Bill Russell arrested on gun charge

Updated: October 19, 2013, 7:43 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

SEATAC, Wash. -- NBA legend Bill Russell was arrested this week at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after a loaded gun was found in his carry-on luggage.

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The Transportation Security Administration says airport police arrested Russell on Wednesday night at a security screening after agents noticed a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson pistol in his carry-on bag.

TSA spokeswoman Lori Dankers says Russell was turned over to Port of Seattle police and cited on a state charge of having a weapon in a prohibited area. Russell had a permit for the gun, which was loaded with six rounds and confiscated, and he was released, according to Dankers.

Airline passengers are permitted to travel with firearms only in checked baggage. They must be stored properly and unloaded.

Russell, 79, has lived in the Seattle area for decades. He was an 11-time NBA champion with the Boston Celtics and coached the Seattle SuperSonics from 1973 to '77.

Russell was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1975. President Barack Obama in 2011 awarded Russell the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the U.S. government.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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