Erik Fagan and Dan McIntosh are students at Gonzaga University in Spokane, and share an apartment off campus. When a strange man knocked on their door on October 24, asked for money and acted as though he might try to enter their home, McIntosh took out a legally owned gun to fend him off.
Because the students rent their apartment from the university, they are subject to the school’s campus-wide policy banning firearms. Fagan, 21 and McIntosh, 23, say they were not aware of the ban, and now they could be expelled from school as a result.
After the incident, the men contacted both the Spokane Police and CAMPO, the campus safety authorities. Initially, the two were commended for their actions. The suspect was soon found, and arrested on outstanding felony warrants.
Later, however, CAMPO returned to their home with a residence director and seized two guns. The students were then served with hearing notices, and now face violations of the Student Code of Conduct that could result in expulsion.
“What they don’t understand, is that this has done nothing but reaffirm why I had [the gun],” McIntosh said. He also said that he was unaware that he was violating any policies, and was not issued a student conduct handbook.
“I would’ve probably not have lived there,” McIntosh said. “I would’ve moved out … I do not feel safe, because it’s the Logan Neighborhood. It’s not a good place.”
“It’s really hard to think that expulsion could even be considered, but at the same time, they keep bringing it up,” Fagan said
According to the website Armed Campuses, very few universities allow firearms on campus, and these anti-gun policies appear to make students safer. Their website states “the overall homicide rate at post-secondary education institutions was 0.07 per 100,000 students in 1999. By comparison, the criminal homicide rate in the United States as a whole was 5.7 per 100,000 persons overall in 1999, and 14.1 per 100,000 for persons ages 17 to 29.”