ONTD Political

Meet the Press shows illegal high capacity magazine on air, DC police receives complaints

12:36 am - 12/27/2012
The host of NBC's “Meet the Press” displayed what appeared to be a high-capacity ammunition magazine on national television Sunday, embroiling the network in controversy and leaving D.C. authorities to decide whether a crime was committed.

The show’s host, David Gregory, held up what he described as a magazine that holds 30 bullets as he questioned National Rifle Association chief executive Wayne LaPierre about the Dec. 14 massacre in Newtown, Conn.

D.C. gun laws prohibit possessing a “large capacity ammunition feeding device” — defined as holding more than 10 rounds — regardless of whether it is attached to a firearm and whether there are bullets in it. The offense is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Viewers e-mailed D.C. police after watching the segment, asking them to arrest Gregory. In an e-mailed response to the Patriot Perspective blog, police wrote:

NBC contacted [D.C. police] inquiring if they could utilize a high capacity magazine for their segment. NBC was informed that possession of a high capacity magazines is not permissible and their request was denied. This matter is currently being investigated.” A police spokeswoman confirmed that the e-mail was authentic.

Gregory appears to have used a large-capacity ammunition magazine anyway. A police official said detectives will try to determine whether it was real, how it was obtained and whether the segment was filmed in the District. The official said the investigation will entail questioning NBC producers and could conclude this week.

NBC News, through a spokeswoman, declined comment.

The situation presents authorities with an unusual decision: file charges in a crime that is infrequently prosecuted or appear unwilling to enforce the District’s gun laws. Gun rights advocates were among those who called police to complain.

“The police are in a public relations quandary,” said David Benowitz, a defense lawyer who handles gun cases in the District, Maryland and Virginia. “The question is going to be to what level of knowledge did David Gregory have that this was potentially an illegal act. . . . I presume David Gregory didn’t go out on the street and get a 30-round clip himself.”

“Maybe the NRA can fund his defense,” he joked.

Gregory used the prop as he posed a question to LaPierre in a segment that is posted on the MSNBC Web site.

“Here’s a magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bullets,” Gregory says. “Now, isn’t it possible that if we got rid of these” — he sets it down and picks up a smaller one — “if we replaced them and said, ‘Well, you can only have a magazine that carries five bullets or 10 bullets,’ isn’t it just possible that we could reduce the carnage in a situation like Newtown?”

“I don’t believe that’s going to make one difference,” LaPierre replies.

The D.C. attorney general’s office, which could decide whether to file charges, declined to comment.

Politicians and news anchors have long used guns as props. In 1993, then-Maryland Gov. William Donald Schaefer (D) pointed an unloaded pistol, provided by the Maryland State Police, at an unknowing Associated Press reporter during a news conference as he attempted to show the dangerous nature of firearms he wanted to have banned. Schaefer was not charged with a crime.


It's mentioned in the article, but just in case anyone misses it: this is a local law, not a federal law, that MtP potentially broke.
liret 27th-Dec-2012 06:50 am (UTC)
I'm sure the people insisting that he be arrested are really just horrified at the thought of someone having a high-capacity magazine, even though it was empty and not anywhere near a gun.
bowtomecha 27th-Dec-2012 08:01 am (UTC)
A video or a photo couldn't have been used instead? That's just shoddy reporting really.
boundbyash 27th-Dec-2012 09:38 am (UTC)
Once again the NRA are using redirect tactics to avoid the real issue. Whether or not the reporter used a real magazine or not is really a minor issue. The issue is that these magazines ARE legal in many states, and for what reason? Why does a private citizen need large capacity magazines? Or why do private citizens needs bullets that maximize the damage on impact? Why do they need a gun capable of taking down a missile? These are the questions the NRA should be answering.
scriptedending 27th-Dec-2012 01:29 pm (UTC)
perthro 27th-Dec-2012 04:44 pm (UTC)
Maybe they saw their kids playing "Deer's Revenge" and thought it was real. heh.
tabaqui 28th-Dec-2012 01:50 am (UTC)
lickety_split 27th-Dec-2012 05:36 pm (UTC)
I seriously spent a good 5 minutes wondering which fucking magazine the dude flashed on TV and pondering how much it sucks that their news anchors can never do a story in front of a newsstand before realizing that the "magazine" they were referring to was an ammunition clip.
sfrlz 27th-Dec-2012 07:15 pm (UTC)
I thought the same thing! haha
ebay313 27th-Dec-2012 09:04 pm (UTC)
Me too, lol.
tabaqui 28th-Dec-2012 01:50 am (UTC)
OH, sure, let's get all over this guy and pretend that thousands of people across the country don't have *thousands* of these damn things. For fuck's sake.
zendequervain 29th-Dec-2012 02:32 am (UTC)
This just reminds me that my father is now the proud owner of an AR-15, which he, like thousands of other people, ordered right after the Sandy Hook incident.

I am deeply uncomfortable staying in this house with that weapon in it. I don't begrudge him a handgun and the hunting rifle he's had since before I was born, but nobody needs a goddamned assault rifle.
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