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. Boldrick

    As a gun owner I have to say it does not matter either way. Nothing is going to happen to my guns and my rights are not going to be severly curtailed so feel free to scream all you want. Thanks for the holiday gift of laughter...

    December 26, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. missthepoint

    How coincidental? Gregory is under investigation right after embarrassing the Executive Vice President of the NRA on national TV. And everyone is debating about "the law is the law." Idiots.

    "an then the lambs were sent off to slaughter and they did not resist because they did not know better...."

    December 26, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. freya

    Oh Please I think it's to late for the Authority to be skeetish about the law of not showing assault weapons on Public TV. A whole school full of children has lost their innocence and some even died in their first encounter with that gun. Some families even have it on on display in their houses and even teach their children how to use it and show no signs of stopping. What's the difference if a TV host was seen on TV harmlessly holding an assault weapons in front of million of TV air audience.

    December 26, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. RR

    Fire Gregory and hire Tim Russet's son for the show.

    December 26, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. sjlucas

    Just another example of people who can't disagree without being disagreeable. The gun rights lobby has long assailed the DC law, but now because they don't have a policy argument to use in the discussion, they'll cry out that the law must be used to punish an entity (the media) that they feel disagrees with them. I guess they haven't read the public opinion laws to see that about 55% of Americans support banning semi-automatic assault weapons and high capacity magazines. What is the gun rights lobby going to do, demand that all of us who support stricter gun laws also be investigated for possibly weapons violations?

    December 26, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. RD

    If everything is on the table (Gun laws, Mental Health, Video Games, Journalism, Armed gaurds in schools, etc...) Capital Punishment for mass murder of 3 or more individuals also needs to be part of the discussion. I agree no one single thing will be a solution, but collectively, all of us will feel better about some solutions and terrible about others.

    Let's hear the Liberals scream about not wanting to put to death the scum that kill our children and neighbors.

    December 26, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  7. Really ?

    So.....let's say someone drove a truck through a crowed play ground. Do you ban all trucks ? Keep it simple. Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Make all the laws you want. The crazies will still do what they want. As far as this topic goes – simple again – he broke the law. Don't care if he was trying to make a point. Don't care that people say "well, the police should be investigating more serious crimes than this". Basically then, all speeding tickets should be dropped ? They don't seem to be too serious compared to other crimes. However, it is a law. Stupid people.

    December 26, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. California Gary

    @it must be is well documented that there are in fact a number of groups running around in the woods all pretending to be Rambo. Ever been to Northern Idaho? How about Wisconsin? I'd be willing to bet you have them there in Maine as just have to open your eyes.

    December 26, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. Dennis Freeman

    The conservative commentators who first raised the issue were probably the same people who predicted Romney in a landslide. They, and D.C. police, have a lot better things to tackle. On the bright side, the more the right-wingers say and do these things the more elections the Dems will win.

    December 26, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  10. just sayin

    >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

    possessing that magazine in dc makes david gregory a criminal. it is no different than if he held up a kilo of cocaine or a pound of pot. do n't pick and choose the laws you want to enforce. it makes renders the judicial system a joke. obama had the maker of that video jailed and he is still in jail to my knowledge. gregory needs to also be arrested and charged with possession of a banned item. liberals cannot be above the law.

    December 26, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC


    @Tony in Maine: So Tony, why do you believe that the 2nd Amendment is the ONLY Amendment in the Bill of Rights that is stating the rights of GOVERNMENT organizations, when every single other amendment is not, and is stating the rights that ordinary citizens have?
    No, the 2nd Amendment states that any citizen has the right to own a firearm and join the "well regulated"/"well trained" militia. It clearly states that a citizen cannot be denied the right to participate in the national defense and welfare of the country, outlined in the Preamble.

    @Dave – Good call. Gun manufacturers circumvent previous bans by changing their designs to something that was not covered by existing law. However, my intent was to illustrate just how wrong the NRA's "solution" is than to offer up the perfect solution to the problem. Option I was intended to make the point of taking away the means and opportunity.

    December 26, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  12. Wake up People!

