Police at Florida Atlantic University's campus in Boca Raton called Ryan Beauchamp on March 10 while he was working as a valet on Sunrise Boulevard. They had found a box of ammo in the University Village Apartments mailroom with the words "9 mm ammunition" emblazoned on the side.
He agreed to cooperate with campus police. He came in and explained that, yes, he did have a gun stored in a box with cleaning supplies in his on-campus apartment.
According to FAU's Deputy Keith Totten, Beauchamp was promptly arrested on a felony weapons violation charge under Florida Statute 790.115.
Beauchamp says now he's getting a bad rap from the media. WPTV-TV News (Channel 5) filmed him in court and decided to use a photo of one portion of the video where he looks angry and mean. The Sun-Sentinel reported that he doesn't have a concealed weapons permit, although he does, just not with him in Florida.
Luckily, the judge was lenient on him and released him with no bail. So while he's awaiting trial, he agreed to speak about the incident.
I really think the law should be changed. Not all guns are evil. I know a lot of people are relating this to "What if this kid went crazy?" But if a law-abiding citizen at Virginia Tech was actually carrying a gun on-campus, which I don't, by the way, they could've stopped the attack. It's really an ambiguous argument.
How would you respond to someone who thought you were buying ammo for a Columbine-style attack?
That's ridiculous. I owed a lot
of ammo to someone because we go through three boxes of ammo every time we're at the range. It's a recreational sport. I used to do it with my grandfather, and it's really a good family sport.
So you weren't planning to shoot up the school?
Why did you have it sent to FAU?
Yeah... I wasn't really thinking. It was a really stupid idea. I was just planning on telling the police it was for someone else. Ammo is expensive and really hard to find.
Have you ever had to shoot someone?
Definitely not. But if it was an absolute last option and I knew I would die, then I would have no choice. But absolutely not; I wouldn't ever want that on my conscience.
Do you know other students who have guns on campus?
I don't know of any, but there probably are.
Do you think students should be allowed to have guns on campus?
Unless they're going to put up a wall around campus with metal detectors or armed security officers in every classroom, then yes. Professional adults should be allowed to carry guns on campus. When they ban guns on campus, people feel safe, but when I go to class, cell phones don't work and there's no escape. You're basically fish in a barrel if someone wanted to shoot up the school. [Federal court case] McDonald vs. Chicago
is deciding whether the Second Amendment applies to the state. Right now, it only applies to the federal government, and this means the federal government can't enact a law that bans guns on campus. Depending on the outcome of that case, carrying a gun on-campus might be legal next year. University policy might not change, but the law could.
Wouldn't that allow for more Virginia-Tech style shootings?
Definitely not. People that are trying to do the right thing and obey the law obviously aren't the people who are going to shoot up the school. If someone wants to shoot up the school, they aren't going to think, "Oh, I can't do that. It's against the law." Anyone who supports having a firearm ban on campus whether it's university policy or state law is supporting criminals. They're supporting people who want to shoot up the school, and I don't support those people.
Should professors be allowed to have concealed weapons on campus?
Absolutely. That's the least [the school] can do. But if a professor has a concealed weapons permit, then there's no reason students shouldn't be able to. How many students are there at FAU, and how many police officers are there? Police really can't protect people.
What do you think the charges will do for your chances of finding a job after graduation?
I still have to go to trial, but I'm really not worried about it. Basically I don't have any criminal record as of now, but it's a shame that I have to worry about something like that, because I'm a good person.
What are other students saying to you about all of this?
They know I'm a good person, and they know I made a mistake. They feel bad for me.