Bill Russell arrested for trying to take gun onto plane
SEATTLE - Former National Basketball Association player and coach Bill Russell was arrested at an American airport for trying to bring a handgun onto an airplane, Seattle television station KIRO 7 reported.
The 79-year-old Russell, who was named one of the NBA's 50 greatest players, was arrested Wednesday by law enforcement officers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after a loaded gun was found in his carry on luggage.
Russell was cited for having a weapon in a prohibited area and his .38 calibre Smith & Wesson gun was seized by police. Russell was questioned and released. Officials said the firearm was discovered during a screening of passengers' carry on bags.
The report did not say if Russell was eventually allowed to board a flight or what he needed the handgun for. Airport officials said Russell had a permit to own a gun.
Russell, who lives in the Seattle area, was an 11-time NBA champion with the Boston Celtics. He coached the Seattle SuperSonics from 1973-77.
The USA has the highest gun ownership in the world and the highest per capita rate of firearm-related murders of all developed countries.
In 2010, there were around 10,000 gun homicides in the US in compared to 173 in Canada and just 11 in Japan, according to figures from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
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