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. geekfuriouscom

    It is very important that we get Meet the Press for this! Let's not stop the criminals... stop the journalists who report on them!

    (this is sarcasm, right wing)

    December 26, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. GrandOldPatsy

    They ban large magazines and the "bad guys" simply carry two extra mags to cover what was lost. It's as stupid as Bloomberg's ban on certain soda sizes, Chris Christie is just going to buy two sodas and drink twice as much.

    December 26, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  3. 7255

    Time for an important question: does everyone think semiautomatic means that the gun fires more than one bullet per trigger squeeze, or has the option to? If you do think so, you are wrong. That is a select-fire weapon; semiautomatic are more like a double-action revolver, where there is only one shot per trigger squeeze, and the trigger has to be fully released before another round can be fired.

    Anyways, select-fire weapons are already strictly covered (as far as legal ownership goes) by the 1986 National Firearms Act.

    December 26, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  4. Skuv


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

    The first-amendment doesn't allow you to break the law while exercising it. He couldn't have held up a bag of cocaine to talk about the horrors of drugs. So why should he be allowed to possess something else that is illegal to possess FOR ANY REASON in the District of Columbia.

    If he was in Virginia, he would have been fine, they are NOT illegal there. But they are in DC, and apparently the police made sure NBC knew that. And they still possessed in in the District of Columbia, defying the police.

    December 26, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. EddyL

    Nobody "used" it. They only "displayed" it. The police department is being STUPID.

    December 26, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. @tvnutt

    You really are nuts! People who want to hurt others will find a way to do it. Have you ever had to switch out magazines before? It literally takes seconds. Several 10 round magazines can do just as much harm in the right hands. Look for the root cause of a problem instead of addressing the symptoms.

    Maybe you should have to sign out your computer or keep it at a library before you can post your ridiculous essays.

    December 26, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. Chris

    Something people don't seem to realize: having 2 magazines is not as useful to a mass murderer as one with twice the ammo. They have to reload if they have two separate ones and that takes a moment – a moment during which someone can try to take them down. With a large magazine, killers are virtually unstoppable. So yes, it does make a difference.

    December 26, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. CodeRatz

    Could have been an airsoft mag, they look identical.

    December 26, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  9. RD

    If this was you or I, we would have been arrested, charged, arraigned and allowed to post bail. Why is special treatment being allowed for a "celebrity". He broke the law and needs to pay the piper.

    How do we discourage "Priveldged" behavior in the future if we don't stand on pronciple now?

    December 26, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. Rob_in_MN

    Do we know for sure that this unit was not made to be inoperable? They do this with guns for display purposes all the time.

    December 26, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  11. Dr Matrix

    I wonder if Wayne LaPierre will want to defend possesion of the magazine as a prop for questioning him.

    December 26, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  12. HM8432

    David Gregory is a hypocrite! He sends his own children to an exclusive private school that has a dozen armed guards (they were there even before the President's kids started going there), but he wants to deny students armed guard protection at our public schools? If his kids went to public school like the rest of us Commoners have our kids do, then I'm sure he'd be singing another tune about the matter.

    December 26, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. miketamborrino

    Shame on all of us for accepting all these fools we call politicians. Spending levels are skyrocketing, we're $16T in the hole, growing at $1T+ per year and we're dumb enough to think ANYTHING they're proposing will make even a dent.....

    December 26, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. Mike

    That was a real 30 round magazine! As a former Marine. You can tell just by the sound that it made when he laid it down on the table.... That is a sound you will never forget!

    December 26, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. Marie MD

    The rabid mutant from the nra vs gregory and gregory is the one in trouble.
    What about the crazy ramblings coming from that foaming mouth of lapierre's?
    I wonder what this lunatic now says about the two firefighters who were killed with the same type semi automatic rifle as the children and adults in Newtown, CT.
    Oh right, guns had nothing to do with the shootings. Somebody put a gun in his cold dead hands because there's nothing warm and cuddly about this i d i o t

    December 26, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. DAT

    Much safer for the police to do this than to investigate the mouth-breathing rednecks that have them.

    December 26, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. geebs

    All of you brain dead lefties... Answer this question:

    Could Mr. Gregory have gotten his point across by using a PHOTO of the offending clip instead of the "real" clip that the DC Police TOLD him not to use? Hmmmmmm......

    He OBVIOUSLY engaged in making a choice. That choice was to abide by the law or break it. Mr. Gregory chose to break the law. PERIOD. There can be no confusion about that. It doesnt matter one iota what his purpose was. The law said one thing, he did the contrary.

    Let's let everyone exercise the same choice that Mr. Gregory chose, which would be: I can disregard ANY law I want to because i'm proving a point. (Sarcasm)

    December 26, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  18. Will

    Citizens will be using 30 rounds clips for a long time no matter what happens with David Gregory. I can promise you if LaPierre had shown up in DC with the clip he would have had to had a team of lawyers greased or he would be in worse shape than Gregory.

    December 26, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. David

    Hell, he broke the law. Hopefully he will be put on a list of people that are not allowed to own a gun. Also since he used the network to do this with, by all rights he should lose his job. 10 to 1 that is not going to happen and 100 to 1 he will be praised for doing it.

    December 26, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. Nick

    This is the funniest story ive seen all year. its so ironic and awesome. A news reporter badgering the NRA about how he thinks another useless assault weapons ban feature would work and he gets caught in his own net lol. Now maybe he can take this as a lesson in how law abiding individuals are swept up in bans that are supposed to prevent mass murder, but dont. lol this is the best. now all the hippies will complain at the police...but the police are only enforcing a ban people like you helped put in place. this is a first hand example of how it backfires, and this time it was on your own team. sad, just sad.

    December 26, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  21. RandyIA

    For all of you defending David Gregory, how can you honestly pick and choose who has to follow this law? In the eyes of the law in this case intent means absolutely nothing. If a 16 year old kid gets pull over with a beer in his car, even if he didn't intend to drink it, he is still in possession. That is what this is about, DCPD knows of an individual that possessed an illegal object in their jurisdiction, they should follow up. In the end it can only go 2 ways. 1. Good for the gun owners who will have precedence if he is innocent. 2. Bad for David Gregory if he is found guilty.

    December 26, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. Maui Allen

    We should let Washington decide everything. Throw all our rights into the trash. We can stop the violence is we shut down the 24/7 news cycle. Let politicians decide what we do. Rights are disposable and allocated on the whims of politicians and the public.

    December 26, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. Allen

    We should let Washington decide everything. Throw all our rights into the trash. We can stop the violence is we shut down the 24/7 news cycle. Let politicians decide what we do. Rights are disposable and allocated on the whims of politicians and the public.

    December 26, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  24. scott

    27 Dead people and the cons are on here harping about a reporter showing people what a 30 round magazine actually looks like. They are angrier with him than the cowards who do the about priorities....standing on principle? I own guns too...several. Guess i,m really not surprized though.....

    December 26, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. Steve Lyons

    It will be a great day when an innocent "law abiding" journalist gets the gas chamber for violating a weapons restriction like so many liberals want to have done to "gun owners".

    December 26, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22