Bill Russell Arrested For Having Loaded Gun in Luggage

NBA legend Bill Russell was arrested earlier this week for having a loaded .38 in his luggage.

NBA legend Bill Russell was arrested earlier this week for having a loaded .38 in his luggage.

Seattle Times (“Bill Russell is cited at Sea-Tac; TSA alleges he had loaded gun in luggage“):

Bill Russell, Hall of Fame center and former Sonics coach, was arrested Wednesday night at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after Transportation Security Administration officials said they found a loaded gun in his luggage.

Russell, 79, was arrested as he attempted to go through security. Airport spokesman Perry Cooper confirmed Russell was cited for having a weapon in a prohibited area. The gun was confiscated and Russell was released.

Russell’s gun was a .38-caliber pistol and was loaded with six rounds, according to a TSA spokesman. Russell, who has lived in the area for decades, was turned over to Port of Seattle police; there were no disruptions at the airport.

I have no idea why Russell was traveling with a loaded .38 but, damn it, I’m of half a mind to let him.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Mark Ivey says:

    Guns! Guns! Guns!

  2. Argon says:

    The inevitable excuse, ‘I forgot it was in there’, will never adequately explain why the gun was in there in the first place.

  3. Just Me says:

    It’s unclear was it in his carry on or checked baggage?

    I am curious why he would have a loaded gun in his luggage ever.

  4. Boyd says:

    @Argon:

    The inevitable excuse, ‘I forgot it was in there’, will never adequately explain why the gun was in there in the first place.

    Well, no, since it’s not intended to indicate why it was in there in the first place. Since he was flying to Boston, I suspect that he didn’t intend to take it with him, since Massachusetts is pretty restrictive on guns.

    While I don’t think something like this would ever happen to me, because I can’t imagine carrying a firearm in a bag suitable for a carry-on, not everyone does things the same way I do. My best guess is that he was carrying it somewhere else, left it in the bag when he got home, and forgot about it.

    For myself, I always know exactly where each of my guns is located at all times, aided by the fact that they’re usually in a gun safe if they’re not under my direct control. But it looks like Mr Russell operates with standards different from mine.

  5. Boyd says:

    @Just Me: It was apparently in his carry-on, according to one report I read.

  6. right22 says:

    so now they (you know who) alleged that he had it loaded. fascinating…