Gonzaga University Punishes Students for Defensive Gun Use

Erik Fagan and Dan McIntosh were at home in their apartment on October 24, when “a felon with an extensive criminal history” knocked on their door demanding money. When Fagan decline to contribute, the felon, tried to break in. McIntosh brandished his pistol, at which point the attacker ran away. Police later took him into custody, because he’s wanted on an outstanding warrant.

McIntosh has a concealed weapons permit. While this is irrelevant when discussing home defense, it shows that the gun owner is a law-abiding citizen known to law enforcement, which ran his background check and approved his permit.

It’s also good to note that this defensive gun use succeeded without firing a shot. Most researchers agree that the vast majority of defensive gun uses don’t require shooting. They also rarely get reported by media.

The reason such a benign defensive gun use made headlines is because there’s a wrinkle in this story, courtesy of Gonzaga University.

Fagan and McIntosh are students there, and the school owns their apartment. Gonzaga’s student handbook bans gun possession on any school property. As a result, police confiscated McIntosh’s gun and the university is in the process of disciplining both students, which may include expulsion.

Gonzaga claims their anti-gun policy is “in place to reduce threats to the school.” Apparently, as long as the threats are only to students and not the school itself, law-abiding armed students are the threat.