CBSSports.com's Ken Berger first reported Thursday that the NBA and Washington Wizards are investigating whether Arenas' alleged possession of a firearm resulted in a violation of league rules. A source with knowledge of the league review told Berger that it is not a criminal matter, but that Arenas could possibly receive a fine or suspension.
Now the Wizards have released the following statement (via CSNWashington.com):
"The Washington Wizards have learned that Gilbert Arenas stored firearms in a locked container in his locker, unloaded and without ammunition. The Wizards organization and Arenas promptly notified the local authorities and the NBA and are cooperating fully with law enforcement during its review of this matter and will have no further comment at this time."The collective bargaining agreement does not forbid players from legally owning firearms, but it does prohibit weapons on league property and during league business.
Arenas explained himself via cell phone to The Washington Times' Mike Jones:
"It happened like December 10th. Right after my daughter was born. I decided I didn't want the guns in my house and around the kids anymore, so i took them to my lock box at Verizon Center. Then like a week later, I turned them over to team security and told them to hand them over to the police, because I don't want them anymore. I wouldn't have brought them to D.C. had I known the rules. After my daughter was born, I was just like, I don't need these anymore."If you're looking for precedent regarding a potential punishment, the league fined then-Portland Trail Blazer Sebastian Telfair an undisclosed amount in 2006 for carrying a loaded handgun registered in his girlfriend's name onto a team plane. That was the last gun-related punishment in the NBA.
Also worth noting, as The Washington Post's Michael Lee notes, Arenas pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor weapons and vehicle charges for possessing a concealed weapon and driving without a license in 2003. He was suspended for the 2004-05 season opener as a result.