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. Dave

    well let's see, if I have one I go to jail, so when a newscaster wants to make a point with an illegal magazine he MUST go to jail too, or is it because he is in the media........push your stupid agenda go to jail, sounds good.

    December 26, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. Capt Rod

    David Gregory is a respected journalist who was using the real or fake magazine as a prop in his interview with the head of the NRA. They just so happened to be in Washington, DC.. The interview could have taken place anywhere else and this would not be an issue of any sort. I agree with Mort's comments. This discussion should be about mental health and not guns. The laws we passed over the years about drugs number in the 100's or maybe 1000's, and as a result America now has no drug problem! We passed tons of laws regarding "illegal" immigrants, and spent a gazillion $'s building fences, and as a result we have no illegal immigrant problem! DC and Chicago have, or had, the most restrictive gun laws of any city in the nation, and as a result there have been no gun related murders in either city for years! The solution, therefore, to any perceived problem is to just pass a bunch of laws and the problem goes away, like magic!!! Dear DC Police; leave Gregory alone and go find a real bad guy. You won't have to look far. I very recently read an article that there are 260 million guns in private hands in America. The gun genie is so far out of the bottle that nothing, nothing will prevent bad people from using guns to kill short of rounding up all 260 million guns and making ALL guns illegal. Try that and the last civil war will look like a high school debate compared to the response you will get when you try to take away America's guns. Get to the REAL problem. Why do bad/sick/crazy people want to kill and how can we help them before they act.

    December 26, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. Smarterest Human

    D.C. Police with their priorities straight. Wonder how many gang bangers got capped while they did this investigation..

    December 26, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. Dan Fischler

    Nice to know that law enforcement is putting its energies where it belongs. Not.

    December 26, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  5. John Edwards

    Arrest David Gregory and prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law. All he was trying to do was put somebody else down. This is the kind of message liberals like David Gregory like to send to our kids, that breaking the law only pertains to the people we don't like. They should have arrested him, put him in cuffs and escorted him off the air. The LAW is the LAW, right? The liberals passed the law, they should ENFORCE it. (I wish he could get the death penalty for it)

    December 26, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  6. Jill-IN

    So NBC cannot inform the public on national tv what these 30 round magazines look like so we can learn why they are so deadly, but the NRA wants us to remain uninformed and let them continue with their violent agenda.

    December 26, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. Lamar

    Are we really serious about gun control? I seen a post stating that they the D.C. police are investigating the moderater of Meet the Press. Do they not have anything else to do in D.C.? As much crime that happens in The District, at all times day and night, you would think that they would have more serious issues to deal with. Why waste the taxpayers money on such trivial things when all you probably have to do is ask him where he recieve it from. I personally think that the investigaion should be on the guy from the N.R.A.

    December 26, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    OMG. First Piers Morgan and now David Gregory? Bit of a "kill the messenger overkill" don't you think, conservatives?

    December 26, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. Skuv


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

    They are illegal to possess in Washington, DC, where he had this. What is so hard to understand about that?

    And if anyone else in DC has these, they would also be investigated or arrested if found with them. Why would you think they wouldn't?

    These are perfectly legal to have in many other states, just not DC in this case. There is nothing wrong for law abiding citizens to have them if they are legal where they live.

    They were not legal with this reporter and NBC chose to handle and display it. Why shouldn't they be charged for this if anyone else possessing them in DC would face charges?

    And yes, the law in DC does not say there has to be intent to use it, it says you can't possess it at all. No exceptions.

    Why are you against enforcing laws properly?

    Isn't that what this whole thing is ABOUT? This is a gun control law on the books in DC. If they don't enforce for this guy, why should they enforce it for anyone else that lives in DC? Do you not now see the absurdity of gun control laws? If a man can be arrested for simply having the magazine and showing on TV to make a point, then what is really being controlled?

    December 26, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. Sid Stewart

    if it had been Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity an arrest would have been made

    December 26, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. Skuv


    "So NBC cannot inform the public on national tv what these 30 round magazines look like so we can learn why they are so deadly, but the NRA wants us to remain uninformed and let them continue with their violent agenda."

    They're ILLEGAL TO POSSESS in Washington DC. Do you understand what that means?

    If NBC wants to show us what illegal drugs look like so we can learn about them, are they allowed to have bags of cocaine and vials of crack on the show?

