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. Mason

    Steve D.
    Liberals want God and biblical references out of our society so why hold christians up to standards you do not believe in yourself. It is clear Jesus does not condone violence but pointing to standards that most of these posters abhor is ridiculous. In my House I choose Jesus but that is no longer America's standard and discernment from hypocrisy and evil is necessary.

    December 26, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. What?

    question Gregory for an empty clip but let's not even discuss the real issue which is what goes in those extended clips.....

    December 26, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. DanS

    He will be convicted of breaking the law. The law is clear about posession. The case will also end up at the Supreme Court. His argument will be free speech. The magazine was used in the pursuit of his free speech rights. Should be interesting to follow this

    December 26, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. it must be said

    Rudy NYC
    The Preamble to the Consitution makes the intent of the 2nd Amendment abundantly clear. The intent is to protect the general welfare of the country, as a WHOLE.

    How clueless and totally misleading can you possibly be? The Constitution defines the role of the government, it's powers, how it will operate, etc. The first amendments, also known as the "Bill of Rights", where the specific rights that the Founding Fathers wanted enumerated as being retained BY THE PEOPLE, and not part of their granting of rights to the federal government. After just having won their freedom from the King through the use of their weapons, do you honestly believe they would have wanted to be disarmed entirely? Your arguments and position make absolutely no sense if out into the context of the time this was written. As usual, lefties twist every. Nice try though.

    December 26, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. Denise

    Oh for God's sakle – this is truly pathetic. The headline got me very interested and when I clicked on the story and the photo – it is too stupid to be true. Was there a danger of discharge holding a clip? Truly, truly pathetic.

    December 26, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. Data Driven

    A point of clarification for some of the posters here: Gregory may work for NBC, but he's a conservative. Therefore, you can hold off on all the very clever "All you liberals who support Dick Gregory" talk. We DON'T support him; therefore, you lose.

    Speaking of losers, I do hope Gregory and NBC get slapped for this little stunt. The law's the law; NBC has an infinite battalion of lawyers who should know it.

    December 26, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. carolinathought

    I hope they do arrest him and charge him. It will do nothing more than make him an overnight sensation in journalism and promote the need for more regulations. He spanked millionaire LaPierre on national tv now the NRA and GOP want revenge. Just another example in a line of stupid moves by both. Sometimes it is best to just keep your mouth shut instead of screaming into the wind.

    December 26, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  8. humberto

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
    One sentence within a whole idea that was to throw off the yoke of tyranny.
    Go to your corrupt political judges and banter to deceive .Despite your fancy diploma's and such, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed .

    December 26, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. DC1973

    If it's against the law, it's against the law. Breaking the law as part of an interview isn't protected under freedom of the press, so far as I know. It might have brought exposure to a much bigger problem, but it was still illegal.

    Now, the irony is in the people who agree with Loony LaPierre that, "It's not going to make one bit of difference" being the ones who want the man arrested for holding it in his hand. Usually, people who disagree with a law are the ones who ignore it, not the ones who use it for retribution.

    December 26, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. jake

    conservatives more concerned about an empty clip used as an example of the carnage it can cause and don't give a damn about the carnage the clips that are in the guns and loaded already has inflicted. Pathetic NRA stooges. Cowards these conservatives are.

    December 26, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. it must be said

    He will be convicted of breaking the law. The law is clear about posession. The case will also end up at the Supreme Court. His argument will be free speech. The magazine was used in the pursuit of his free speech rights. Should be interesting to follow this
    Seriously??? Since when does free speech grant anybody the right to use illegal props? A picture would have served the same purpose. So you are saying we can all use illegal props like bazookas or fully automatic 50 caliber machine guns as props and claim we are just exercising our right of free speech? Totally ludicrous.

    He violated the law, pure and simple. He should be arrested and charged. Let him tell his story to a judge and jury and they will decide his fate and penalty, just like the rest of us would have to endure. It seems liberals always want to be exempted from the crazy laws they pass. Well, it is now time to experience them up close and personal.

    December 26, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. notsomuchgov

    This whole argument is getting a little humerus... We have about half that want additional gun control laws and about half that don't think the reporter broke the law. Folks we have 20,000+ gun control laws on the books in the United States. Start enforcing those laws before we go making more unenforced laws. The simple fact that I think the particular law being bantered about on this comment section is dumb, until the voting public in the area affected realizes it and either changes the law or recalls the law - it's the law and it should be enforced.

