Wizards' Arenas investigated for gun possession

Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas is in hot water for storing firearms in a locked container in his locker, though they had no ammunition.
Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas is in hot water for storing firearms in a locked container in his locker, though they had no ammunition. (Jonathan Newton/the Washington Post)
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Friday, December 25, 2009

The Washington Wizards and the NBA are investigating Gilbert Arenas for possibly violating league rules regarding gun possession. CBSSports.com first reported the news on Thursday afternoon and the team and league both released statements acknowledging the situation.

"The Washington Wizards have learned that Gilbert Arenas stored firearms in a locked container in his locker, unloaded and without ammunition," the Wizards' statement read. "The Wizards organization and Arenas promptly notified the local authorities and the NBA, are cooperating fully with law enforcement during its review of this matter and will have no further comment at this time."

According to a league source, Arenas has not been charged with a crime yet, but the District has strict gun laws that prohibit carrying guns, openly or concealed. A person close to Arenas said that he brought the guns to Verizon Center to keep them away from his children. Arenas recently welcomed his third child, Hamiley Penny, on Dec. 9 and no longer wanted them in his home. His first daughter, Izela, turned 4 on Thursday.

Arenas planned on releasing a written statement on Thursday, but said the NBA told him not to make one. In a text message, Arenas said that he has already turned his guns over to the police. A person familiar with the situation said that the weapons were registered and Arenas gave them to team security earlier this week.

Arenas may still face actions from the NBA, which allows players to legally own guns but prohibits them from carrying weapons on league property. Los Angeles Clippers guard Sebastian Telfair was fined in 2006, when he was with the Portland Trail Blazers, for carrying a loaded handgun registered to his girlfriend on the team plane at Boston's Logan Airport.

"We're aware of the situation and are working to gain a full understanding of the facts and relevant legal issues," the NBA said in a statement.

Arenas has a prior weapons charge and was suspended for the season opener in 2004-05 after he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor weapons and vehicle charges for possessing a concealed weapon and driving without a license in 2003.

-- Michael Lee

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