The Armed Citizen® | Students

posted on May 17, 2017

With all the back-and-forth surrounding the spread of campus carry, you’d think that students exercising their right to keep and bear arms was a new idea. But in fact, students have been using firearms to protect themselves and others for a long time, as the following eight accounts prove.

Vincent Reed Bellamy was at home in a student apartment complex in Raleigh, N.C., at around 1:45 a.m. when an armed intruder broke into the dwelling. Bellamy responded to the threat by shooting the criminal, and then triggering a fire alarm to call for help. When police arrived they found the home invader dead in a nearby hallway. Following an investigation, Wake County Prosecutor Colleen Janssen made clear that Bellamy would not face charges. Janssen explained to a local media outlet the laws that protect residents like Bellamy, stating, “Those laws were put in place to protect homeowners or residents of homes when they protect themselves against intruders … and that’s exactly what I see as having happened here.” (WTVD, Raleigh, N.C., 08/2/13; The News Observer, Raleigh, N.C., 08/10/13)

A college student and his girlfriend were outside his apartment in Cheltenham, Pa., when a stranger approached them. Fearing for their safety, the pair retreated into the house. The stranger followed the couple inside and menaced them, at which point the college student retrieved an AR-15 rifle and fired at the intruder, killing him. Following the incident, District Attorney Risa Ferman said of the case, “This is what we refer to when we talk about Castle Doctrine. The notion that your home is your castle and you have the right inside of your home or in the home environment to defend yourself.” (CBS Philly, Philadelphia, Pa., 04/25/13;, Philadelphia, Pa., 04/25/13)

Two armed criminals in Tucson, Ariz., got more than they bargained for when attempting to rob the residence of a University of Arizona student. The two planned to knock, wait for someone to come to the door, and then muscle their way inside. But what they weren’t planning on is that the student at this residence was also a former Marine. As the two criminals tried to execute their plan, the former Marine closed the door in their face and went to retrieve his handgun. When he returned, he found both criminals had gotten through the doorway into his residence and fired, killing both. The police do not plan to press charges in the case, with Tucson police spokesman Sgt. Fabian Pacheco stating, “All indications are that this is a home invasion. These individuals forced their way into his home, and he is a gun owner, felt his life was in danger and fired at these suspects." Another neighborhood resident was relieved with the outcome of the incident stating, “If you are going to have an outcome of a horrible, horrible situation like this, this is the outcome you got to have.” (The Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Ariz., 10/16/08)

College student John Erickson parked his scooter and was walking toward his house when a pit bull charged him in an unprovoked attack. "All of a sudden the dog grabbed my leg from behind," he recalls. He swung his helmet at the dog, temporarily halting the assault but the dog recommenced the onslaught. Erickson, a concealed-carry permit holder, was forced to draw his 9 mm pistol and shoot the delinquent animal. His mother, Lyn, used to oppose her son's firearm ownership, but after the incident she noted, "Now I'm saying, 'I'm just so thankful he had a gun,' I'm just so thankful because what would you do?" (Daily Herald, Provo, Utah, 9/18/07)

Two men and one woman broke into the apartment of a 20-year-old college student at 5:48 a.m. One invader was armed with a pellet gun, and the three overpowered the resident and tied him up. As the intruders began to ransack the apartment, the student was able to free himself and get hold of his handgun. He fired three shots, hitting one of the burglars in the chest, and then ran from the apartment and called for help. Police discovered the body of one suspect, identified as Juan Herrera, on the stairs leading to the apartment. The other two suspects had not been apprehended. (The Salinas Californian, Salinas, Calif., 03/23/04)

Eighteen-year-old Vern Benadom was home sick when he heard someone enter his family's Ridgecrest, Calif., home. He went to his parents' bedroom, got a shotgun, loaded it and waited in a closet. When one of two intruders entered the room and began grabbing guns, Benadom stepped from the closet and ordered the prowler to put up his hands. The student then captured the accomplice and held both for police. The suspects were identified as escapees from a nearby youth correctional institute. (The News-Review, Inyokern, Calif., 12/14/89)

It was attendant Eric Davis' turn to carry a .38 revolver while working the late shift at a Baltimore, Md., gas station. The 18-year-old vo-tech student had told two men who had been lingering at the station to leave, but the pair drove around the block and came barreling back. When he saw one of the men approaching and pointing a sawed-off shotgun, Davis opened fire on both men. Two wounded suspects were detained by police at a local hospital. (The News-Review, Inyokern, Calif., 12/14/89)

Confronted by two holdup men, Patrick E. Hopcroft, 32, a Portland, Ore., college student who works nights as a filling station attendant, obeyed their command to open the cash register—then pulled out a large caliber pistol from it and fired a shot over their heads. Both surrendered, bringing to 6 the total number of holdup men foiled by Hopcroft. He shot three gunmen and overcame another in previous holdups. (Statesman, Portland, Ore., 09/01/69)



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