Thursday, December 24, 2009

Arenas firepower included weapons in locker

Photograph by: Brent Smith , ReutersWASHINGTON, Dec 24, 2009 (AFP) - Washington Wizards star playmaker Gilbert Arenas stored unloaded guns in his locker this month at the team’s home arena, the club said Thursday as the NBA began an investigation of the matter.

The Wizards said in a statement that there was no ammunication in his locked container and that both the NBA and local law-enforcement authorities were notified of the situation.

Arenas and the club "are cooperating fully with law enforcement during its review of this matter and will have no further comment at this time," the club statement said.

NBA labor regulations allow players to own firearms but ban them from having weapons at league facilities or while traveling on NBA-related matters.

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

All-Star guard Arenas told the Washington Times that he brought his guns from his home to the arena after the birth of his daughter Hamiley earlier this month, wanting the guns out of the house.

"I wouldn’t have brought them to D.C. had I known the rules," Arenas told the Times. "After my daughter was born, I was just like, ’I don’t need these anymore.’"

Arenas said about a week after he brought them to his locker, he handed the guns to team security so they could be given to police.

Arenas, two weeks shy of his 28th birthday, had been suspended for the Wizards’ 2004 opener after failing to properly register a handgun while living in California the year before during his tenure with Golden State.

Three left knee operations had limited Arenas to only 15 games over the past two seasons, but Arenas is averaging 22.2 points this season, his second under a six-year contract worth 111 million dollars.

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