Gonzaga Students Report Confiscated Firearms As Stolen

"Erik Fagan, left, and Daniel McIntosh stand in the doorway Friday at their apartment in the Gonzaga University neighborhood. They faced expulsion for having a gun in a campus apartment, which they used to drive off a man who came to their door demanding cash. On Sunday the two were told they’d be on probation for the rest of their time at Gonzaga." (caption and photo courtesy spokesman.com)

Eagle-eyed TTAG reader EN saw this at spokesman.com regarding Gonzaga campus cops’ confiscation of Erik Fagan and Daniel McIntosh’s firearms after a defensive gun use: “It was campus security. They entered the home, went upstairs to the bedrooms and hammered on the doors, telling them to give up the weapons, the students said. The officers confiscated McIntosh’s GLOCK and Fagan’s shotgun, which he uses for hunting and sport shooting. The guns still haven’t been returned to the men, and the two reported them stolen to Spokane police.” EN points out that WA law makes stealing a firearm a Class B felony. What are the odds the University police will face charges? A lot less than the chances that seniors Fagan and McIntosh will never see their guns again.

comments

  1. avatar nemsis says:

    Good for them

    This needs to be done

    1. avatar Andrew says:

      Hmm… The students have been placed on “probation” (i.e. no more naughtiness while you’re here or we’ll boot ya’)

      http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/nov/11/gonzaga-students-with-guns-placed-on-school/

      It’s better than being expelled.. I guess..

  2. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    Bravo! I see some future constitutional law scholars being minted . . . . .

    Gonzaga does have a law school – might I suggest the police consult with a law prof there about the 4th amendment? Taking the weapons under color of authority is not wise.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Since it’s a Jesuit university, I would steer clear of the law profs – they tend to be rabidly liberal as a rule at those institutions. I’ve had words with my alma mater over this tendency in the past.

      1. avatar James Navy Vet says:

        I am currently attending school on the GI bill. And I can tell you that yes you will be exposed to liberal propaganda however if you are of strong mind and convictions you easily see right through it and rise above it. Go to any school you wish, if you think you will be browbeaten for your views keep them concealed at least to whatever extent you feel you have to. Get your degree then go raise some hell.

        1. avatar eric cartman says:

          easy solution get a degree worth a dam, like engineering , finance business. no liberals there and you might be able to actually get a job

        2. avatar ReManG says:

          This is an interesting read for you since your already in school….

          http://www.edge.org/conversation/the-bright-future-of-post-partisan-social-psychology

          Johnathan Haidt has some interesting reading about things from the “liberal” side of the coin. They are not rants and raves and as close to impartial evaluations of the situation that I have seen regarding the divide between the “conservative” and “liberal” views in social psychology. If you read the article, you will see what I mean.

        3. avatar James Navy Vet says:

          @ReManG
          Thanks for the link, I listened to the whole lecture, good stuff. It is nice to see some people are able to see past the “moral force-field” that they put up. I may actually use part of that lecture in one of my anthropology papers.

        4. avatar peirsonb says:

          I had a professor, an engineering professor, once expand on the notion that “college breeds liberals.”

          The way she put it was that college simply polarizes beliefs. If you go in leaning left, you will find kindred spirits and come out die hard liberal. If you go in leaning right, you will see the abounding stupidity in the liberal movement and become staunchly conservative.

          I tend to agree…

      2. avatar Logic says:

        I’m confused. What does the term liberal even mean anymore? It used to be based on its root “Liberty”. These days it seems to mean the opposite.

        1. avatar James Navy Vet says:

          Your not kidding, we should probably replace it with statist at this point.

        2. avatar Ing says:

          There are liberals who still live up to the name, but they’re a minority.

          What passes for liberal now is actually progressive totalitarianism — a few ostensibly liberal ideas married to the notion that it is the prerogative of the almighty state to force society to progress in whatever direction the progressives deem progress to lie.

        3. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

          It means that statists will co-opt terminology and corrupt language to confuse the pupils and disrupt political discourse.

        4. avatar rosignol says:

          It’s what the left re-branded itself as after the collapse of the USSR.

          But people are slowly figuring out what the people calling themselves ‘liberals’ really are, so the next re-branding has begun. The new term is ‘Progressive’.

