Washington police are investigating whether NBC’s David Gregory broke the law by holding up what appeared to be a 30-round gun magazine on Sunday’s Meet the Press after the network apparently got conflicting opinions about whether it would be legal for him to do so.
It is illegal in the district to possess a “large capacity ammunition feeding device.”
Gwendolyn Crump, director of the Office of Communications for the Washington Metropolitan Police Department, told ABC News, “NBC contacted MPD 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. This matter is currently being investigated.”
But ABC News has learned from an official at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives that NBC had reached out to the federal agency on Friday for advice before displaying the weaponry.
According to the ATF official, the agency noted that ATF doesn’t enforce D.C. gun laws, but agreed to put the question to a couple of Washington police officers who’ve worked with the agency in the past.
The D.C. officers advised the ATF spokesman that Gregory could display the magazine, provided it was empty, the source said.
That turned out to be bad advice, as conservative media and gun rights activists were first to note. The ATF official describes this as a “misunderstanding,” and says he hopes DC police will not bring charges.
Another Washington DC police officer and spokesperson Tisha Gant said the situation was “being investigated,” but would give no other details including what exactly is under investigation.