” Gonzaga students Dan McIntosh and Erik Fagan have now acquired their weapons that were taken from them by campus security four hours after they fended off a home intruder on October 24th. Weapons any place on the G.U. campus or at any university residence is prohibited. McIntosh said that they did not know they could pick them up immediately until KHQ informed them of an e-mail we received from the university stating that they could have their guns back. The only restriction was that the students had to move the weapons off campus to a non-university residence which would be in compliance with the weapons policy.
The Gonzaga students have received probation rather than expulsion , here here … and now they’ve had their weapons returned as well , but unless they move they are now defenseless as the guns may not be kept in their University owned apartment . On the other hand the incident has prompted the University authorities to question their firearms policy and they vow to review them with possible changes to come .
” Gonzaga University will re-examine its weapons policy following an incident with two students and a home intruder two weeks ago. In the meantime the current policy remains in effect. The current policy states that there are to be no weapons on campus or any university owned property. Both students will learn whether or not they will be expelled early next week. Student Erik Fagan had this to say about the university re-examining their weapons policy: “I am very happy to see that they are looking to have a conversation about policies. Because as of now they are making us decide to either protect ourselves and face punishment from the school or follow the policy and not be able to defend ourselves.”
A letter regarding the incident from the University president included this statement :
” In light of the specific circumstances reported in the Gonzaga Bulletin and the press, there have been calls for a re-examination of the University’s policies relating to firearms. As a Jesuit institution dedicated to the thoughtful evaluation of complex social issues, I believe this to be an opportunity to do some important work, as a community: to objectively re-examine our firearms policy and openly debate perspectives and contextual issues with an eye towards an honest and open review of the same. Therefore, I have asked our Vice President for Student Development, Dr. Biggs Garbuio, to work in conjunction with GSBA and RHA to facilitate a campus dialogue focused on this issue. In the meantime, the Student Handbook and its Code of Conduct are in effect and all students are obligated to know their rights and acknowledge their responsibilities as established within them.”
Be sure to check out the comments section after reading the article as there is quite a lively debate taking place , with the vast majority supporting the student’s rights to self-defense and for those interested in the debate and certain assertions made by some of the commenters to the effect that the school firearms prohibition policy DOES NOT apply to off campus housing here is a link to the Student Handbook in PDF format .
One commenter even disputes the ownership of the property where the students reside stating ” The apartment in question is off campus, and there is doubt, based on the publicly available property records, that the complex is even owned by the Gonzaga. The university is listed as the tax paying entity, but the owner is listed as “Colonial City, Inc.”
Here is the relevant section on firearms policy from the Gonzaga student handbook , most recently updated on 9.18.2013 :
WEAPONS, FIREWORKS & EXPLOSIVES
” The presence and use of weapons on campus presents a potential threat to the safety of all community members. Use or display of weapons may result in threat or injury to self or others. Use or display of weapons, whether intentional or not, is generally inconsistent with the University’s Ethos Statement and may be illegal.
Possession, use, display, sale or exchange of weapons at any location on campus, including University residential facilities and privately-owned vehicles, is prohibited. The term “weapon” means any object designed to propel an object, inflict a wound, cause injury, incapacitate, damage property or cause a reasonable fear of such, and includes, but is not limited to, all firearms, pellet/BB/air guns, paintball guns, home-manufactured cannons or explosive devices, bows and arrows, slingshots, clubs, martial arts devices, switchblades or otherwise-illegal knives or knives with a blade longer than three inches (with the exception of kitchen knives in our University homes and apartments). Replica guns and other simulated weapons are included within this policy. Objects otherwise not considered weapons, and knives with blades less than three inches, may be included within this policy if used as a weapon. Fireworks, flammables, explosives and chemicals of an explosive and/or flammable nature are also prohibited. Exceptions to this policy may be authorized by the Director of Campus Public Safety and Security. The University retains the right to search persons, possessions and bags and privately-owned vehicles on University property, and to confiscate, retain and dispose of/destroy all items covered by this policy regardless of value or ownership. Law enforcement may be contacted for some violations of this policy.”
The code would seem to be quite ambiguous concerning off-campus housing , university owned or not . There are two references to weapons prohibitions and they both very explicitly speak of “ON CAMPUS” locations . The code does not specifically mention off campus housing at all .
Given the above reading of the student handbook the students would seem to have acted well within their rights and have the facts to prevail in court . However , considering the fact that both Mr Fagan and Mr McIntosh are barely a semester from graduation we can understand their anxiousness to be done with the entire affair .