Police in Washington, D.C., reportedly warned NBC not to show a high-capacity gun magazine on the air before last Sunday’s broadcast of “Meet the Press,” and confirm that the show’s anchor, David Gregory, is under investigation.
“NBC contacted [the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department] inquiring if they could utilize a high capacity magazine for their segment,” Gwendolyn Crump, a police spokeswoman, said in an email to WJLA-TV, the ABC television affiliate in the nation’s capital.
“NBC was informed that possession of a high capacity magazine is not permissible and their request was denied. This matter is currently being investigated.”
Despite the warning, Gregory held up the ammunition magazine on national television for a discussion on gun control.
“Here is a magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bullets,” Gregory said on “Meet the Press” as he brandished the magazine. “Now isn’t it possible that if we got rid of these, if we replaced them and said, ‘Well, you could 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?”
His commentary came after the Newtown, Conn., school shooting where 20 children and six adults were killed by a 20-year-old with several guns he had obtained, despite state restrictions that already should have prevented him from using them.
But the program is taped in Washington, D.C., and the district has a ban on such pieces of equipment.
The gossip website TMZ is reporting the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms told producers of “Meet the Press” that Gregory could use a 30-bullet magazine as a prop, even though the District of Columbia has jurisdiction.
Gregory is reportedly on vacation and will not host this weekend’s edition of “Meet The Press.”
Politico reports that according to the network, Gregory’ vacation was scheduled prior to last week’s show, and he is slated to be on the air Jan. 5.
So far, more than 8,000 people already have signed the petition that was created on a White House website demanding that officials “press charges against David Gregory for possession of a 30-round, high capacity assault rifle magazine in Washington.”
Breitbart.com contacted the police chief and asked if there were any plans to look into the apparent violation of the district’s gun laws. In response, Chief Cathy Lanier replied, “Yes, we are investigating the incident to determine if the magazine was in fact real.”
The petitions are ways for Americans to bring issues to the attention of the Obama administration, and if the total signatures reaches 25,000 there’s supposed to be a response.
The petition states, “David Gregory is not above the law; he is a journalist, and must be held accountable to the same law as every other person.”
It quotes the district law, “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. For the purposes of this subsection, the term large capacity ammunition feeding device means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition.”
“We The People demand that he be formally charged for violation of this law on ‘Meet the Press,’” the petition, created over the weekend, states.
At the time of the stunt, Gregory was asking Wayne LaPierre, the chief of the National Rifle Association, whether his group would argue over gun controls.
Among the comments posted on WND in response to a report about Gregory’s possession of such a weapon component, one forum participant said, “We know how well criminals will comply with that limitation … don’t we?”
Another high-profile media figure under fire in the wake of the Newtown massacre is CNN’s Piers Morgan.
Morgan is not only the subject of a petition to deport him from the U.S. for undermining the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but there is also a counter-petition underway in Britain to prevent him from being allowed back into the U.K.