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Bill Russell Cited for Loaded Gun in Airport

Reports say Bill Russell cited for loaded gun; let it serve as a reminder for traveling firearm owners everywhere.

Federal and airport officials in Seattle reported that Bill Russell, former NBA star and Hall of Famer, was cited for having a loaded weapon in his carry on luggage last Wednesday.

A .38 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun was discovered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and airport officials claimed the gun belonged to Russell. Apparently he was scheduled to fly to Boston, home of the Celtics, Russell’s former team. The 79-year old calls Seattle home.

The gun was confiscated and Russell was released.

TSA rules state that an unloaded gun may be stored in checked luggage, but only if locked inside a hard-sided container.

While a .38 handgun isn’t a typical hunting firearm, the case raises awareness in the hunting world, as millions of Americans prepare for the beginning of deer season, many of which will be traveling to reach their hunting grounds.

And when someone as high-profile as Bill Russell is cited for a loaded gun, it should serve as a reminder to know and abide by all laws regulating what can and can’t be inside luggage when traveling.

Have you ever had an incident involving the TSA and firearms? Share your story in the comments below.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that unloaded guns can be stored in carry on luggage. The TSA prohibits guns of any kind in carry on luggage; only checked luggage may contain properly stored and locked firearms.


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Bill Russell Cited for Loaded Gun in Airport