Crime & Courts

Carolina Panthers’ Greg Hardy turns over 10 guns

Carolina Panther star Greg Hardy turned over 10 guns Friday, part of a judge’s order after the player’s arrest this week on charges that he assaulted and threatened his girlfriend.

As part of the agreement that allowed Hardy to be freed from jail, Mecklenburg District Court Judge Becky Thorne Tin ordered the All-Pro lineman Thursday to turn over any weapons he owns or has access to.

A Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman said a representative of Hardy handed over the firearms Friday morning, including at least six military-type, semi-automatic rifles and three 12-gauge shotguns. The transfer took place at a Sheriff’s Office building on North Tryon Street.

Under North Carolina law, Hardy would not need a permit to own any of these so-called long guns.

Hardy, 25, was arrested Tuesday on misdemeanor charges of assaulting and threatening Nicole Holder, 24, a waitress at an EpiCentre restaurant who said she has been in a romantic relationship with Hardy since September.

According to court documents, Holder told authorities that Hardy kept 25 to 30 firearms at his two Charlotte residences. Early Tuesday morning, she alleges that Hardy slammed her into a futon in his uptown condo that was covered with guns, then threatened to shoot her if she told anyone of their fight.

The couple broke up in March and were in the midst of an attempted reconciliation, Holder said in court documents. But Holder said her brief relationship with the singer Nelly, which occurred while she and Hardy were apart, continued to anger the football player.

Christopher Fialko, Hardy’s attorney, said this week that it was Holder who attacked Hardy. Fialko declined to comment Friday on his client’s transfer of guns.

There is no limit on how many assault weapons someone can legally buy and no requirement to report those purchases to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The agency is alerted only to buyers of multiple handguns.

Federally licensed firearms dealers are required to perform background checks on buyers. Third-party purchases, such as among friends, carry no checks or reporting requirements.

Gun ownership among NFL players is common. In 2012, USA Today put the number at 75 percent, based on estimates by many players. The National Rifle Association estimates that up to 45 percent of American households own a weapon.

According to court documents, the confrontation between Hardy and Holder began during an after party at Hardy’s home.

In court documents, Holder accuses the 6-foot-4, 290-pound Hardy of exploding into anger while the two were in bed, throwing her into a tub and dragging her across the floor by her hair. He then raised her above his head and threw her onto the futon holding the weapons.

According to her former attorney, Holder was treated at the emergency room later that morning.

In a 911 call Hardy made about 4:15 a.m. Tuesday, he told dispatchers Holder was attacking him with her shoe and repeatedly refused to leave his apartment. In a separate 911 call that came from the lobby of Hardy’s building, a female caller said she had seen a woman being beaten. She did not mention Hardy or Holder by name.

Hardy’s next court hearing is scheduled for June 27.

Related stories from Charlotte Observer