On Sunday, in an interview with NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, NBC’s David Gregory held up a 30-round magazine and challenged LaPierre about the so-called ‘added lethality’ of high capacity magazines.
“Here is a magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bullets,” said the Meet the Press host, holding up the magazine. “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?”
“I don’t believe that’s going to make one difference,” LaPierre replied. “There are so many different ways to evade that even if you had that (ban).”
LaPierre failed to explicate the many different ways to circumvent a magazine ban (and I criticized him for it, click here to read more), but the real problem with the exchange was not LaPierre’s response or Gregory’s question, but the magazine itself, the fact that Gregory had brought a high-capacity magazine into the NBC studio, which is located in Washington, D.C.
See, DC law clearly states, “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.”
It defines “large capacity” as any ammunition feeding device that “has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition.”
Now, perhaps, if the NBC staff was completely ignorant of the law, one can see cutting them a little slack for journalistic reasons (then again, maybe not), but as it turns out, they not only knew about the law, but requested permission from DC Police to use the magazine during the interview. That request, as police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump told Politico, was denied.
“NBC contacted (the DC Metropolitan Police Department) inquiring if they could utilize a high capacity magazine for their segment,” Crump said in an email. “NBC was informed that possession of a high capacity magazine is not permissible and their request was denied.”
So, if that magazine that Gregory held up was a real large capacity magazine and not a prop, NBC not only violated the law but also – in a way – thumbed their noses at DC police by ignoring their order.
Thus far, neither NBC nor Gregory has offered comment on the situation. However, DC police are actively investigating.
“There are DC code violations, DC code restrictions on guns, ammunition. We are investigating this matter. Beyond the scope of that, I can’t comment any further,” Araz Alali, police officer and spokesman told Politico.
As DC police begin to sort this matter out, a petition has been created – “Press charges against David Gregory for possession of a 30-round, high capacity assault rifle magazine in Washington D.C.” – on the White House’s website calling for Gregory to be charged for breaking the law.
David Gregory is not above the law; he is a journalist, and must be held accountable to the same law as every other person.
We The People demand that he be formally charged for violation of this law on “Meet The Press.”
The petition has almost 8,000 signatures, with an overall goal of 25,000 to be reached by Jan. 22, 2013.
If convicted, Gregory (or whoever NBC’s fall guy is) faces up to a year in jail and a $1000 fine.
Given the situation, what are your thoughts?
Some random questions: What are the chances that Gregory is even charged? If he is charged, what are the chances that he’ll be convicted? Do you expect NBC’s top brass to weigh in on the matter and reprimand Gregory?