    December 26, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  13. ST

    It is the matter of understanding and using common sense. David Gregory does not talk for people only in D.C. it is nationwide and beyond. This includes states which have not such laws as well.

    December 26, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  14. James, AL

    Are becoming as ignorant as they were in the 1800's. The "give everybody a gun, and we all will be safer" mentallity. How did that work out for them, before they realized that more guns was not the answer. Common sense says, less guns equal less gun violence. Yes, you can definitely reduce the amount of carnage by reducing the gun capacity. Second amendment or not, we have to make sense according to the times in which we live.

    December 26, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. Heywood

    Go after Gregory, he does seem dangerous. Just leave the nice people in the south side of Chicago alone, they dont pose a danger like him. Am i missing something, really?

    December 26, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  16. Michael

    This is a great example of lack of common sense in law. So the guy has a 30 round clip. What's he going to do, hit folks over the head with it and kill them? And now we waste time and tax dollars paying for folks to investigate him...what a farse.

    December 26, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    roblearns wrote:

    @Rudy NYC, your analogy is somewhat off, because you are forgetting that banning assault rifles is all that seems to be up for discussion.

    So is the solution to remove from the bully, the 35" assault baseball bat, but let him keep the 33" regulation baseball bat. .....

    In the absence of the 'assault' weapon, he plans the same mass murder with a similar gun – that doesn't carry the label 'assault' but nevertheless will kill just the same.

    That's the problem – in the absence of banning all baseball bats, just banning one type of bat, is not going to do much.
    There is nothing wrong with my analogy. I changed an assault rifle into a baseball bat, and offered the identical solutions that have been tossed around for the past several days, except in the context of a baseball bat.

    Besides, you missed the real point of my analogy, and have fallen into the trap. A baseball bat is "single shot" weapon. The better analogy would have been with a baseball bat that can deliver multiple harmful blows in a single swing. That is closer to what actually occurred.

    You should also realize that no matter how prepared you try to be, you cannot stop someone who is determined to carry out such acts, except by reducing the available means and opportunities to do so.

    December 26, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. Mason

    As far as I am concerned he should be able to have the rifle with clip and do a demonstration if he so choose. Don't blame conservatives and the NRA for DC's crazy gun laws. DC wrote the book on insanity. Ignorance is not usually a defense but you libs need to calm down. Nothing is going to happen to your lap dog.

    December 26, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. yogi

    The fascination with guns in America is obscene, and so is the NRA, an organization that does not belong in a civilization. May be we are not as civilized as we think we are. Guns is insanity, get rid of them all, one at the time.

    December 26, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  20. Jim

    Well I think Gregory proved a point. Making a 30 round clip illegal, as it is in D.C., doesn't mean those who want to get a hold of one won't be able to. Putting gun laws in place won't necessarily keep the bad guys (or in this case a network moderator) from getting and/or using them.

    December 26, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Liberals want God and biblical references out of our society so why hold christians up to standards you do not believe in yourself."

    Hey, Mason. Not sure where you are going with this comment of yours. Does Pat Robertson NOT have a T.V. channel where he can spout God to his hearts content? Are there NOT Christian radio talk shows broadcasting 24/7 throughout America? Does NOT CNN, Huffington Post and other web sites have religious sections set aside for decisions on faith?

    Feel free to frequent any one of those media outlets. Or not. It's you choice. As is it your neighbors choice not to - should they feel so inclined.

    December 26, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  22. Davin

    If guns kill people then pencils misspell words.

    December 26, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  23. Tom

    Timothy, I believe that your assessment is incorrect. My understanding of the relevant law is that patient / doctor privelege as well as ministerial confidence have reasonable limits. If you have made threats to harm yourself and or others during medical treatment or confession, etc and are capable of carrying out that threat and likely to do so, these confidants (priest, doctor, etc) are obligated to report the situation to appropriate authorities.

    December 26, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  24. rubes

    we have the right to protect ourselves. we do not have the right of protection from the police. you cannot count on them to protect. review the 1970's DC rape of two females and the fact that the police didnt bother to stop at the house even after 911 calls from the house. I guess we are just supposed to wait and let the criminals come to us take whatever they want, since they will be the only ones armed.

    December 26, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  25. Guest 777

    Mr Gregory has children – they go to a school that has 12 armed guards – why no mention of that Mr Gregory?
    So is his stance is "Ban guns except for the ones protecting my children"

    In addition to the hired security this school has a detail of secret service protecting the Presidents children at this school.

    It amazes me that nobody pointed this out to this hypocrite

    December 26, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
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