After Transportation Security Administration(TSA) officials discovered a loaded gun in a retired NBA Hall of Fame center's luggage, the man was taken into custody at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. An airport spokesman confirmed that the man was taken into custody after he attempted to pass through airport security and that he was charged for bringing a weapon into a prohibited area.
Officials confiscated the man's gun and released him. According to a TSA spokesman, the man was carrying a .38-caliber pistol that was loaded with six rounds. The man was released into the custody of the Port of Seattle police. There were no disruptions at the airport. The man is facing criminal charges in connection with bringing a loaded firearm into an international airport.
The act of bringing a loaded weapon into an airport is a serious matter, especially since terrorism threats have heightened airport security measures throughout the United States. Someone who is facing weapons charges may receive severe penalties upon conviction including jail time, fines and probation. A person with a criminal conviction on record may not be able to purchase firearms in the future and may have difficulties finding employment or qualifying for loans.
If the person was charged or brought into custody by mistake, it may be possible to have the case dismissed in court. On the other hand, if the state has strong evidence, a plea bargain might be an acceptable option. Some defendants choose to accept a plea agreement rather than face the stress and uncertain outcome of a trial. The plea bargain might be arranged between the prosecution and the defense. The prosecutor might reduce the penalties in exchange for a guilty plea.
Source: WLS-TV, "Bill Russell arrested for loaded gun at Seattle-Tacoma airport", October 19, 2013