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. Bill

    So the police decide that the guy to investigate is this one? I'd like to know their paradigm for setting priorities.

    December 26, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  2. bckerr

    The problem with today's society in a simple word is ... "stupid". Logic evades most citizens as to why our society has crazy people. If I even have to type what those things are, you probably are in that category.

    December 26, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. jeff smith

    Wow, congradulations to the DCPD, I didnt realize that they had solved ALL of the murders, rapes, robberies and other violent crimes in their city. How nice to be in a position where you can dedicate resourses to see if the use of this prop violated the law.

    December 26, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. chase

    Why would any civilian need to have a gun that kills massive people at one time. Especially a rich white women from Connecticut with a child who is mentally ill.

    December 26, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. 2hawk

    David Gregory inadvertently makes the point that laws prohibiting "high capacity" magazines (a misnomer if there ever was one, the AR was designed with 30 round magazines originally) will have ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT IN ANYONE'S ABILITY TO ACQUIRE ONE IF THEY WANT TO. Good Job, David Gregory!

    December 26, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. Boldrick


    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
    Perhaps you are living on a different planet but the cat is out of the bag already. Alot of Americans already have full gunsafes at multiple houses and I doubt any of them are going to voluntarily turn them in. I know I'm not...

    December 26, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. Liftnd40

    Banning these high capacity clips = Bloomberg banning sodas of certain sizes
    This type of legislation is absolutely useless and does not take on the cause of the problem to be addressed one iota
    and also be easily bypassed
    Cannot legislate morality via the size of your clip/cup

    December 26, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  8. altheajj

    @tvnutt: If all the registered guns are locked up, only the un-registered ones would be out on the street. That just does not sound too smart to me.

    December 26, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. geebs


    Keep watching your tv...stay out of issues you know nothing about. the scenario you described for hunters is completely unworkable. Just in case you didn't know (which i can tell that you don't) there are several different types of rifles/shotguns to be used for hunting, the type firearm to be used is determined by the thing you are hunting. A small caliber rifle for small varmits and squirrels, a large rifle for deer, elk, moose, etc. The same thing applies to shotguns...The whole "1 firearm per home" might work great for you city dwellers that rely solely on the gov't, but out here in the stix, we rely on OURSELVES. I will take care of my own firearms, thank you.

    December 26, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  10. ed

    I am in the military...they are not tracked...most of us have those laying around the house....there a dime a dozen...even if they dont sell them...they will acquire them..they are out there...and they can probably just figure out how to make one...

    December 26, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  11. walkingfan

    PLEAAAASE!!! Is there nothing else to do in Washington....

    December 26, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  12. rmuser

    Charge him, publish his name and address and make him wear an arm band.

    December 26, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. kaliga

    Shouldn't the nra come out in defense of this guy? The pro-gun 'conservatives' should be on this guys side. He as the right to own this thing in their eyes so they should defend him... I guess you have to a bubba 'big dumb white dude' to own one of these things. I know the ACLU, which is hated by the right for defending civil liberties have come out in defense of disgusting groups like the kkk, so the nra should defend this guy!!! MORE hypocracy from the right!

    December 26, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  14. dea a fai

    Last week, Wayne LaPierre of the NRA said in an interview with CBS "-– call me crazy." So, the one thing we can all agree on is that when LaPierre and others like him oppose sensible gun control laws they have that in common with other crazy, mentally deranged individuals like Adam Lanza. These two groups would oppose any gun laws and in that regard they are the same-crazy! LaPeirre was right to call himself crazy, even though he failed to realize how true that statement is when applied to himself.

    President Obama, in his Newtown speech said "-we must change." My guess is that he is referring to the quintessential American propensity towards bullying others. It seems to be in our DNA. In our foreign policy we bully other nations of the world, especially the weaker one as we please. We are a bully nation and a nation full of bullies. Unless we first confront that aspect of our natures we will not be able to make much progress.

