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. Jim

    "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    Not a lot of room for misinterpretation if you ask me.

    December 25, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  2. Jim

    Dear anti-gun fanatics,

    Thank you for an early Christmas!

    Yours truly,
    Gun and ammo manufacturers

    December 25, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  3. John

    That's the law that the all-knowing powers that be in the District of Columbia thought was a good idea. The verbiage of the law doesn't make any provision of it being in a weapon or whether it's loaded or not. It states that it's illegal to be in possession of a magazine that can hold more than 10 bullets.

    It's a ridiculous and stupid law, but at this time, it's the law.

    December 25, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  4. Jayakumar

    Yeah.. now go and arrest the newsman for tryng to educate the public and let all those "responsible" gun nuts keep their assault rifles and guns. This is typical.

    December 25, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. Joe Plumber

    1: I thought the Supreme Court ruled that D.C. gun laws violated the constitution?

    2: Are the really wasting time investigating David Gregory for showing ammo on his program? Are there no other (real) criminals that deserve attention in D.C.?

    December 25, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  6. Andrey

    Good – it's high time the liberals got the taste of their own medicine that they want to inflict on the rest of the nation.

    December 25, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. OhReally...

    Oh for Christsake! I liken this situation to the cops going after an individual with a 27 pound dog going for a walk around the neighborhood off the leash rather that confronting two gang bangers sitting on a city park bench smoking a joint! It is called the path of least resistance.

    But then again, a collar is a collar – right officer!??

    December 25, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. Sean

    Ooops. Looks like someone forgot to read the fine print. Did anyone else notice that magazine jumping around killing people?

    December 25, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  9. Marcos

    do non-gun owners/anti-gun people realize that it takes 2 seconds to change a magazine? so in an environment like Newtown, where no one is going to confront the shooter and he can just take his time, whether a magazine has 10 rounds or 30 rounds makes ZERO difference...

    December 25, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  10. The REAL Truth..

    @Jim – "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
    Not a lot of room for misinterpretation if you ask me.
    Jim, so about the rest of the sentence that states "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state." ????
    When put back to the front of the sentence – where it belongs (and is conveniently ignored by the NRA) – and in context, it makes a WHOLE lot of difference !! While the founding fathers may have been visionistic in their approach to the constitution, back then it took at least 8 or more minutes to load a musket. They could not possible having seen repeating shot weapons, never mind automatic weapons like the AR-15 being generally available to the public, .. that and having been written 200+ years ago. .

    December 25, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  11. Jen

    Good to know that D.C.'s police have cleaned up all the other crime in that city. It must be a utopia now.

    December 25, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  12. Karen

    David Gregory and his family made millions off the taxpayer via FANNIE and FREDDIE, but preached about greedy "Wall Street" and supported Occupy Wall Street. They send their kids to private school, but then go on TV praising public schools that fail the children of D.C. Waving a gun magazine around is the least of his transgressions. One rule for the elite, another rule for the middle class. Nothing new at NBC. David Gregory is a big supporter of affirmative action, except when it comes to being the commentator for Meet The Press. Is he the face of NBC News? An angry white guy with a gun magazine?

    December 25, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. Karen

    D.C. should be allowed to make the gun laws they want. People can move somewhere else.

    December 25, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  14. RJO

    More importantly. These are illegal in DC. What's the murder rate again there?

    December 25, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  15. Fernando

    Seriously? Investigating him for showing a clip and talking about gun control. Way to go DC Police... Why not do something useful? Oh that's right... Conservatives are balking so you must do something... Repugnicants hate the truth but swear to uphold freedoms that only seem to apply to Angry White Men...

    December 25, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. Ugonna Wosu

    LOL @Andrey thinking Gregory is a "liberal"

    December 25, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. Jay

    You are welcome for the call and information, CNN. If you listen to what Mr. David Gregory says, he insinuates that the magazine in his hand is a 30 round mag. and therefore real. He broke the law. It is a shame people in the comments are making more excuses; he broke the law that he so desperately champions. The point was to point out the hypocrisy. It is a shame that only one side is represented in the news, and that news agencies are not true neutral when it comes to news.

    December 25, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    "Several conservative commentators first raised the issue of whether Gregory had broken D.C. law by using the magazine." It just doesn't get any more hypocritical than that!

    December 25, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  19. Debi Clark

    Seriously??? That is their biggest issue??? When we spend more time cracking down on illegal drugs, trafficking and murders and stop the petty crap we may see a different world!! I had police following my son around cause he did drugs- hurting no one but himself rather than fight the real bad guys- getting away for murder, thefts ,Etc. just boggles my Mind these days what people think is important- like trying to deport Peirs Morgan cause he told an NRA advocate he was stupid to his face- pull up ur big boys panties and get a life...

    December 25, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. Polymathicguy

    LOL – yeah, lay out the absurdity of gun laws for all to see.

    December 25, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  21. Joe

    Send "the lip" to the DC lockup for violiating the very laws he thinks will save the world == how sweet it would be.

    December 25, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  22. Bobby

    LOL – yes, lay out the absurdity of gun laws for all to see.

    December 25, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. Kenny Vee

    Nice try, Marcos, but the principal of the school confronted the shooter. If he'd been reloading at the time, she could have overpowered him. But thanks to his high-capacity magazine, she didn't have those two seconds which could have made a world of difference.

    The real question is, if changing magazines is such a tiny deal and "makes no difference," why are the anti-regulation crowd so against caps on the size of magazines? If you need 30+ rounds of ammo without taking those two seconds to reload, then I fear for what your motivation is.

    December 25, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. sambo

    magazine was distributed by david axelrod

    December 25, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  25. Polymathicguy

    I wonder if magazines (like "Guns and Ammo") with unspecified capacity are banned as well in DC?

    December 25, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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