The host of NBC’s Meet The Press is being investigated by the Washington, D.C. police after he brought a 30-round magazine on his show on Sunday. Gregory used the clip as a prop during an interview with NRA President Wayne LaPierre. While trying to make a point, he may have broken the law.
During the interview on Sunday, Gregory held up what he said was a 30-round magazine, asking LaPierre whether or not the items should be banned. He probably should have checked the DC laws on that sort of thing before he decided to show it off. If it was real – authorities are still unsure – Gregory violated a city code which outlaws the possession of a large capacity ammunition device. It makes no difference if it was loaded or not, it’s still against the law.
Here’s the video (skip to 9:24 for the clip of the…clip):
From the D.C. Official Code 7-2506.01:
“(b) No person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “large capacity ammunition feeding device” means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The term “large capacity ammunition feeding device” shall not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.”
DC police confirmed on Wednesday morning that they are looking into the incident. When asked about media reports of the investigation, police spokeswoman, Gwendolyn Crump, responded by email: “Yes. We are investigating this matter.”
The incident was brought to the attention of DC police by Breitbart.com, who contacted the Chief of Police asking if there were any plans to look into the matter. Chief Cathy Lanier told them that, yes, they were investigating and had yet to determine if the item was real.
There is also a petition directed at the White House demanding that officials press charges against Gregory. Almost 3,500 signatures have been gathered so far. The White House, on the official website, says that any petition reaching 25,000 signatures will be reviewed for action.
On the show Sunday, Gregory held the high-capacity magazine up asking LaPierre:
“So here’s a magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bullets. 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?” (source)
While the intention was good, it probably would have been better if someone on the staff of Meet The Press had made sure that such a prop was legal. The show’s producers and NBC have declined to comment.