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. Mikey Mike

    ya know?... David Gregory is not my type. Don't like his style at all. But this is silly... Go after real criminals please

    December 26, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. BeReasonable

    LaPierre is only just a little disingenuous. It takes about 1-2 secs to change out a magazine and get back on shooting, really not enough time to respond to take any action, maybe run away. But in the course of 100 bullets, maybe it would add up to an extra minute, or at least give the shooter something else to worry about.

    Gregory broke, the law. He should be arrested, plead guity, and immediately pardoned by the President, and we can go about the real business of limiting access for bad guys, and still keep it in the hands of the good ones.

    December 26, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. 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?"

    Some people find that analogy "incorrect", that somehow it does not apply to the national discussion on assault weapons. Read it. All I did was change "assault weapon" to "baseball hat". The problem that people have is that the analogy makes it painfully obvious just how wrong the NRA solution (which is now the official right wing stance) actually is. Their solution in the baseball bat scenario is not the best solution. Now what if that baseball bat could deliver multiple hits with just a single swing, then the NRA solution becomes even further removed from a list of best possible solutions.

    December 26, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  4. Namejason m

    The law is the law. Possesion of a 30 round magazine is a crime in DC. Maybe they should have had a police officer display a magazine for them. They commited a crime. He should stand in court like any other person

    December 26, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. Nehrwr Abdul-Wahid

    Why is there always this rearranging of issues and confusion around banning HIGH CAPACITY MAGAZINES and banning GUNS? What seems to be so complicated about these two completely different and unrelated issues???

    December 26, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. Thatguy371

    So now we see the police are being ignorant by actually dancing to the wishes of the conservatives who brought this to their attention. On a program designed to bring attention to the public of these horrendous weapons, they're trying to put the heat on the man who brought this terrible issue up. As if HE is somehow the problem here. Wow, this gun debate has definitely proven it will get more insane before it gets sane.

    December 26, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. GlobalEye

    This illustrates exactly what is wrong with politics and local laws. The prevailing law in DC is blind, because it ignores the fact that an article that was designed to help deliver bullets can also be used to prevent crime. Gregory only used the item to make a point for public safety, not to proliferate violence. It is crazy to put him in the same category as a gun nut violating the laws.

    December 26, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. Scott

    The law is the law. Or are we to assume that liberal media elite types don't have to follow current gun laws nor the possible future ones they are pushing for? It does highlight the point that regardless of the law, criminals will not follow the law and will acquire the items liberals want to ban.

    December 26, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  9. Tom

    Obviously, common sense by the police is the victim here.

    December 26, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  10. Lauren

    Laws don't apply to high powered media types. For the purpose of messaging its all okay. Everyone knows that...

    December 26, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. C Coleman

    This is pathetic. Please use your time to report on some real news.

    December 26, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. DocHollywood

    "Several conservative commentators first raised the issue of whether Gregory had broken D.C. law by using the magazine"......perhaps those conservative commentators should raise the issue of whether or not those high capacity magazines are worth the human life they extract. Or if people need weapons of war on city streets and country lanes. Or they could just keep throwing crap in the way hoping the issue will go away. I'm betting on the latter.

    December 26, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    If David Gregory knowingly broke the law, then the deserves what punishment that is defined under the law.

    I think the 2nd Amendment says less about an individual's personal right to own a firearm, is more about an individual's right to own a firemarm and be able to join a "well regulated militia" as part of national or local defense. We don't create an army militia to defend our nation in that fashion anymore, but everyone still has the right to join our "well regulated militia".

    December 26, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. gas pump junkie

    What part of "no" doesn't David Gregory or NBC understand? If the Police tell you "no", what idoit goes ahead and does what they just told you not to do? Now does the Metropolitan Police and the Corporation Counsel have the guts and courage to charge Mr. Gregory and arrest him? Does their maagnize law have any teeth or is David Gregory and NBC above the "law"? Hard questions in a realy hard time? Joe Citizen would get arrested but an NBC host, probably not?

    December 26, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. Gary Frost

    Grade school teacher mentality, if you don't know who made offence, punish everyone. I am personaly sick of hearing about the shooting from the kind of people who don't even know what a magazine is. Can we please move on. You will not change gun law.

    December 26, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota


    Just stating the facts Lynda and I don't do TV evangelicals. I agree its complete choice and I use every bit if my FREEDOM and LIBERTY. God gave me personal choice and far be it from me to dictate it to anyone else and nor would I. Just like a liberal to insuate that I am not welcome becuase of my beliefs.

    Really, Mason. If you are going to accuse someone of insinuation, try not to insinuate your own prejudices against them in your argument. Double standards, you understand.

    December 26, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. Griot

    Justice is supposed to be blind. If the law stats something is illegal, it should apply to all, no?

    December 26, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. Lauren

    I guess if he was driving 100mph and blowing through red lights for a story that would be okay too... Laws only apply to us peasants.

    December 26, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  19. Jim Terwiliger

    Funny how a city with a crime rate as bad as DC has the resources to investigate this.
    Goes to show how the police in the US would rather infringe on Constitutional amendments than to do their jobs

    December 26, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. jim

    If the clip is real and it is against the law to have such an item without proper consent – then it is against the law. I wonder what would happen if he lit up a joint on TV to show the evils of pot?

    December 26, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  21. Gregg

    By possessing a 30 round magazine, David Gregory broke the same laws he is in support of expanding. Oh the irony. for those of you that say "well its just a piece of metal when you don't have the weapon. I say the same about the weapons. They are just pieces of metal without the psycho. Don't ban the tool, go after the nuts. But I suppose Lizzy Borden's parents would have appreciated an assault ax ban prior to their demise.

    December 26, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  22. jim

    "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?"


    If the answer is 2 or 3 – then who pays for it? The tax payers? Not fair!!! I don't have children. Why should my tax money go to protect somebody else's kid? They can stay home if they are afraid. I'll keep my tax money thank you.

    December 26, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  23. humberto

    The thirty round magazine had nothing to do with the easy access thru locked doors or no one in the building capable to look after the security of the children. Something all adults working with children SHOULD be capable of ! It comes down to the same as pilots that refused to defend their cockpits because that's not their job. They too, refused to safeguard and serve the interest of the people they serve and claimed it safer not to do so.

    December 26, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  24. Dan

    Rudy NYC:
    You provide 4 options, but option 1 is not analogous to gun control laws, because option 1 only states taking away the bully's bat, which is not what gun control laws do. Gun control laws attempt to act like option 5:
    5. Take away all baseball bats made of materials stronger than styrofoam

    The next question is about who manages to keep and bear wood baseball bats after option 5 is invoked.

    December 26, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  25. Americaneedsrealists

    The real issue is that the second amendment was initially intended to protect the citizens of this couintry from their government and tyranny. I for one am still out gunned if I have an AR15 but at least I have a fighting chance until they roll the tanks. Then I guess we all hope that our own military will refuse to kill us. Don't say it can't happen it does all over the world. I undertand the knee jerk reaction to want to ban certain guns and magazines but I for one have never trusted our government, democrat or republican, and never will. Sorry I might be paranoid but we give our government way too much power over our lives.

    December 26, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22