NBC News investigated for breaking DC gun laws by using high-capacity ammunition clip as a prop on "Meet the Press"
NBC News asked D.C. police for permission to use a high-capacity ammunition clip as a prop on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” show, a request District authorities said Wednesday they denied.But host David Gregory appears to have used one anyway — and then displayed it on national television. Now D.C. police say they’re investigating whether the District’s gun laws were violated in the incident.
The District’s code says that “No person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device” whether or not it is attached to a firearm.
A police official said the case has been assigned to detectives in the gun unit. Investigators will first determine whether the segment was taped in the District and then whether the clip Gregory held up on air was real and contained bullets.
Police: NBC asked to use high-capacity clip - The Washington Post
David Benowitz, a District defense attorney who handles gun cases in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, said the ammunition charge Gregory could face is a rarely prosecuted misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine. The attorney said Gregory would be permitted a jury trial.Benowitz said the possessing the clip, even if it didn’t have any bullets in it, could violate D.C. law. But as a defense lawyer, Benowitz said he would question whether Gregory actually “possessed it” or was merely using it in the show.The other question, the attorney said, would be how NBC obtained the magazine, whether it actually had the capacity to hold 30 bullets and whether the host knew that D.C. police had rejected a request from the show to obtain one from the department’s evidence room.“I presume David Gregory didn’t go out on the street and get a 30-round clip himself,” said Benowitz, a partner in the law firm of Price, Benowitz LLP. He said that if an NBC staffer brought in a clip — from Virginia, for example — that would also be illegal.Politicians and news anchors have long used guns as props. In 1993, then-Marylan