    This has to be the dumbest article on the Ticker since the Walin'Palin one. Let me get this straight. A reporter goes on tv to demonstrate and talk about why people don't need assault weapons, he brings one to demonstrate, the opposition sees him and reports him for having the same killing machine that they are rallying behind and people actually think the reporter should be arrested??? I swear there is a large percentage of our population that are ridiculously insane. So what DC laws say they are banned?? He was attempting to do something good and he is now being persecuted for it.

    This reminds me of the You didn't build that garbage. Let's face it, the NRA owns the GOP and the millionaires making money hand over fist are not letting go.

    Whoever said the USA is the greatest country in the world was sadly mistaken. This country is run by a bunch of rich white right wing nut jobs who have every intention of staying that way and trying to hold everyone else back.

    The NRA could care less about those 27 victims in Newtown, all they want to do is sell more guns and ammo to the less educated of society.

    December 26, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  13. Name

    The NRA has blood on its hands.

    December 26, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  14. shadysider

    The conservative commentators who are calling for this investigation are likely in favor of the clip being legal, but just upset that it is used as a visual example for why regulations are needed on guns/bullets/accessories.

    December 26, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  15. Carl Bausch

    I am confident that the D.C. police can find bigger fish to fry...

    December 26, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. shadysider

    Seems to me like the 2nd amendment is saying that gun ownership is unlawful unless the owner is part of a well-regulated militia.

    December 26, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. RandyIA

    Here are the facts.

    David Gregory possessed a high capacity clip in DC. This is undisputed.

    Having this clip is illegal in DC. Again undisputed

    Knowing of the law or not, does not matter. (If you do not see a stop sign and get pulled over for running it, you are still in the wrong).

    Intent does not matter, the clip is illegal in DC.

    I'm not saying he is guilty, but due process should be followed.

    If he is found innocent, my guess is there will be a number of lawsuits filed to repeal the law based on his case.
    If he is found guilty, my guess is David Gregory will have a new understanding of absurd gun control laws.

    December 26, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  18. oldesalt

    Laws can't be absolute. Suppose a police officer arrests someone for possesing a 30 round magazine. Once the officer takes possesion of that magazine, is he now breaking the law?

    December 26, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. mommytwice

    so...anyone can buy one of these killing machines at any gun show, anywhere, any time. But holding one in your hand to discuss outlawing them...illegal?? Has this country gone mad?

    December 26, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  20. Steven

    Meet the Press is a newsmagazine program, is it not?

    December 26, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  21. unknowinaz

    So how did he get it if they are illegal in that part of the country? that is my only concern.

    December 26, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  22. tobygdry

    I think most people are missing the point about this story. The reporter broke the law in the state he was in by having a prohibited itme in his possession and doing it on national tv. As a law abiding firearms owner, i usually travel with some type of firearm and i make sure i check the laws of each state i happen to be passing thru to ensure that i do not break any state laws as well as any federal laws. Its interesting to see the anti gun advocates coming to the defense of one of their own mouth pieces for commiting a crime in an attempt to push stonger gun control which would further curtail other citizens constituional rights.

    December 26, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  23. bigD

    Ok the clip is illegal and how did it get there? Was someone paid to smuggle it across state line ? or was it bought off a the street?

    December 26, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. Brian

    So what is wrong with this country? Are guns a symptom of a deeper problem?

    December 26, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. tvnutt

    If a person wants to own a handgun because he/she thinks it will protect them/family/home from robbers, then fine. But 1 gun per household/apt. If you want to hunt, the gun should be kept at a hunting lodge, shooting range or perhaps local law enforcement should offer to lock them up. Then he/she would have to sign out the gun, go through a mountain of paperwork, etc. just to get hold of it. There is NO reason anyone but the military or police should have ARs. No reason people need more than one gun in posession. People who say "bombs, dynamite, trucks, etc still kill" are full of S***. That's comparing apples to oranges. you can't just buy dynamite , or bombs, or plastic explosives, or tons of fertilizer at the nearest walmart(not after OK city bombing). Guns kill. That's what they are meant for, to kill or destroy. No way around it. There are too many out there, too many people have access to them. Also, Mental health care needs to be overhauled in this country. However, the days of torture, electric shock and other dangerous treatments must not return to our society. Also, dont' plague EVERY person who is diagnosed with a mental illness. A person with depression or anxiety is mentally ill, doesn't mean they're gonna kill someone. Half this country has some form of mental illness. Doesn't meant they're all dangerous.

    December 26, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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