NBC requested permission from D.C. police toÂ display a high-capacity gun magazine for a Sunday news show and was denied, butÂ ‘Meet the Press’ host David Gregory used the prop anyway.
The Washington, D.C. Metropolitan PoliceÂ Department, which is investigating the matter, claims NBC was told in advanceÂ that the prop was ‘not permissible.’
‘NBC contacted (the Metropolitan PoliceÂ Department) inquiring if they could utilize a high capacity magazine for theirÂ segment,’ police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said in a written statement. ‘NBCÂ was informed that possession of a high capacityÂ magazine is not permissible andÂ their request was denied. This matter is currently beingÂ investigated.
‘Repeat offender’: Gregory brandished the 30-bulletÂ magazine a second time, and then held up a smaller clip carrying 10 rounds whileÂ making a point about the need to tighten gun laws
D.C. city laws prohibit the possession ofÂ high-capacity magazines. Police areÂ trying to determine if the magazine was ‘real,’ D.C. police chief Cathy LanierÂ told BreitbartÂ News.Â
Gregory displayed the magazine during anÂ interview with National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre.
During the segment, which wasÂ dedicated toÂ the gun control debate sparked by the deadly schoolÂ massacre in Newtown,Â Connecticut, Gregory pressed LaPierre to admit that outlawing high-capacityÂ magazines might help reduce loss of lives inÂ mass shootings.
Brandishing what appeared to be a gun clipÂ that carries 30 rounds, the TV presenter asked if the head of the NRA wouldÂ support reducing the limit onÂ magazine clips to carrying five to 10Â bullets.
‘I don’t believe that’s going to make oneÂ difference,’ LaPierre said in response.
During the heated exchange, Gregory insistedÂ that reducing the number of rounds in a clip is a ‘matter of logic,’ and to makeÂ his point, he pulled out another, smaller magazine that carries 10Â bullets.Â
‘And you’re telling me that it’s not a matterÂ of common sense that if you don’t have an ability to shoot off 30 rounds withoutÂ reloading, that, just possibly, you could reduce the loss of life?’ he asked.
LaPierre dismissed Gregory’s argument, sayingÂ that there are so many way that the alleged Newtown shooter Adam Lanza couldÂ have carried out the massacre which has left 20 children and six adults deadÂ without using a high-capacity magazine.
Just hours after the show aired, someÂ critics took to Twitter accusing Gregory of violating the gun bylaws of Washington DC, where the show is being taped, by waving a high-capacity clip onÂ television.
‘No person in the District shall possess,Â sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless ofÂ whether the device is attached to a firearm. For the purposes of thisÂ subsection, the term ‘large capacity ammunition feeding device’ means aÂ magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, orÂ that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds ofÂ ammunition. The term ‘large capacity ammunition feeding device” shall notÂ include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operatingÂ only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.’
The conservative blog The PatriotÂ Perspective cited a law passed byÂ the district’s Legislation banning the possession, sale or transfer of aÂ magazine that has a capacity of moreÂ than 10 bullets.
Those who are found guilty of violating theÂ gun bylaws could face up to $1,000 fine or a year in jail.
As Legal Insurrection writer and Cornell LawÂ School associate professor William Jacobson pointed out in a blog post shortlyÂ after Meet the Press aired, Gregory’s possession of an actual clip may haveÂ broken the local laws, unless the clip was a fake, The DailyÂ Caller reported.
Jacobson later clarified that the only peopleÂ who are allowed to be in possession of magazines carrying more than 10 roundsÂ include licensed dealers, federal or District of Columbia law enforcementÂ officers, or certified ammunition collectors, none of which appears to apply toÂ Gregory.
Commenters on Twitter wasted no time going onÂ the offensive against the NBC presenters.
One user wrote: ‘Nice to know @davidgregoryÂ committed a crime on national TV and nobody cares.’
Another user with the Twitter handle ‘MrÂ Hyde’ posted a link to a petition toÂ bring formal charges against Gregory forÂ allegedly violating WashingtonÂ DC gun laws on national TV.
NBC representatives were not immediatelyÂ available to comment on the allegations against Mr Gregory.Â