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Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Detroit Piston B-baller Ben Wallace

“Detroit Piston Ben Wallace [above] is facing a five-year felony charge of carrying a concealed weapon after police found an unloaded pistol in a backpack in his car as they arrested him on suspicion of drunken driving early Saturday in Bloomfield Township,” reports. “Wallace told investigators the gun was his wife’s, registered in her name and he does not have a concealed-weapons permit . . . Wallace said he threw it in a backpack on the rear passenger seat ‘because he wanted protection as he drove,’ from his home in Virginia to metro Detroit on Friday . . .

Investigators found a magazine full of bullets for the .28-caliber FNH semiautomatic pistol in the backpack.”

As opposed to an empty mag to go with the empty chamber of someone else’s strangely-chambered FN (5.7X28mm) with a counter-intuitive snout-mounted safety buried in a backpack which Wallace couldn’t reach while moving that he’d abandoned whilst downing a few beers before he returned to his ‘Sclade and proceeded to drive. Drunk. Sounds like a plan. A very bad plan.

[Click here to read TTAG review of the FN Five-seveN]


  1. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    A big tough guy like this takes his wife’s 28 for protection? He should have bought himself a nice 9mm or 45 and applied for a permit before risking his career and freedom. Now he’s going to jail and there goes all his B-ball dollars down the drain.

    1. avatar michael says:

      @ Joe: “He should have…”

      He should have been born smart, but life is what it is. And the FN is a very nice pistol, albeit rather expensive. I wish I could afford one, or two.

    2. avatar TTACer says:

      I love your posts, but as a long-time NBA fan I will say this about Big-Ben, he strikes me as a thoroughly nice guy. His wife does his hair and he didn’t like to sport the ‘fro when the Pistons were visiting b/c he thought it brought too much attention. Before we bust out the IGOTD or other tropes for a non-violent offense, why don’t we look at the capriciousness of the law. It seems to me that the invalidity of the “ignorance is no excuse” defense ends when you need an f’ing law degree just to understand what is kosher and what is not.

      1. avatar Robert Farago says:

        Throwing a gun in a backpack in the back of a car and leaving it unattended while you go get a couple of few beers is not kosher. Just so we’re clear.

    3. avatar Bill C says:

      Her .28?

      It’s a .224 (5.7x28mm)

      I’m sure it’s his. FIVE YEARS for an unloaded gun in a back pack in a car while in transit?

      Gee, in Pa that’d be….completely legal.

      1. avatar Derek says:

        It would be in Ohio as well if it weren’t for the ammo and/or the loaded magazine.

  2. avatar Mauser says:

    The FN Five-seveN is .22 caliber, not .28.

  3. avatar Rob J says:

    If he still has cash, his high paid lawyer will make sure “fines” and “community service” take the place of jail.

  4. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    Under Michigan law, you can possess an unloaded weapon in the vehicle without a permit. The question will turn on how accessible the weapon was to him and whether he could retrieve it easily. That charge will get dropped. His real worry is the DUI. The judge he has is a real ball breaker and always requires jail time. She is the one who put Jalen Rose away and Big Ben better square himself to the notion that he is going to spend at least 2 or 3 weeks as a guest of the county.

    1. avatar Bill C says:

      Yeah it really sounds like the gun charge was an add on charge because the cop wanted to be a dick.

      No way that’ll stick.

  5. avatar Slab Rankle says:

    Since he wasn’t handling the gun while drunk, how does merely possessing it, in accordance with his unalienable 2nd Amendment rights, make him an irresponsible gun owner? Slavishly obeying immoral and unconstitutional laws is not a sign of responsibility but of, well, slavishness.

    I will say in passing, though, that if you had an “Ugly Gun Owner of the Day” article, this fellow would definitely make the cut.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      When the gun’s yours, and even sometimes when it’s not, you “own” it. Wallace was responsible for the gun being there, so he was responsible for its safe handling—above and beyond his legal right to have it.

      1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

        Michigan law does not allow concealed carry of a firearm with more than .02 blood alcohol. The weapon is supposed to be secured in the vehicle and then it is permissible to have a weapon in the car. The question turns again on where in the vehicle was the backpack. There is no trunk in an Escalade so if the weapon was within his reach, he may have a problem. If it was in his backpack in the trunk area, he should be ok. The judge here is gonna break his balls on the drunk driving. The weapons charge will be dismissed easily. Detroit takes care of its athletes.

      2. avatar Bill C says:

        I don’t see anywhere in the article where it says he handled it unsafely. It was unloaded and secured in a back pack. Perfectly legal where i am.

        1. avatar Robert Farago says:

          A gun in a packpack is not secured unless the backpack is on your back. And maybe not even then.

        2. avatar Sam Spade says:

          Michigan law does not require a transported firearm to be “secured”. The law specifically reads:

          …unloaded and in a closed case in the trunk of the vehicle. If the vehicle does not have a trunk, the pistol may be in the passenger compartment of the vehicle unloaded and inaccessible to the occupants of the vehicle…

          While untested, popular consensus in Michigan is that a backpack, range bag, or any other such enclosure is a case.

      3. avatar Bill C says:

        Robert you don’t get to randomly make up what secured means. It is a legal definition, and as Dirk Diggler just clearly explained, being in a back pack is considered legally secured under michigan law.

        1. avatar Robert Farago says:

          I understand the difference between legal, practical, ethical and safe.

  6. avatar Ralph says:

    Gentle Ben took his gun with him when he should have taken his wife.

    1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      Interesting. Now that they have the gun charge, he skips the district court and goes straight to the circuit court. His lawyer is considered one of the top criminal law attorneys so looks like Big Ben will pay a fine and maybe probation, but again, I don’t see how the gun charge sticks.|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

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