7 Players Turn In Guns In Wake Of Jovan Belcher Tragedy: NFL Player 'No Longer Trusts Himself With Firearms'
The Jovan Belcher murder suicide has not only affected Jovan Belcher's family, friends and teammates, but players throughout the NFL as well. According to a recent report by Sports Illustrated's Peter King, at least seven players have turned guns over to their team's personnel.
"In the last seven days, at least seven players around the league have gone to their league security officers to turn in the firearms that they possessed from their homes," King said on NBC's Monday Night Football, according to USA Today. "I'm also told that one of these players who had multiple firearms told the security officer, 'I don't trust myself with these guns in the house, please take them away.'"
Chiefs linebacker Brandon Siler said last week that many NFL players legally own guns, but said that doesn't mean they are going to kill anyone. Jovan Belcher, who shot and killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins on December 1 before turning the gun on himself, had several guns legally registered to him.
"The majority of people own them, you know, especially in the places that they're legal," Siler said, according to ESPN. "People don't go out and shoot other people. Most of the time they're for self-defense or sport. Yeah, people own guns, but did you ever hear him say anything about harming someone with a gun? No."
But despite needing it for protection, several players turned in guns to their team's personnel. While seven may not sound like a lot, it is the first step at removing the gun culture from the NFL.
But when asked about the gun culture, Chiefs defensive tackle Shaun Smith told ESPN that many players carry the guns for protection.
"Just because we're in the NFL, that doesn't make us no different," he said. "You never know when someone would try to rob you or whatever. ... I've worked hard to get where I am. I'll be damned if I'd let someone just take it away from me, period."
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