The Boston Celtics' Terrence Williams was arrested Sunday after he allegedly brandished a gun and made threats during a child custody exchange.
The mother of Williams' 10-year-old son told police in Kent, Washington, that Williams had a visit scheduled with his son. During the child-custody exchange in a parking lot, the mother and Williams began arguing, which escalated into Williams allegedly pulling out a firearm, according to the Kent Reporter.
Williams fled the scene before police arrived, but was later located and taken into custody. What legal consequences could he potentially face?
Guns and Domestic Violence
Police arrested Terrence Williams on suspicion of second-degree "assault domestic violence," according to the Reporter. In Washington state, any assault charge can be "tagged" as domestic violence.
While the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution ensures the right to bear arms, federal gun laws also restrict this right. Among a list of many exceptions under the Brady Act, one cannot own a gun if he is convicted of a domestic violence charge in any court of a misdemeanor.
So if Williams is found guilty of his domestic violence assault charge, his right to have a gun may be taken away for this reason.
Child Custody Concerns
In general, violence or disagreements among parents during a child-custody exchange is not considered to be in the best interest of the child.
Courts are likely to look unfavorably on Williams in this light, and with the prospect of his gun privileges being revoked, he may also face changes to his custody rights. Pulling out a gun during the custody exchange may be seen as a lack of regard for his child's safety. Until more details are divulged, there appears to be no valid defense.
Not much is known about what led up to the custody-exchange dispute, but one or both parents could possibly face losing their rights when such violence, especially involving guns, exists. Williams is set to appear in court Monday afternoon.
- NBA player Terrence Williams arrested in kent for gun threats (Seattle Times)
- Washington Gun Control Laws (FindLaw)
- Child Custody Exchange (FindLaw)
- Terrell Suggs Ordered to Turn Over Guns in Domestic Case (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)