Dear Governors:
On Monday morning’s webinar, when I reviewed the January 2017 board meeting and decision, I spoke to the changes in Rotary code as they relate to the use of guns, weapons and other armaments.  During the call, DG John Sullivan asked me to forward the exact language from the code for you to share with any clubs that may be interested.  The new code, which will be effective as of July 1, 2017, is attached.
For those of you who may not have been on the call, permit me to provide you an overview of the decision the board rendered regarding the use of guns, weapons and other armaments by Rotary clubs.  In early 2016, Rotary, and the Board discovered that there is a lack of clarity around RI’s policy governing Rotary clubs, districts, and other Rotary Entities when participating in activities involving guns, weapons, and other armaments, and when interacting with gun companies, including for sponsorship purposes. To address this lack of clarity, the board and RI staff gave an extensive review of our current policy, the various factors to consider and the implications.  At the January 2017 board meeting the board adopted the attached revisions to the Code of Policies.  The notable changes included:
  • Prohibiting Rotary clubs, districts and other Rotary Entities from transferring ownership of weapons.
  • Prohibiting clubs, districts and Rotary Entities from conducting or sponsoring gun shows.
  • Prohibiting clubs, districts and Rotary Entities from accepting sponsorships from gun/weapon companies or stores, and preventing use of Rotary’s logo with the name or logo of a gun/weapon company or store.
  • Prohibiting clubs, districts and Rotary Entities from using any visual that includes weapons.
  • Prohibiting licensing by RI of guns or weapons.
Although the policy changes prohibit the transference of ownership of guns, weapons or other armaments, and prohibits sponsorship by or co-branding with guns and weapons manufacturers and entities, clubs are still permitted to conduct sporting events that may include guns.  (e.g., turkey shoots, skeet shoots, etc.)
We encourage you to communicate these changes to your clubs so that they are aware of the changes and can make adjustment to their activities.
If you have any questions please contact Rotary International at 866-976-8279 or 847-866-3000 or email