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. Daily Llama

    Odd, the ultra left scream about banning such devices and to prosecute any violators to the full extent of the law – regardless!!! ........... until it involves one of their own.

    Hypocrisy is such good excuse when it comes to insanity.

    For someone willing to murder another human being, I have a hard time seeing how a law banning how large of a magazine they're "allowed" to own and use being much of a speed bump .......

    December 26, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  2. Anonymous

    ridiculous!!! this country will not bust the idiots that go in and shoot up schools because it is a "vioilation of the NRA's right to bear assault rifles", but they will prosecute a news program with zero malicious intent.

    December 26, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  3. Shawn Armstrong

    As a former military member, that is a 30 round magazine, however to my point. It wouldn't matter 30 round magazine or 10 round magazine. Unless someone has a means to stop the shooter, he can shoot and reload all day long. If someone doesn't have the means to stop them, they could do just as much carnage with a bolt action rifle, or a shotgun. Hell, with the sheep in this country, they could use a muzzle loader and get it done.

    December 26, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  4. doc77

    OK NRA, when are you going to become part of the solution?

    December 26, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  5. Anonymous

    D.C. Police should go after real criminals and not after a commentator that is just trying to make a point. Get a life D.C. Police.

    December 26, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  6. Innocent taken down by bad law

    It' good to see a liberal anti-gunner and innocent person like David taken down by a bad gun law. You see, these laws only entrap innocent law abiding people like David, they do nothing to stop the real killers. Maybe he'll finally understand that most gun laws only make felons out of good people like him and do nothing to stop the real criminals. I would be in jail if caught with this in D.C., so why not him? Like Gun Free Zones, what criminal obeys them?

    December 26, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  7. jag

    Magazines hold 30 rounds, not clips. Magazines have springs.....clips do not.

    December 26, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  8. Kentucky Burbon

    Well Daily Liama you have a point but seriously Doesnt the Police have enough unsolved murders and criminals on the streets that they should be concerned about: This is the problem, the labels ultra left extreem right John doe (D) wisconsin. We need to take the labels off of individuals and listen to what they have to say. I'm a Democrat, an Independent thinker, I dont own a gun, I happen to agree with the NRA on this issue: Look at the facts. They Individual that did the Sandy Hook killings was not a gun owner; He was a criminal in that he stole his mothers guns... Look at the guy that killed the fire fighters.. What was he doing out of Jail in the first place. I feel that anyone that want's a gun to protect their home doesnt need a weapon that shoots 30, 50, 100 rounds, nor does anyone that's a sportsman... I feel that if you want to own a weapon that shoots 30, 50, 100 rounds we have four branches of the Armed Services that you can joing... people that own those weapons and are not on the battlefield are coward's...

    December 26, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  9. Jon

    The realist ANYONE with rudimentary firearms knowledge knows it is called a Magazine not a "clip" and yes that is a standard 30 round Magazine for a AR15 5.56 nato or .223 round.

    December 26, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  10. scarf

    An occasional massacre is the price we pay for our Second Amendment rights, right Wayne?

    December 26, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  11. Aliwisious Davendander III

    Um the police department has an evidence room stacked to the rafters with illegal drugs, guns, etc.. So should they arrest themselves for possession too ? This is stupid. It's a freaking prop mag, which is a real mag with no spring, so of course it looks real.... It is real! But using stupid stunts like having the guy investigated is exactly why the gun lobby and gun owners are going to lose. You can't use petty arguments like this to counter the argument when the death of 20 some kids hasn't even dried yet.

    December 26, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  12. Kelby in Houston, TX

    lol, He clearly violated the law. unless it was a prop of some sort

    December 26, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  13. Larry L


    "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.
    ================================================================================================ Really? What are "arms"? Were they referring to muskets? How about shoulder-fired rockets? Claymore mines? Nukes? Besides the fact that you've conveniently omitted the first sentence of the 2nd Amendment, the definition of "arms" is the crux of the whole discussion. Should citizens be allowed to own any weapon? How about a device that disperses anthrax spores or ricin toxoid? It's no longer 1776 and we must adjust with technology.

    December 26, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  14. guest

    Good job anti-gun mutts, you have successfully encouraged every major online retailer and most local gun stores to go completely out of stock of the very weapons you hate so much. We need more stimulus like this.

