Dwight Howard brought a gun to Houston airport, will not be charged

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Eric Freeman
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OAKLAND, CA - MAY 19: Dwight Howard #12 of the Houston Rockets during Game One of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors during the NBA Playoffs on May 19, 2015 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 19: Dwight Howard #12 of the Houston Rockets during Game One of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors during the NBA Playoffs on May 19, 2015 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Eight-time NBA All-Star Dwight Howard was detained at Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport last Friday after officials found a gun in his bag. This scenario apparently occurs with some frequency in Houston, and the Rockets center was allowed to board a later flight without being charged.

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TMZ had the news first via an unsourced report. Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com has the breakdown of the official story:

Houston Police Department spokesperson Kese Smith said Wednesday that Howard was stopped at Terminal E at 7 a.m. when Transportation Security Administration officials discovered a pistol in the bottom of a carry-on bag.

Howard told officials the gun was his, and after being detained by law enforcement officials he was allowed to give the handgun to an associate. The Houston District Attorney's office was contacted after Howard was detained and declined to press any criminal charges against him. Howard was allowed to board a later flight.

The Rockets released a statement saying the team was aware of the incident and still gathering information. Howard couldn't be reached. [...]

Smith said guns are periodically found at both of Houston's main airports, Bush and William P. Hobby -- 77 were discovered in the past year -- and that few charges are filed or arrests made. [...]

In Texas, a person can carry a concealed handgun with the proper license. A law passed this year will allow those in Texas with a conceal-carry license to openly carry starting Jan. 1, 2016.

The TMZ report includes several as yet unconfirmed details, including that the gun (a Glock 26 9 mm) was loaded.

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While it's very good news for Howard that he has not been charged, he could still face discipline from the Rockets or the NBA. The league has typically not viewed gun or gun-adjacent incident kindly and could opt to suspend or fine Howard. For what it's worth, Howard received the NBA's Community Assist award for March in part due to his involvement in "Block Out Violence," a program he started to teach kids the value of resolving conflicts by other means.

It's not clear if the league will intervene, but it certainly would not be surprising for Howard to receive a call asking him to explain himself.

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Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at efreeman_ysports@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!