January 10th, 2013
03:06 PM ET
2 years ago

NBC gun magazine decision expected by week's end

Washington (CNN) – A decision is expected Friday on whether there will be any criminal charges brought over the display of what appeared to be a high capacity gun magazine during a Meet the Press broadcast.

D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan received the results of an investigation by city's Metropolitan Police Department, and is weighing a decision, spokesman Ted Gest said Thursday.

During a December 23 "Meet the Press" interview with Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association, NBC's David Gregory held up what the host described as a 30-round magazine. Gregory asked if banning those and only allowing magazines with five or ten bullets might reduce gun tragedies such as the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

"I don't believe that's going to make one difference," replied LaPierre, who is the NRA's CEO and executive vice president.

Magazines that can hold more than ten rounds are against the law in the District of Columbia, where the public affairs program took place.

NBC News has not commented on the controversy that erupted, but did seek information prior to the show about whether they could legally use the magazine. Tisha Gant, a police spokeswoman, said the network asked the police department and was told it would be illegal to use the high capacity magazine.

An ATF official told CNN he also had received an inquiry from NBC, made some inquiries with the police, and was told an empty magazine would not be a problem. The ATF official passed along that answer to NBC but later learned there was a "miscommunication" and that even holding an empty 30-round case would be illegal. The official said he did not give NBC permission to use the magazine but merely relayed some information.

Possessing a magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds is a misdemeanor in Washington and carries a maximum penalty of up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

It is not known whether Nathan will find criminal charges are appropriate in this case.

–CNN's Mike Ahlers, Kevin Bohn and Larry Lazo contributed to this report


Filed under: Gun rights
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair

    Hoisted on his own pitard.

    January 10, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. freedom

    If this was a commentator from Fox News we ALL know he or she would have been pulled off the air already. Obvious double standard of the left wing for ALL to see – again and again.

    January 10, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. The Elephant in the Room

    This is just silly.

    1.) It was a visual aid to educate the masses

    2.) It was not loaded with ammo & I suspect, not connected to a gun.

    3.) The ATF and the DC police gave NBC CONFLICTING advice on whether they could use this visual aid.

    Stop the madness and move on.

    January 10, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    Of course he should be charged: it was not in an AR-15, and the AR-15 was not being fired at whomever has upset the NRA that day.

    January 10, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  5. The REAL Truth...

    This is about as moronic a situation as being able to be arrested in some states while sitting in your car in your own driveway/garage while drinking a beer – as it "technically violates the open container laws. Never mind the car was not running/moving and has no keys in the ignition.
    Not the original or real intent of the law... much like the 2nd Amendment.

    January 10, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  6. Goose

    Book them, including anyone that had the 30 round magazine in their possession illegally. Let them get a bit of a taste of what kind of crazy rules the rest of us law abiding gun owners have had to deal with for years. Politicians continue to demand more and more laws. Enforce the ones on the books already... and they can start right here.

    January 10, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    freedom

    If this was a commentator from Fox News we ALL know he or she would have been pulled off the air already. Obvious double standard of the left wing for ALL to see – again and again.
    ---------------
    Nah. On Fox they'd probably get a bonus for the extra ratings.

    January 10, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  8. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Here's a suggestion: go after the real criminals who are perpetrating gun violence and leave this man alone. He was just trying to shed light on the deadly assault weapons that are destroying our communities, schools and society.

    January 10, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. GuestAgain

    They love criminals in the District of Corruption – just look at the pres, the dem admin, the mayor....I see a trend here!

    January 10, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    -freedom

    If this was a commentator from Fox News we ALL know he or she would have been pulled off the air already. Obvious double standard of the left wing for ALL to see – again and again.
    ***************************
    Whom has FOX ever suspended or fired for something they said on the air? They have banned liberals from their network for making their hosts look like the fools they are. They loved Juan Williams when he was fired from NPR, but they were screaming at him last summer for his comments at the GOP Convention. FOX is hardly a standard for integrity.

    January 10, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  11. Malory Archer

    Fair is Fair

    Hoisted on his own pitard.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    What? Are you trying to say "Hoist BY his own PETARD"? Seriously, if you're going to attempt to use pithy clichés at least learn to use them properly!

    January 10, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. Duh!

    What a DOLT...A state passes laws for gun control and this just goes to show no matter how hard you try to prevent a crime like this from happening, someone inevitably WILL break that law, even on TV in front of millions of viewers. C'mon David, READ and KNOW the laws before doing anything pertaining to guns. You could have looked up this info on the internet for your state and not rely on the word of mouth of others. Its what in PRINT that matters. You should know, your a journalist.

