DC police investigating ‘Meet the Press’ host over holding assault rifle ammo during NRA interview

By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 9:25 EDT
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NBC host David Gregory holds up an extended magazine for an assault rifle. Photo: Screenshot via NBC.com.
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Update (below): NBC’s request to display magazine was denied by police

Second update (below): Report says Gregory had permission from federal agency

The Washington, D.C. police are investigating NBC host David Gregory over his public display of an assault rifle magazine on Sunday’s broadcast of “Meet the Press,” Politico reported on Tuesday.

“There are D.C. code violations, D.C. code restrictions on guns, ammunition,” a spokesperson reportedly said. “We are investigating this matter. Beyond the scope of that, I can’t comment any further.”

Extended clips like the one Gregory held up on camera are banned in the nation’s capital, but largely unrestricted throughout much of the country.

The host held the magazine aloft during a Sunday conversation with National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre, asking him if banning high-capacity ammunition could help limit the carnage in mass-shootings.

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

Update: NBC’s request to display magazine was denied by police

NBC reached out to police in Washington, D.C. to ask permission to display an extended magazine on the air but their request was denied, according to an update by Politico.

“NBC contacted [the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department] inquiring if they could utilize a high capacity magazine for their segment,” a spokesperson reportedly said in an email. “NBC was informed that possession of a high capacity magazine is not permissible and their request was denied. This matter is currently being investigated.”

Second update: Report says Gregory had permission from federal agency

Law enforcement sources told celebrity gossip website TMZ.com that NBC reached out to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and received permission to display an empty assault rifle magazine on Sunday’s broadcast of “Meet the Press.”

The ATF reportedly contacted police in Washington, D.C. to inquire about the magazine and was told that it would be acceptable if it did not have any bullets loaded in it. Despite TMZ’s report, the D.C. police stated Wednesday that they did not tell the ATF it was permissible.

This video is from “Meet the Press,” aired Sunday, December 23, 2012.

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Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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