December 25th, 2012
02:34 PM ET
2 years ago

Washington D.C. police investigating whether NBC moderator violated law

Washington (CNN) - Washington Metropolitan Police Department is investigating whether NBC's David Gregory violated D.C. gun laws when he displayed what he described as a 30 round magazine as part of an interview during Sunday's "Meet the Press."

A spokeswoman for the department said Wednesday that a representative for NBC inquired ahead of the broadcast about using the high-capacity magazine, which Gregory displayed while interviewing the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association.

The department spokeswoman, Tisha Gant, said the police told NBC they could not use the magazine, since possessing a large capacity ammunition device is illegal in the District of Columbia. Gant said the matter is under investigation.

On Sunday, Gregory used the device while asking the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre whether banning such magazines could help lessen the impact of deadly shootings.

"So here's a magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bullets,” Gregory said, holding up the black, rectangular device. “Now isn't it possible that if we got rid of these, if we replaced them and said well, you can only have a magazine that carries five bullets or ten bullets, isn't it just possible that we could reduce the carnage in a situation like Newtown?"

It's not known whether the magazine Gregory had in his hand was authentic or a prop.

Possessing a large capacity ammunition device, such as a magazine, is illegal in the District of Columbia if the device holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The code also specifies the large devices are illegal regardless of whether or not they're attached to a firearm. Gregory showed the magazine Sunday without a firearm attached.

NBC's studios, from which "Meet the Press" is broadcast, are located within city limits. The network did not have any comment on the matter Wednesday.

In the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, gun control advocates have been pushing for a limit on high capacity magazines. Such a restriction is one of the items President Barack Obama mentioned last week when he announced an administration effort to curb violence.

"I don't believe that's going to make one difference," LaPierre told Gregory during the show.

Several conservative commentators first raised the issue of whether Gregory had broken D.C. law by using the magazine.

CNN's Mike Ahlers and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.


Filed under: Gun rights • NRA
soundoff (533 Responses)
  1. mike melson

    Well does anybody think if a gun ban is passed, that criminals will turn in the guns they have? Ever legal gun owner I know, I have ask them if they would ever turn in the guns they own, the answer is no! Because if a criminal still has his gun they have no worry about being shot as they rob and rape people who will not beable to protect themselves any more.

    December 26, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. Red

    You know what Larry L, you're right. Screw anything more advanced than a musket. But while we're at it, you no longer have freedom of speech on the radio, television, or internet, because it is so much more advanced than the founders could have foreseen. Your phone is no longer protected by the fourth through sixth amendments. Police can have quarter in your house, because they're new too, and not troops. And since modern torture hadn't been invented, it is out of the scope of the eighth amendment.

    But that all sounds absolutely ridiculous, doesn't it?

    December 26, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. Garrett

    Yes, go after the real criminals rather than law-abiding gun owners. A federal ban on "high-capacity" mags does not go after real criminals, but rather prosecutes law-abiding citizens! Just as it is doing to this anchor. However, until the DC ban is gone, this anchor is in fact a real criminal.

    December 26, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  4. it must be said

    Chuk
    Nonesense! Only in America would DISPLAYING the magazine (without the gun) be more trouble than possessing the actual gun with high capacity magazine. Why don't these "law enforcement" people put their heads together and go after gun nuts like Lapierre? No one is worried about David displaying the clip, we all get his intention. Can't say the same for the NRA and the Lapierre's of the world. This whole logic is backwards.
    -----------–
    Welcome to the wonderful world of unintended consequenses where liberal laws are made and passed and zero tolerance is enforced. If 6 year old that brings a plastic knife to school in his lunch box can be suspended and ejected from scholl then I say arrest and charge David Gregory is he was in possession of an illegal item. The liberals need to the pain of their insane laws. ZERO TOLERANCE. Welcome to the insanity.