    January 10, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. Jimmie Russells

    Didn't journalists were exempt from the law as long as they're being "informative", And the ATF is a federal organization, of course they aren't going to know the laws in D.C. They should have stuck with what the D.C. police told them, but they didn't because they feel they are above the law.

    January 10, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. Moose

    If conflicting reports, than should of not used. Bottom line NBC, David G broke the law and should be accountable, as far as beer in non runnig auto, I agree its stupid, so is the large magazine law, however if you break the law, especially on TV how can you overlook it ??? Thats the real truth !!!!

    January 10, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    The REAL Truth... wrote:

    This is about as moronic a situation as being able to be arrested in some states while sitting in your car in your own driveway/garage while drinking a beer – as it "technically violates the open container laws. Never mind the car was not running/moving and has no keys in the ignition.
    ----------
    I've done that outside of NYC limits and didn't get a ticket or arrested. I was washing a car, and was in the process of doing the dashboard. If you do it in front of your home, or I guess within a certain distance, then there is nothing the police can or should do.

    January 10, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  16. Mike in SA

    Holy crap...I don't care if he brought a 100 round drum mag...it was unloaded and it was not attached to a weapon! It really is true, I guess...no such thing as common sense anymore.

    January 10, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  17. tobygdry

    there have been just over 100 people arrested in DC over the last year because of the same situation where they unknowingly broke a local gun law and they didn't get a reprieve. The local law states that just being in possession of a magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds is illegal, wether its inserted into a firearm or not. Its not that difficult for an individual to research local, state, and federal laws for firearms. I know because i have to do it all the time when i travel to ensure that i dont violate any when i'm passing thru the area.

    January 10, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  18. Duh!

    To Elephant In The Room:

    So if he brought a bag of weed to this interview he would/should not be charged with a crime??

    1. It is only a visual aide for the masses.
    2. He wasn't actually smoking it or putting it in a pipe.
    3. The police even lent it to him from their evidence room.

    The fact that the laws are stating that the mere POSSESSION of such items is ILLEGAL is reason enough for the charges to be brought forth.

    January 10, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. rbnlegen101

    If a non-famous person walked into a police station with the same item, and said 'hey I just wanted to show you this" he would be arrested and charged. if we are going to have dumb laws, we must enforce them. If they are too dumb to enforce, get rid of them.

    January 10, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  20. Oakspar77777

    He should not be charged because it should not be a crime. The silliness of charging him is the silliness of the law. He was abiding by the 2nd Amendment and exercising his right to bare arms in a city already cited once recently for their draconian and unconsitutional limitations on the freely exercized rights of the people to be armed.

    Gregory should be mocked for general stupidity, since his point was invalid (magazine size does not deter, dissuade, or prevent death, except that high capacity mags delayed the Colorado shooter and stopped the Arizona shooter since high capacity mags are less reliable). Furthermore, he is holding a standard capacity mag, not a high capacity one, while advocating for reduced capacity mags (standard = what the gun was designed to use, high = more than standard, reduced = less than standard).

    A ten round mag is HIGH CAPACITY in a 1911 (usually 7 or 8), Standard in a Sig Mosquito, and Reduced in a Glock 17. How can someone be for regulations of something he does not understand? How can we trust people ignorant of the facts to act in the best interest of the People?

    January 10, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. WIlliam

    Charge him. Why? So this ridiculous law may get over turned on appeal.

    NBC likes to push their anti gun/anti liberty agenda. They should be on the receiving end of the law they support so highly. As liberals like to say, no one is above the law. Even if the law is ridiculous.

    January 10, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  22. Bystander

    I think we all know he wont be chraged. Now if DC police were to extend the same special privilege to the various other people who also inadvertently broke the city's rules on firearms, that would actually show their impartiality. But again, we know how that will go too.

    January 10, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  23. jim

    This is exactly why such laws are insane. It's just like speeding tickets. If you had speed cameras every few miles on every road everywhere, people would realize that they're unnecessarily low. Instead, we rely on selective enforcement to attack a certain clas of people. FAIL

    January 10, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  24. Wake up People!

    Fox-lite strikes again.....

    This has to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard and I don't care if the journalist is democrat or republican. I would be saying the same thing if it was one of the RWNJ's.

    January 10, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  25. Steve- Illinois

    Libs are ok with breaking current gun laws, as long as your purpose is to advocate for more gun laws. You people are the most hypocritical on earth. "Do as I say, not as I do!"
    P.S. Gregory sends his kids to a school with 11 armed guards. Good enough for his kids, but you peons, and your rug rats don't deserve protection.

    January 10, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
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