    December 26, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  15. AK Nana

    So, a "banana clip" would stop a nut from shooting so many people. For real? Not likely. How about a dozen or more 10 round magazines? Most of the people with their comments have never seen a gun up close, had one in their hand or shot one. They know nothing. They never will know anything. Being ex-military police and a hunter as well, I find nothing wrong with having multiple weapons. Do you shoot a deer, elk or moose with a .22? NO. Do you shoot a duck with a .30-06? NO. Do you shoot a goose with a 20 ga.? NO. Hunters and sportsman with have multiple weapons for multiple purposes. In the end, a nut is a nut. If they want to shoot a bunch of people THEY WILL FIND A WAY. Stop deluding yourselves that all these restrictions will change anything but hamstringing all the good guys / gals out there, some who could even intervene, except the government in their ultimate wisdom has taken their power of self protection away.

    December 26, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  16. Chuk

    Nonesense! Only in America would DISPLAYING the magazine (without the gun) be more trouble than possessing the actual gun with high capacity magazine. Why don't these "law enforcement" people put their heads together and go after gun nuts like Lapierre? No one is worried about David displaying the clip, we all get his intention. Can't say the same for the NRA and the Lapierre's of the world. This whole logic is backwards.

    December 26, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  17. Barbara; IL

    What a colossol waste of the police department's time and tax payers money. Get a clue and go after the real criminals who actually shoot and kill people in DC on a daily basis.

    December 26, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    If a bully brings a baseball bat to school, and uses it to terrorize the other kids, what is the solution?

    1. Take away the bully's bat?
    2. Give a bat to all of the teachers?
    3. Hire a security guard and give him a bat?
    4. Build bigger bats and give one to everyone?

    December 26, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  19. Anonymous

    Ah, yes. The clip versus magazine debate. Anything, ANYTHING but the damage done to human life gun paraphernalia causes.

    I agree with the right, though. Who knows when David Gregory might snap and point that magazine/clip/whatever at a fellow human being and accidentally kill whomever it is he pointed it at. Lock him up, DC. Never let him out. Eventually even Gregory will put two and two together and add the weapon to the magazine/clip/whatever, and well, who knows what might then happen. Death most likely. It is, after all, the intent behind the weapon ... and the magazine/clip/whatever. Death. As many dead as possible in as little time as possible.

    December 26, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. Seriously

    LOL @ how much americans love machines that do nothing except kill living things. CT and the firemen in NY are proof that we reap what we sow.

    December 26, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  21. Larry L


    The realist ANYONE with rudimentary firearms knowledge knows it is called a Magazine not a "clip" and yes that is a standard 30 round Magazine for a AR15 5.56 nato or .223 round.
    It would be wise for those of us who are firearms enthusiasts to stop treating those who do not own weapons as morons. Why would they be well-acquainted with the terms? The N.R.A. has remained so inflexible they've lost credibility allowing less knowledgeable people to influence the laws. The question isn't about what the non-gun enthusiast knows about weapons. It's about who will rationally and honestly represent the gun community at the negotiations table. It clearly won't be the N.R.A.

    December 26, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  22. tacc2

    @Larry L

    Honestly, I think the framers of the second amendment would have argued that it includes ALL weapons. Rockets, mines, nukes, etc. I happen to disagree with them though. Personally, I'd draw the line at anything with high explosives. Only because it's too easy to accidentally kill people with them. I think that right now, we have a pretty good balance and I would not like to see any additional "gun control".

    December 26, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  23. Dave

    Gregory just proved the point that gun laws and bans do not work LOL. Criminals disregard the laws just like he does. Gun ban didnt stop him from committing a felony just like it would not stop a robber.

    December 26, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  24. Charlie Daniels

    @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. .
    Why does it take libs so long to load a weapon of any kind? – try more like eight seconds. Another post was some guy taking a minute to load three rounds in a shotgun. I suppose this is why they want gun control – they cannot keep up.

    December 26, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  25. shawn

    Even with a ten round mag, one could use friction tape and secure two magazines together, one facing up the other down, when said ten rounds are spent simply flip the magazines over and ten more are there. Most criminals with even a little bot of brains and an intent to do harm will adapt to and over come ways around laws, hence the label criminal. Its not the guns, its not the ammount of ammo a magazine can hold, its the crazy people that do the harm. With out guns criminals will resort to explosives or gasoline and a lighter. So then what, we make fertalizer, diesal fuel , matches and zippos illegal?! Wake up people! Its the perverse and mis-wired human brain that is the issue, over population, debt, perscription drugs, these are thing making people crazy and pissed off. Some of the driving factors pushing people over the edge. Watch the movie " falling down" and take note of the lead characters mind set and what drives him. Very similar to alot of the motives for recent violent crimes the media has sendationalizes since the CT shooting.

    December 26, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
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