    December 26, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  15. juan macias

    if that man violated the law, arrest him.. if his boss made him use that illegal instrument, they are engaged in organized crime, that falls under the Federal Rico act... arrest them all... or what just because they r white and rich they get special treatment.... arrest them all

    December 26, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  16. Mark

    I think it's about time the laws are applied to the media! Good job ya idiot, just because you are a "journalist" that give you the right to defy the law????? Just WHO THE HECK TO YOU THINK YOU ARE????? A MEMBER OF CONGRESS???

    Now a serious note, the law for the high cap magazines is just as stupid as the 1994 "Assault Weapon Ban". Even if it's attached to the weapon, reloading can occur in about 3 seconds. People have to understand what idiots they look like when they say/do/share/perpetuate crap like this.

    I hope he goes to jail & spends a few months getting to know his room mate "Bubba"!

    December 26, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  17. Owen

    How do we go from a magazine that was used to murder kids to arresting the commendatory for a showing magazine on TV.

    December 26, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  18. cwgmpls

    So second-amendment extremists are opposed to first-amendment press freedom?

    December 26, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. Liqmaticus

    This is why we are deep in trouble in this country. Going after a reporter rather than criminals who stockpile weapons or the guy who just burned down a neighborhood in New York who was released a while back even though he had killed a family member years ago. He killed again and says he enjoyed it in a letter he wrote before his rampage. This guy should have never been released. Our police need to know how to apply the law effectively and not waste time and money of us taxpayers that they supposedly serve.

    December 26, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  20. Bill

    Perhaps the cops should do what has been lacking for years and enforce the actual existing gun laws. Mr. Gregory and NBC checked with DCPD prior to the show to see if they would be in violation of the law, they were told they would be, so he goes and openly flaunts the law on national TV. Try him for the violation of the law. Then go and make sure the gun laws are used to charge the criminals in DC using guns and don't plead the charges down.

    December 26, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  21. geebs

    What seems so "other worldly" about this situation, as also mentioned by others, are the facts:

    1.) there is a ban on these weapons and thier accessories in the DC area, which makes possessing them illegal
    2.) this man had in his possession an semi-automatic clip that holds 30 rounds
    3.) this man just proved to everyone in the country that it doesn't matter what the laws say, you can get what you want, when you want it. It is directly in front of the entire country's eyes what the effect of a law that bans these types of firearms has on society...NOTHING!!!

    So while the vast majority of the liberals who support a new law or laws against such weapons march to the tune of "gun control", I hope that you can appreciate the point of view that the conservatives hold, that "it just won't matter". You just saw with your own eyes the very principal that we are TRYING to get you fools to understand.

    December 26, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  22. Wake up People!

    @dea a fai. I agree this is a country of bullies and it's been this way from way back. I'm sure the Native Americans and the Africans would concur. It is the American way. Take what you want, do what you want. Do not treat others as you want to be treated if they look different from you. But only if your skin is pale.

    December 26, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. Rick

    Gosh, is it a wonder why there are so many unsolved murders in Washington, D.C.? The metro cops are thumbing through handbooks trying to find an angle on a newscaster displaying an unloaded ammo clip which is unattached to a firearm to the public in a television studio instead of chasing down thugs with full magazines loaded into semi automatic rifles on the streets. What is there second highest priority, arresting kids for riding double on a bicycle?

    December 26, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  24. Mort

    I remain in utter disbelief of the ignorance, denial, and refusal of the leaders of this nation to even acknowledge the root causes of these horrible events; much less do anything about it. I guess it takes a lot less guts to focus on capacity of magazines or types of weapons (simple brainless tools), than to be bold enough to address the complete lack of a national mental health initiative. Lets just keep releasing murderers and locking up pot smokers, and letting the mentally ill run wild without any hope of help whatsoever until they commit a crime and then throw them in jail too. It's easy to do and the owners of the new for-profit jails get unabated access to our tax money. Take a look into who owns most of these jails if you really want get upset about something. We are the ultimate hypocrites to stomp on civil rights and do it in the name of protecting them.

    December 26, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. TY

    Dont understand why its a big deal.....yea let people see what these fools are using to KILL......

    December 26, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
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