Ex-76er McKie charged in attempted gun buy

June 23, 2008 4:35:29 PM PDT
He was long a favorite among Sixers fans. One time Temple star Aaron McKie. But now McKie's got some problems with the law. Aaron McKie is accused of lying on the forms he was required to fill out at a Willow Grove gun store. McKie's attorney said that the former Sixer made an honest mistake.

Aaron McKie arrived at his afternoon arraignment in handcuffs. The 35-year-old Narberth resident surrendered after an investigation into his attempt to purchase two guns at a Willow Grove gun store on April 8th.

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said, "One was a .38 Smith and Wesson, the other was a .9mm handgun."

The law prohibits McKie from owning any guns. Last September the mother of one of his children got a protection from abuse order against him. Also called a PFA, which requires McKie to stay away from her.

"This is black and white. You are not permitted to purchase a firearm when you have an active PFA against you. This defendant was the subject of a PFA order. He is not permitted to purchase firearms. Period," said Vetri Ferman.

Prosecutors displayed the federal and state forms McKie was required to fill out at the gun shop. On both, he denied he was the subject of any court order prohibiting him from having a gun. But, an instant background check revealed the active restraining order and the shop refused to sell him the guns.

Aaron McKie was a star at Philadelphia's Simon Gratz High School and Temple University before his career in the NBA.

His attorney said today that as a celebrity McKie was simply trying to find a way to protect himself.

"Aaron has never given up on Philadelphia. He's down here all the time in the neighborhood he grew up in. He spends time raising money for building playgrounds and Philadelphia's become a pretty dangerous place. For athletes there's no good reason not to try and protect their families and themselves by buying firearms," said McKie's attorney Brian McMonigle.

He added that Aaron McKie didn't understand the terms of the restraining order and if he'd just waited until September, he wouldn't be in trouble with the law.

McKie is charged with a felony that would put him behind bars for 15 years if convicted. He's out on $50-thousand bail tonight.