David Gregory may not have intended to violate the law, but he apparently did. A member of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department confirmed that to Politico, ironically, on Tuesday, Christmas Day.
Gregory, the host of “Meet the Press,” interviewed National Rifle Association (NRA) executive VP Wayne LaPierre on the show’s latest episode, and on it, he held up a gun magazine, and said:
Here is 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 10 bullets” — isn’t it just possible that we could reduce the carnage in a situation like Newtown?
LaPierre’s response was the typical one given by the NRA:
I don’t believe that’s going to make one difference. There are so many different ways to evade that even if you had that (ban).
As progressive host Norman Goldman has said regarding this and other issues, that’s not good reasoning. If it was, we shouldn’t have drunk driving laws. We shouldn’t have drug possession laws. We shouldn’t have any laws at all, because somehow, someone will break them.
That being said, LaPierre’s ill-conceived argument isn’t what has Gregory in hot water. The magazine he held up is illegal in D.C., whether or not it is loaded and whether or not it is attached to a gun. The law in question says:
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.
On Tuesday, police officer and spokesman Araz Alali said,
The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating this matter [the “Meet the Press” David Gregory incident]. There are D.C. code violations, D.C. code restrictions on guns, ammunition. We are investigating this matter. Beyond the scope of that, I can’t comment any further.
What’s worse, NBC News apparently knew they were breaking the law. Police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said in an email:
NBC contacted (the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department) inquiring if they could utilize a high capacity magazine for their segment. NBC was informed that possession of a high capacity magazine is not permissible and their request was denied.”
A video of the segment with LaPierre is embedded.