    December 26, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  5. Norm

    "Several conservative commentators first raised the issue of whether Gregory had broken D.C. law by using the magazine. "

    LOL...of course they did...hahahahaha

    December 26, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. heliocracy

    @mike melson – why is it when people mention gun control, gun-nuts hear "we're going to ban all guns and take away the ones you have?"

    December 26, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  7. JCQueipo

    Really ?? the police doesn't have anything else better to do in D.C. ?

    December 26, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  8. heliocracy

    @mike melson – why is it when people mention gun control, gun-rights supporters hear "we're going to ban all guns and take away the ones you have?"

    December 26, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  9. Pat Sanchez Flecktarnsmock

    Carl Rowan shoots teenager with illegal handgun in DC! Gets away with it!
    The fact is that the media wants us unarmed but they have no intention of living by the same rules. That is why there is a Bill of Rights-so the rest of us have a fair chance in this world.

    December 26, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. Sam the Sham

    If magazine capacity makes no difference in killing efficiency, then why doesn't the military use single shot-bolt action rifles? NRA is like the Republican Party....they lack truthfulness and reason.

    December 26, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. bigdoglv

    Wait, that mag is illeagal! How in the world did he get one if it is against the law? I thought that if a law was passed they would all just disappear. I guess not. Maybe a lesson learned?

    December 26, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Charlie Daniels wrote:

    Why does it take libs so long to load a weapon of any kind? – try more like eight seconds. Another post was some guy taking a minute to load three rounds in a shotgun. I suppose this is why they want gun control – they cannot keep up.
    ----------------------------
    Actually, what you just wrote is exactly why the majority of people feel their should be some limits and retraints enacted into the laws of this counry to stop the proliferation of these "semi-automatic" weapons of mass destruction.

    I point out that the armed guard at Colombine did not avert that tragedy, despite the fact that he held help a mile and a minute away in the form of a second armed guard at another school. Those guards were outnumbered and overwhelmed, which is exactly what happened at Sandy Hook. No matter how prepared you are, the worst type of attacker will present overwhelming force.

    December 26, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  13. Anonymous

    Wilson, honey. Those children going to Sidwell? Their folks pay a mighty dollar to send them there. Not all of America is as uber rich as David Gregory who CAN afford the extra tuition costs. It would cost well over 8 billion in taxpayer funding to arm all our school districts. Per year. Per door.

    December 26, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  14. ignorantLib

    "Why does it take libs so long to load a weapon of any kind? – try more like eight seconds. Another post was some guy taking a minute to load three rounds in a shotgun. I suppose this is why they want gun control – they cannot keep up." – Charlie Daniels

    You're right, Charlie. We should distribute canisters of nerve gas to every American who wants them, build silos with Tomahawk nukes in every backyard, mount M60s on the hood of every car. After all, it's only the criminals who cause problems. Law abiding citizens never accidentally discharge a weapon killing a bystander, shoot an innocent on purpose out of anger, allow those weapons to fall into the hands of the misguided, inadvertently allow a child to find the weapon and kill a sibling. Nope, only criminals do that. So the answer is to arm every last person to the teeth. Then we can kill all the criminals so only us enlightened non-libs can run this country the right way.

    December 26, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  15. piglet

    I guess they wanted to take a break from arresting Marion Berry for the 50th time and do something different.

    December 26, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  16. Thinker

    The NRA is a terrorist group. They advocate murder, and should be put in the same category as the KKK

    December 26, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    If I were NBC I would be truthful. They probably asked a gun dealer to provide a magazine suitable for use on television, and they were provided with something to use. I guess the real question now is where is that specific item now located, and what is the state of it.

    December 26, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  18. Red

    @heliocracy Haven't you heard of Feinstein's planned compulsory buyback of everything semiautomatic, which includes double-action revolvers?

