2nd Amendment vs.University’s Policies?: Student Prevents Intrusion By Brandishing His Gun

Published on November 10, 2013


A pair of college students in Washington state are facing disciplinary action, including possible expulsion, for using a handgun to prevent an intruder from entering their university-owned apartment.

A discipline board at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash. voted Friday to move forward with sanctions against Erik Fagan and Dan McIntosh. The men will learn what their future at the school will hold at a later date.

Fagan and McIntosh were at the off-campus apartment on the night of October 24 when they heard a knock at the door. Fagan answered the door and found himself face-to-face with John Taylor, a convicted felon wanted on an outstanding warrant by Washington State’s Department of Corrections. Fagan said Taylor demanded money, and became frustrated when the student refused.

When Taylor attempted to barge into the apartment, Fagan called to McIntosh, who brandished his pistol. At that, Taylor left the scene, but was later arrested by Spokane Police after the students filed a report.

McIntosh has a concealed weapons permit for the pistol. However, Gonzaga students may not possess handguns on campus or university-owned property, according to the student handbook.

Fagan, 21, and McIntosh, 23, rent their two-bedroom off-campus apartment, No. 5, from owner Gonzaga University. Complications arose after the men called both the Spokane Police and CAMPO to report the trespasser, in doing so declaring the pistol to SPD Officer Adam Valdez. SPD quickly apprehended the suspect, who was arrested on outstanding felony warrants. Valdez congratulated the students for safely warding off a possibly dangerous menace.

But according to the Gonzaga Student Handbook, students may not possess weapons on campus or university-owned property. This clause triggered an early-morning return by CAMPO and a residence director, resulting in the seizure of two guns, including a shotgun owned by Fagan.  This occurred at 2:30 a.m., more than four hours after the initial incident. Director of Security Brian Kenny served the men with hearing notices at 9 a.m. that morning.

Kenny did not respond to email requests for information.

The hearing on the alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct is scheduled Friday morning with the University Discipline Board.

Fagan and McIntosh said they didn’t know about GU’s weapons policy. They said they didn’t realize that rules pertaining to on-campus conduct applied to the Sinto Apartments.

“They own property all over the place, though,” Fagan said. “Do they retain the right to search anyone on any other property anywhere? We were more than willing to share the information, and didn’t figure that we were going to be getting potentially expelled for it.”