January 10th, 2013
03:06 PM ET
10 years ago

NBC gun magazine decision expected by week's end

Washington (CNN) – A decision is expected Friday on whether there will be any criminal charges brought over the display of what appeared to be a high capacity gun magazine during a Meet the Press broadcast.

D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan received the results of an investigation by city's Metropolitan Police Department, and is weighing a decision, spokesman Ted Gest said Thursday.

During a December 23 "Meet the Press" interview with Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association, NBC's David Gregory held up what the host described as a 30-round magazine. Gregory asked if banning those and only allowing magazines with five or ten bullets might reduce gun tragedies such as the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

"I don't believe that's going to make one difference," replied LaPierre, who is the NRA's CEO and executive vice president.

Magazines that can hold more than ten rounds are against the law in the District of Columbia, where the public affairs program took place.

NBC News has not commented on the controversy that erupted, but did seek information prior to the show about whether they could legally use the magazine. Tisha Gant, a police spokeswoman, said the network asked the police department and was told it would be illegal to use the high capacity magazine.

An ATF official told CNN he also had received an inquiry from NBC, made some inquiries with the police, and was told an empty magazine would not be a problem. The ATF official passed along that answer to NBC but later learned there was a "miscommunication" and that even holding an empty 30-round case would be illegal. The official said he did not give NBC permission to use the magazine but merely relayed some information.

Possessing a magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds is a misdemeanor in Washington and carries a maximum penalty of up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

It is not known whether Nathan will find criminal charges are appropriate in this case.

–CNN's Mike Ahlers, Kevin Bohn and Larry Lazo contributed to this report

Filed under: Gun rights
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. stophatenow

    Stop the violence by stopping American worship of money and treating people with respect for human rights.

    January 10, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  2. blake

    I will be quite surprised if the far left decides to prosecute their own. It is the double standard that they hold to in most things.

    January 10, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    Ban guns altogether. Know we are a DEMOCRATIC NATION. Not Wayne LaPierrie nation. Pass GUN-CONTROL LAWS. Period. 26 precious kids died. Obama–go ahead and sign this bill.

    January 10, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. Ken in MD

    Are you kidding me? In most of the country, people can use these magazines, and they're going to prosecute a reporter show showing one on TV? Give me a break!! I hope the NRA is defending NBC on this one.

    January 10, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  5. Martha in CF

    OH PLEASE--he showed this on a TV show-how many of these are out there illegally!!!!!!!!!! Don't you have anything else to investigate???????????

    January 10, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  6. Chuck

    according to his logic, he should be arested

    January 10, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  7. Doggypoos

    Case dismissed! You can't prove if that is real or a fake. It could be a toy or the thing in his hand could be a dummy. This country is turning into a place of cry babies.

    January 10, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  8. Steve- Illinois

    "Irony" is all the libs on here saying he shouldn't be prosecuted for breaking one of the very laws they claim are needed to protect the public.
    Hey "Tommy Boy", your lib t.v. guy broke the law! They were told ahead of time it was illegal! They decided they didn't have to listen to the police. They blatantly broke a D.C. gun law on national t.v.! The D.C. Attorney General should either charge them, or he chooses to let them make him out to be a fool.

    January 10, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  9. Eric

    The shooter in CT had PISTOLS. The same weapon any police officer carries. Police officers almost never stop a mass shooting so why do they need guns? Should we ban them from having guns as well? I mean they always get there well after its over to save ZERO lives. So he is exactly correct that if they were banned it would have changed nothing. Not only were his weapons not of the assault variety (and thus banning them wouldn't have done a thing) but criminals break laws so he could have acquired one if he wanted to on a black market.

    January 10, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  10. kooolguy

    if a civilian would go to jail and pay the fine then this man should too. he is not above you and I. we are all equal

    January 10, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  11. Disgusted

    What a waste of taxpayer resources to prosecute him for using a visual aid! I am in favor of gun control, but prosecuting somebody for holding an empty magazine is nuts.

    January 10, 2013 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  12. RoscoeDude

    Hmmm, transporting illegal weapons across state lines...Yes, D.C. is not a state but the state where it originated is a state.

    I think he should hang. He knowingly broke the law, or does that fit under the ignorance of the law is no excuse?

    The journalist as well as the ATF official are miscreants and do not deserve their job. The Govt. official should certainly be fired as being a dummie!

    January 10, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  13. ronvan

    JUST PLAIN STUPID! Sooooo, it is illegal to have, or show, an empty magazine, YET, it is OK, to load them with blanks, make movies, and show them everywhere? It is this kind of stupidity that stops us from trying to solve these problems!

    January 11, 2013 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
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