Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas said he took unloaded guns from his locker in a "misguided effort to play a joke" on a teammate.
Arenas released a written statement after meeting with law enforcement officials Monday.
Arenas' lawyer said the player voluntarily met with prosecutors and detectives and answered every question during a two-hour interview.
"From the outset of this incident, Mr. Arenas has been fully cooperative with the investigation," said his attorney, Kenneth Wainstein, said in a statement. "He acknowledged his possession of the guns when questioned by Washington Wizards team officials; he immediately offered and relinquished the guns to Wizards security personnel; and he had me proactively reach out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and make an immediate self-disclosure about the guns.
"Consistent with that cooperative approach, Mr. Arenas felt it important that we meet with law enforcement at the first possible opportunity so that he could tell the full story. ... In the statement, Arenas acknowledges that "what I did was a mistake and was wrong." He said he now realizes "there's no such thing as joking around when it comes to guns even if unloaded."
Arenas repeated his earlier assertion that he brought four guns to the Verizon Center to store in his locker to get them out of his
house and away from his children.
Gilbert Arenas' Complete Statement:
"I appreciated the opportunity to meet with law enforcement officials today. As the person who caused this trouble in the first place, I thought it was my duty to be the first witness to come forward and meet with the prosecutors and detectives. I told my attorney I wanted to get in for an interview as soon as we could arrange it, and that was today.
I told the detectives and prosecutors the whole story about my storing the unloaded guns at the Verizon Center and what I was intending to do when I took them out of my locker on December 21st.
As I have said before, I had kept the four unloaded handguns in my house in Virginia, but then moved them over to my locker at the Verizon Center to keep them away from my young kids. I brought them without any ammunition into the District of Columbia, mistakenly believing that the recent change in the DC gun laws allowed a person to store unloaded guns in the District.
On Monday, December 21st, I took the unloaded guns out in a misguided effort to play a joke on a teammate. Contrary to some press accounts, I never threatened or assaulted anyone with the guns and never pointed them at anyone.
Joke or not, I now recognize that what I did was a mistake and was wrong. I should not have brought the guns to DC in the first place, and I now realize that there’s no such thing as joking around when it comes to guns — even if unloaded.
I am very sorry for the effect that my serious lapse in judgment has had on my team, my teammates, the National Basketball Association and its fans. I want to apologize to everybody for letting them down with my conduct, and I promise to do better in the future.
I also want to thank the detectives and prosecutors on the case for the professionalism and courtesy they showed me during the interview today. I stand ready to continue to give my full cooperation to them and to the League as they investigate this incident."