December 25th, 2012
02:34 PM ET
10 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. wobbles

    I say arrest him. Let him be subject to the same overzealous gun control laws he wants for everyone else. This guy lost any hint of credibility when he blasted armed guards for OUR children yet his kids go to a school with a dozen armed guards. He take his feigned indignation and can shove it up his keister.

    December 27, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    @Anonymous – Good call(s). A lot on the right deny that Bushmaster is an "assault rifle", despite the company's own sales literature using exactly that term to describe the weapon. They also went on to emphasize that it is a "military grade" weapon, and so on and so forth. The manufacturer claims that the weapon is everything that the right wing claims that it is not.

    December 27, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. Kory Porporino

    It's unloaded, and being used in a controlled enviroment for visual reference. It's not like he jacked it into an M4, chambered a round, and spent the mag into the audience. He was using it to make a statement. What's even more ironic is the fact that Gregory was trying to make a gun control statement, siding with the activists that want to ban assault rifles. Let me repeat that last part. Gregory was FOR the gun ban. Once again we're addressing the wrong issue here, it's not an issue of television personalities using an UNLOADED magazine to make a statement, the issue lies with criminals with a history of violence or psychological issues obtaining the weapons and such without so much as tracking them on a state or local level.

    December 27, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. Rudy NYC


    I say arrest him. Let him be subject to the same overzealous gun control laws he wants for everyone else. This guy lost any hint of credibility when he blasted armed guards for OUR children yet his kids go to a school with a dozen armed guards. He take his feigned indignation and can shove it up his keister.
    He should be arrested and the right wing should continue to make a big stink over it, too. Draw attention to the unbalanced state of our nation's gun laws. That magazine may be banned in DC, but it is legal just a 5 miles away.

    The right wing does not when to pick and choose their fights. They descended into passionate emotions guiding their actions, as opposed to logic and calculated reason.

    December 27, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. Bart

    Good thing they are on top of any possible gun law violations. If not for the dilligence in which they enforced their super strict gun laws Washington D.C. would end up being a haven for gun crime.

    December 27, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. Kevin

    This is what's wrong with the US right now. Why are we going after people that obviously not doing any harm? Just because I show a magazine, I would get arrested? So what about those people that carry paintball guns on them? Isn't the hopper an "ammunition device?"

    December 27, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. Linc

    I have a Bushmaster .223 and use it for praire dogs. Its a lot of fun to shoot and other than a larger clip it is not as accurate as an old .22 hornet I have used for the same task. I could take it or leave it. Its a tool like anything else and hardly worth all the grandstanding. There are better AR's on the market and I own another one that is more accurate.

    December 27, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  8. Craig

    The law is the law. The DC law states that meer possesion of a 30 round magazine is prohibited, regardless if it is loaded, inserted into a firearm, used for a prop, etc. Put a non-celebrity in that situation and we'd be in jail. If Wayne LaPierre had brought a 30 round magazine into Washington DC we'd be reading about a high level executive in the NRA was arrested over the weekend for violation of the DC gun ban with much postulation about what his "intended purpose" was instead of David Gregory's colleagues attempting to provide him a defense.

    December 27, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
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