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. Tom

    Doesn't matter what he was using the magazine for, or if there was a firearm present. The law says POSSESSION is illegal. It does not have a clause for journalism nor does it exempt liberals whose kids go to school with the President's children. The law is the law, and if someone goes on national TV supporting a law, he better damn well obey that law himself.

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

    Now what does David gregory say???? Spouts liberal spiel; but violates DC law. Know your enemy..

    December 25, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  3. Joe

    So if it's ok for him to do that cani go to the police station or a library with the same magazine just to ask a question and not get arrested?

    December 25, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  4. WeAreTheNormal

    So, let me get this straight...Washington, D.C. is ranked as the twenty-first most dangerous city in the nation, and the police department is going after David Gregory? How about the police department tackle real crime–you know, like David Gregory attempted to do?

    I find it ironic he is being attacked by conservatives for his actions when they say nothing at all those killed by guns every day. Hypocrites!

    December 25, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. jen

    So why is he above the law? He should obey the law just like everyone else, no excuses. Too bad.

    December 25, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. outawork

    Bust him, Dano!

    December 25, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. Anon00000

    @ Andrey,

    I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, but and rolling eyes.

    December 25, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. mitchell

    The DC police should be concentrating on real crime not looking at someone who clearly was just using the clip for news reporting only.and would not be a threat to anyone .Investigations like this is a waste of time and money sorta like the TSA checking old ladies in wheel chairs or babies at the airport.

    December 25, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. Anon00000

    @ Andrey,

    I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, but sigh and rolling eyes.

    December 25, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. Joe

    It is sad to even read a story such as this. To think that the police would even investigate a well known TV personality for trying to explain the dangers of something such as a gun is alarming to me. An armed nation is not ruled by law, instead it's ruled by gun. We continue, we die as a nation! World chaos is already upon us.

    December 25, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. Stephen

    There was a senator who voted on the gun and mag ban several years ago who shot a 16 year old kid he thought was robbing his house with an un registered gun!Never did hear that HE went to jail!the crooks and the liers will always have their guns!and we can take away the guns from the honest folks!with all the people who legally own a gun less than 1% use them to hurt somebody in a crime!what does thet tell you!

    December 25, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. Bob

    My gun store sold 314 guns between last Monday and Wed. They have 12 guns left for sale.

    Congratulations media. #1 arms sellers of 2012.

    December 25, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. wisewalt

    Jay, only one side was represented? You might want to remember who he was interviewing.

    December 25, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  14. jeff

    Cops are just embarassed he showed on TV what is easily available.

    December 25, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. dave morris

    they spend time investigating Gregory, meanwhile more people are being shot by guns, clips, and ammo people shouldn't have. brilliant.

    December 25, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. bill.x

    The NRA is an industrial agent for the domestic militarized war complex. We need to take back our streets and schools from the grips of violence being inflicted on our society by an industry in bed with the politicians who benefit from these thugs who buy them for profit.

    December 25, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. Jokesterer

    That scary ammo clip could have gone on a shooting spree. It could have shot up the entire NBC studio.

    December 25, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. Name terwilliger

    Nice. Conservatives trying their best to get Gregory in trouble for possibly violating a law they vehemently believe shouldn't exist. Scoundrels.

    December 25, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. Chad

    A waste of time and energy to even publish this story.

    December 25, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. Jim

    "D.C. should be allowed to make the gun laws they want. People can move somewhere else". – Why should one state or county have more equal access to guaranteed constitutional freedoms? You are an enemy of the people and a fool.

    December 25, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. JOhn

    But...wait...if that clip was illegal in DC....then I would guess there's not a lot gun violence in DC. Oh .... wait.....

    Clearly more laws will make a difference. Right?

    December 25, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  22. Marcos

    Kenny Vee, 20 and 30 round magazines have been the standard capacity for these rifles for close to 50 years...yes, this is how long they have been in use in civilian circles and semi-auto firearms have been in common use for over 100 years. from the media reports, the shooter must have gone through the reloading process 3 or 4 times before he shot himself.

    rifles of all types (of which 'military style' ones are a portion) only account for 2.5% of the weapons used in murders in the US according to the FBI stats...

    December 25, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  23. EW3

    Inconvenient facts –

    It took the cops almost 20 minutes yo get to the school in CT.

    A WWI British soldier could fire at least 30 rounds a minute with a Lee-Enfield bolt action rifle with low capacity magazine / clip. (Most could do quite a bit more)

    A WWII USMC could fire 50 rounds per minute with an M1 – Garand with an 8 shot clip.

    Most people can fire 50 rounds a minute from an M1911 with a 7 shot clip with a little practice.

    Even using a 6 shot revolver, with speed loaders, someone could pump out 24 rounds a minute with practice.

    Now let's toss in the idea of someone carrying 3 or 4 revolvers.

    We're talking someone with intent to commit carnage could easy put out almost 500 rounds in 20 minutes WITHOUT
    a high capacity clip or assault weapon.

    December 25, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. Ryan

    The same people would want this clip ban across the country are the same ones who are saying this man shouldn't be held accountable for being in possession of a clip that is illegal in DC. Illegal is illegal and the news reporter and possibly even NBC should be held accountable for breaking the law. Saying he wasn't going to do anything wrong with the clip is just every anti gun person showing their hypocrisy. They are saying he wasn't going to do anything illegal with the clip so he shouldn't get in trouble, but that is the same argument that every single legal gun owner is now making. I am not going to do anything illegal with my gun. But anti gun people claim that every person in the country isn't responsible enough to own a gun and that only guns cause violent crimes. They fail to mention that baseball bats are used much more regularly in violent crimes, but those haven't been made illegal yet.

    December 25, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. Flabbergasted

    "Several conservative commentators first raised the issue of whether Gregory had broken D.C. law by using the magazine."
    Says it all.

    December 25, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
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