    December 26, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  19. ignorantLib

    Wayne LaPierre is 100% in his "kill'em all, let God sort'm out" mentality. Unless everyone is armed to the teeth with the most deadly and fastest deploying weaponry available, the criminals are going to organize and wipe the rest of us out. The best deterrent to criminals is a Tomahawk missle in every front yard and an M60 on every car hood. Only then will we all be able to relax and enjoy living in a peace-loving nation.

    December 26, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  20. Rudy NYC

    bigdoglv wrote:

    Wait, that mag is illeagal! How in the world did he get one if it is against the law? I thought that if a law was passed they would all just disappear. I guess not. Maybe a lesson learned?
    ----------------------–
    Don't be facetious. They are illegal is some places, but not in others. You probably purchase as many as you want in Virginia. This nation needs a consistent and uniform policy on gun control, but the NRA fights it.

    Please don't get upset that I called you facetious because the alternative is ignorant. This way I'm giving you credit for at least knowing what you're talking about.

    December 26, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  21. humberto

    If David Gregory , like the teachers, can't protect the interests of the children,, maby they shouldn't work there .

    December 26, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  22. Daily Llama

    This "exercise" – and the DC law is not written to exempt David Gregory's type of display – is clearly another liberal evil slant on "the laws for thee don't apply to me!" attitude.

    Laws are wonderful – and necessary! The problem is criminals already have a nasty habit of not obeying them in the first place. Take gun possession – not just "ownership" – by a felon. Illegal, right? Tell that to the grieving family members of the two brave firemen gunned down as they responded to a neighborhood in upstate NY a couple of days ago. Or sit in court and watch a felon charged with committing a crime – with a gun he wasn't supposed to even touch! First thing that happens? He's arraigned on the most serious charge – armed robbery or attemted murder; the rest are dropped. So what did the "no possession" law really mean? To anyone? Clearly, not much.

    (By the way, that didn't look like a 30-round AR-15 magazine Gregory was holding anyway ... 30's are more uniformly curved thru their length. 20's are "bent" in the middle – like the one he was holding.)

    December 26, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  23. Larry L

    @ Rudy NYC

    If a bully brings a baseball bat to school, and uses it to terrorize the other kids, what is the solution?

    1. Take away the bully's bat?
    2. Give a bat to all of the teachers?
    3. Hire a security guard and give him a bat?
    4. Build bigger bats and give one to everyone?
    ================================================================================================
    Maybe the answer would be to outlaw baseball? Or only sell Nerf bats w/o a license? We could tax bats and make them cost $2000? Remember – "Bats don't hit home runs.... people hit them using bats". Wait a minute...

    Rudy your analogy is somewhat rough but your point is well-taken – the problem is multifaceted and requires intelligent dialogue. That appears to be something the N.R.A. is incapable of providing. Nothing can solve the entire problem and it will take all of our ingenuity and diplomacy to find a reasonable approach.

    December 26, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  24. Matt

    "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state"

    Yes, a well regulated militia, meaning adaptable to the society we live in. Would the founding father's want some invading army to come in with guns more powerful than ours, were we hamper our citizen's rights to protect themselves with adequate arms for the times we live in? You assume the founding father's were talking about muskets. The founding father's were well versed in the art of war, they were renessaince men of there times, with knowledge beyond anyone else in the nation, those who have studied history, philosophy, science. They were well versed in all forms of life, including war. They knew that technology changes, they knew that they needed a wording that was very much fluid with the times people live in. If the enemy has automatic rifles and guns, then the citizens of this country needs to be adequately armed if the citizen seems fit.

    December 26, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Because if a criminal still has his gun they have no worry about being shot as they rob and rape people who will not beable to protect themselves any more."

    To be truthful, Mike, I'm not too concerned with what "might" happen that I feel the need to arm myself 24/7. Nor do I have anything to prove. And, yes. I've held a gun in my hands before. Many, many times. I've even pulled the trigger too. At targets. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever consider myself mentally proficient in disarming another gun toter intent on killing me or anyone else.

    December 26, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
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