    If NBC wants to show us what happens when you drink and drive, are they allowed to have the reporter get drunk and then drive with a camera crew in the car?

    If NBC wants to show us what date rape looks like so that we can protect our daughters, is the reporter allowed to drug a woman he takes on a date and then rape her on camera?

    I can keep throwing out analogies. But how about this simple analogy, a law is a law. The end.

    December 26, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. NoNeedForAName

    The whole "but they'll have to reload and someone can take them out" mentality is ridiculous.
    Youtube the phrase "tactical reload" or "speed load" and you can see why.
    Tactical reloading just means you're counting your rounds, and when you have 1 in the chamber and an empty mag (or more in the mag, but running low) – you drop the mag and load a fresh one. It means that you never have an empty weapon at a time when you may have a target. 10rnd, 30rnd, it doesn't matter. If your weapon never has an empty chamber, you're ready to fire at any time.
    It only takes a few seconds to reload anyways – and anyone with some training and practice can do it fast enough there's no noticeable interruption in fire.

    That's why your 30rnd mag limits are retarded, and won't work. There's no evidence whatsoever that mag limits have ever reduced the lethality rate of any weapon.

    December 26, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  13. NoNeedForAName

    Jill-IN – he could have just as easily used a picture. They asked the DC police if they could, and they were told no. They did it anyways. That's illegal. We constantly talk about enforcing gun laws, but when it comes time to do it – you get cold feet?

    December 26, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  14. DENNA

    He's done it now. Mr. Gregory stepped on Wayne LaPierre's toes. Seriously how many children will have to die to get those high capacity guns off the streets? I understand our 2nd amendment rights, but we are being held hostage by people who somehow think the government is going to take over? If the government does that, they've got airplanes and bombs, my paranoid friends. I am way more afraid of "John Q Public" than I am of the government.

    December 26, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  15. yrr

    It's some irony at work. The guest was NRA VP. He should have warned the moderator of gun laws before talking.

    December 26, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  16. jay

    All you whiny rightwing gun lovers complaining about seeing a real deadly mag on tv are ridiculous, LAUGHABLE, and just plain embarrassing. This was the best thing that has happened since the last two tragedies. Let America see what the NRA is fighting for.....violence to the max....ignorant morons.

    December 26, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  17. jay

    John Edwards, you should get the death penalty for your stupidity alone.

    December 26, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. dontbow

    LOL he just proved that if you outlaw them it will have no impact on where people get them or where they will take them.

    December 26, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. geebs


    All of you brain dead lefties... Answer this question:(This includes you, Jill, Jill the schill)

    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......(Jill, I'm sure that a picture, even though worth a thousand words could not have possibly shown people what a 30 round clip looks like (sarcasm))

    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)

    Jill, you're just plain stupid, and there unfortunatlely is no law for that....

    December 26, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  20. Lou

    Waste of time! Going after people who do harms or making it easy to do violent crimes in this country, not the people who tried to reduce crimes!

    December 26, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    First CNNs Piers Morgan and now NBCs David Gregory. Too funny, Conservatives. Keep distracting. If nothing else, it's a fun read.

    December 26, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. bellenoitr

    That's rediculous. He was making a point!

    December 26, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  23. batjones

    According to the article the code says, "if the device holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition.." I think the DC code refers to the present tense capacity not the future or past tense capacity. If Mr. Gregory was displaying an empty magazine, I would give him a pass. There are more important case matters to process.

    December 26, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  24. haystupid

    a law is a law, nbc asked the police about doing that for the segment on tv and the police said no, a crime is a crime is a crime. what i dont understand is why the story about the guy that shot the fireman is not on this page? is it because it was a epic fail of or justice system that the killer was set free from jail after murdering his own grandmother by beating her to death with a hammer. the killer doest fit the backround that they want to sensationalize. a murderer set free from jail that kills again , who would have thought that would happen? this is exactly the worst thing for the media that could happen, a crazy person killing , nothing more. Killers are killers.

    December 26, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  25. DENNA

    How many more innocent people will have to die? Does the NRA care? Maybe we should be arming our children too? How about arming the firefighters? Two were killedand two were wounded when they responded by a house fire – lured there by the owner, who apparently set fire to his own home to get them there. Where does this all end or has America gone completely and collectively gun crazy?

    December 26, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
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