          The next time you encounter a ‘Progressive’, ask them what they’re trying to progress to. The answer will be mushy leftist boilerplate.

      3. avatar Ralph says:

        @Jus Bill, I graduated from a Jezzy law school. I can’t speak about the profs in the colleges, but the law school profs ran the gamut from liberal to conservative and it was very hard to get a read on any of them. Basically, they stuck to business — and in my first year, the business was treating the law students like readheaded stepchildren.

        1. avatar peirsonb says:

          So….a lot like engineering then?

          Except our engineering professors didn’t stop at first year students….

  3. avatar Chris says:

    Looking at Washington’s laws, it appears that they had the right to have firearms in the apartment regardless of Gonzaga’s rules against it as landlords can’t violate the right to self defense. It shouldn’t matter where the apartment is, who owns it or how many guns they had. If they had them legally they are in the right here.

    1. avatar mark_anthony_78 says:

      I would think that depends on what’s in the lease/rental agreement.

      If they knew firearms were prohibited by the property owners, then they weren’t “allowed” to be there, but I would think that still only leaves the University with the power to evict them, not steal their stuff.

      1. avatar Ardent says:

        Based on the relevant state law, if the no weapons prohibition was written into the lease it’s still unenforceable as a contract with unlawful terms is also unenforceable (Unconscionable Contract).

        This pair should sue the university for placing them on probation since it follows from the universities violation of their civil rights and sue the campus police and university et al for the unlawful taking of their property.

        1. I just posted this as a DGU over on my blog and was ranting how it was absurd that a landlord could limit your possession of keeping a weapon in your abode. Judging from your comment, WA agrees. I hope they nail these jerk off campus security thugs.

  4. avatar Ralph says:

    The two young men had been facing expulsion from the University, but the school relented and placed them on probation for the rest of their lives at Gonzaga.

    They were wise to file the theft report. While state laws differ, generally theft is the taking of another’s property without permission or legal right and without intending to return it. Filing the report is a good way to force the school’s hand on the intention to return question. The “legal right” question is one that their lawyer will enjoy litigating.

    I expect that the guns will be returned once they provide the administrative demigods with an off-campus place to deliver them.

    1. avatar Veritas says:

      I actually heard….it was DOUBLE SECRET PROBATION!

    2. avatar (Formerly) MN Matt says:

      Good to hear. This pisses me off more than if they had been expelled.

    3. avatar Rick says:

      They already WERE off-campus; Gonzaga U merely owns the apartments.

  5. avatar mark_anthony_78 says:

    I think the University Police should have also undergone a background check before the firearms were transferred to their possession. Ya know, since EVERY firearm transfer needs to have this, according to them…

  6. avatar Buster says:

    I bet campus security wasn’t expecting that! LMAO!!

  7. avatar Hannibal says:

    Great idea.

    The university may have lots of administrative options for dealing with rules violations, but entry followed by seizures is a different animal…

  8. avatar joe says:

    a local police force took my drivers liscense without arresting me. i went to the station 5 times over a month. i needed my license for work( i delievered pizza), they made it so i was illegaly driving. finaly told them i was calling the state police for theft all of a sudden they “found it”. in PA a drivers liscense is state property and they had no right to take it since i was never under arrest or even charged with a single crime or ticket

  9. avatar Matt in FL says:

    It’s worth noting that according to the story I read, after the seizure they contacted the Spokane police officer that originally took their report, and he’s the one that advised them to report them stolen. He was also going to (or already has) testify on their behalf at the school hearing.

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      Sounds like something I would do.

  10. avatar tdiinva says:

    Gonzaga is a private institution. Their “police” force are nothing more than private security guards. You know what cops think of private security types.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      Yep. They never address it directly, but I notice that the word “police” is never used once in conjunction with the campus folks: they’re campus security, NOT police.

    2. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      actually, that may not be accurate. Many states allow “private” insitutions to have police forces with arrest powers (ie, ticket writing, arrest authority, etc). I would advise these young men to lawyer up. I susepct that the good Jesuits’ po-po does have arrest authority and used that to enter forcibly in the dead of the night. Moreover, I would question if GU received any state monies, esp police grants, even if they are private. May be interesting to show they acted under color of state authority

      1. avatar Sertorius says:

        Even if they have real arrest powers, it’s still theft. There’s no crime – just, at most, a violation of campus rules. In other words, just a contract dispute. That’s not legal justification to steal someone’s property.

