulations on firearms.

An incident last spring at Cornell, where students with firearms occupied a campus building, helped prompt the legislature's enactment.

Whoever, not being a law enforcement officer, and notwithstanding any license obtained by him under the provisions of chapter one hundred and forty, carries on his person a firearm as hereinafter defined, loaded or unloaded, in any building or on the grounds of any college or university without the written authorization of the board or officer in charge of said college or university shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year or both. For the purpose of this paragraph "firearm" shall mean any pistol, revolver, rifle or smoothbore arm from which a shot, bullet or pellet can be discharged by whatever means.