        1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

          that is correct – the po po should have had a warrant or failing to get one themselves, should have called the real cops and gotten one.

  11. avatar Sammy says:

    Sooooooooooo, the administration would prefer if they were injured or killed as opposed to the outcome at hand?
    We’re loosing this country in the schools and collages.

    1. avatar MichaelB says:

      lol. the irony.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        Yeah… I see it too.

        1. avatar Sammy says:

          Woobs.

  12. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    If Washington is similar to most of the rest of the country, they might have had better luck in making the report to the county sheriff rather than the city police….

  13. avatar Veritas says:

    Someone should have told them…Guns have any anti-theft device on them. If someone comes for your guns, you point the gun at the thief, squeeze the trigger…the thief will no longer be a threat. Repeat as necessary. It wasn’t the police coming for them, it was rent a cops who carry no real authority.

    They were home invaders. ‘From my cold dead hand…’

    1. avatar Veidt says:

      Just so we’re clear, you are suggesting the best course of action here would be to shoot and kill the campus police? Undisputed comments like these on TTAG do nothing to help the cause, I promise you.

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      I’m still trying to figure out, given the attempted robbery prevented by a DGU in the same apartment on the same day, how they Campus Security got into the apartment without being shot.

      The question of whether they were Campus Police or just security guards is still open, but if they entered without waiting for permission, searched without permission and confiscated without permission, even if they are ersatz caps, it’s just amazingly lucky they didn’t get popped.

      If we cannot say here, on this blog, that pseudo police acting as thugs and bullies, breaking and entering a private residence (which is what an apartment becomes as long as the lease is in effect and you are paying the rent) without the residents’ permission, should not be justifiably shot in self defense, then where can such sentiments possibly be stated? We should not have to mince our words or pussy-foot (emphasis “pussy) around an issue just because some people who hate us anyway might pull a quote to make us look bad. If they can’t find a quote they’ll just make one up anyway. It’s not like any of their readers are likely to follow the link here to verify the accuracy. To them and that condescending attitude I say, “Piss off.”

      1. avatar John L. says:

        There’s a bit of difference between being surprised the CampSec guys didn’t get shot, and advocating for shooting them.

  14. avatar Ing says:

    Whether they have arrest authority or not, when the Gonzaga “CAMPO” (as they call themselves) entered that apartment, they were operating solely on what they thought the rental contract and the school’s assumed privilege as pseudo-parents allowed them to do.

    They may get away with that shit in the freshman dorms on campus, but these buildings (though university-owned) are some distance away from campus, and in a bad neighborhood to boot. And the occupants — not just the two guys in this mess, but ALL the occupants of those buildings — aren’t wet-behind-the-ears freshmen who may not even be 18 yet, they’re legal adults.

    This whole thing will probably hinge on the timing and method of entry.

    I went to a university in Washington state, and when I lived in university-owned apartments — actually ON campus, mind you — they very carefully observed the state’s landlord/tenant rules. If the resident didn’t give direct permission in person, the landlord had to give 24 hours notice in writing before entering an apartment. That rule was only suspended in case of emergency — for instance, when some fools turned their heat off and left for winter break, and of course (this being eastern WA) the pipes froze and burst, the landlords rushed through the whole building turning heaters on and trying to mitigate the water damage. Some tenants were really angry at the intrusion, but it was legal and necessary.

    There was a constitutional case at Washington State University a couple years ago that prevented the campus cops (who are a fully vested police force) from patrolling the halls of the dorms, since they’re considered legal residences. They can hang out in the common areas, but can’t randomly patrol the halls where the actual dorm rooms are.

    What the Zag authorities did was at the very least unnecessary, and probably illegal.

    There was no emergency. The police had investigated and told the residents “good job,” everyone was asleep, nothing amiss. They could have waited till morning to visit (or call or send a letter), but no…. They had to do their own little no-knock raid in the wee hours.

    The more I think about it, the angrier I get. The campus security thief and the admin who let him deserved to get shot…except that it would have caused even more undeserved trouble for the residents.

    I guess the moral of this story is never underestimate the consequences of doing the right thing.

    1. avatar rosignol says:

      I went to a university in Washington state, and when I lived in university-owned apartments — actually ON campus, mind you — they very carefully observed the state’s landlord/tenant rules.

      Betcha that was because of a previous incident where the landlord/tenant rules weren’t observed, and the Uni got smacked hard by a Judge for violating them.

  15. avatar Jesse says:

    While this might not have the desired outcome of these two men getting their guns back and this just being forgotten about, it will definitely show the ‘powers that be’ that we will not be fucked with. While that by itself is relatively small potatoes, some of the greatest upheavals in history started off with small actions like this.

  16. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    The tenants should not have answered their door. Even if the University is the landlord of the off-campus apartments, landlords cannot barge in to apartments in the middle of the night for any reason. And if the people banging on the door were campus police, they have no jurisdiction off-campus.

    The students were wrong to open the door and submit to any searches or seizures. And whoever barged in demanding to search and seize anything were wrong. At this point reporting that the University security agents (not sure they were security guards or police) stole the guns is the right course of action.

    1. avatar Erik says:

      they did not let them in, the security guards used a masterkey

  17. avatar Dave S says:

    I think the theft report was correct. If the facts are as reported, there needs to be a change in campus security management and oversight.

    Private Security has no authority to seize anything more then the average citizen would be allowed to do. IE in an emergency you probably could take a weapon and safeguard it until you could let a responding LEO take charge of it. Thats assuming an ongoing potentially dangerous situation. If the security officers were also sworn reserve officers of a LEO ( not unknown) the sponsoring LEO is exposed to liability in this incident

    After the fact and with no ongoing emergent circumstances, i believe even the local PD would have to have a warrant to enter and seize weapons. The fourth amendment still requires nominal observance.

  18. avatar Bruce Gordon says:

    Good thing neither of these fellows were FFL’s, or these Yahoo Cops would be facing Federal Felony Charges. It is a violation Federal LAW to relieve an FFL of any Inventoried Weapon, without a Complete Transaction Record, in the “Bound Book” PERIOD. There is “NO Exemption” in the Regulations for Law Enforcement, either Federal, State, OR Local, except an ATF Agent, which these Yahoo cops were NOT.

  19. avatar Casey says:

    This entire thing pisses me off because I’m a Gonzaga alum and I thought the school was better than this. It’s ridiculous that they pulled this crap.

  20. avatar texmln says:

    From the Gonzaga University Campus Safety and Security website:

    “It is important to note that CPS&S officers have the same arrest powers as private citizens. Criminal activity and requests for police service that are outside the authority of CPS&S officers are directed to the Spokane Police Department. CPS&S officers work in conjunction with Residence Hall staff, the University administration and local police to enforce and seek compliance with Gonzaga policies, state laws and local ordinances.”

    Here’s the link: http://www.gonzaga.edu/Student+Life/Campus-Public-Safety-and-Security/Services-Provided/default.asp

    The Spokane Police need to make an arrest for theft. These Campus Security fools are nothing but rent-a-cops of the kind you find at the local mall food court. Not that I generally hold the actual police in any higher regard…

  21. avatar Mark says:

    Outstanding!!!! NOw, they need to approach these thugs individually and take their gun. Send them back to the station with an empty holster.

  22. avatar John L. says:

    I wonder if the campus security force even has a secure place to store the guns.

  23. avatar Michael says:

    Good for them reporting it a stolen. Hope the police don’t charge them with giving the guns to people without getting a background check.
    Do property right supercede University rules? It will take a court to decide

  24. avatar William says:

    So let me get this correct. Two guys (one who doesn’t live at the campus propery, get a slap on the wrist while I ( an actual functioning policeman with the rank of captain) who was staying at a fellow classmates flat because of an asthma attack ( my off campus roommate smokes which triggered an attack) who is protected by LEOSA and mass. Law that states only “law enforcement” can have weapons on campus gets charged for merely having his service weapons.
    I’m i living in some type of nightmare?!
    By the way, I am NOT a reservist nor am I auxiliary; what ever those are, I don’t believe that they exist in PA. Certainly not at our department. I simply don’t work 40 hours a week because if school.
    I wasn’t drinking ( because I simply don’t) nor did I “openly show my guns” on campus.

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