NBC is dealing with an unexpected legal problem after a segment by David Gregory, who displayed what he said was a high-capacity ammunition clip on “Meet the Press.” D.C. law prohibits the possession of high-capacity ammunition clips. This may have been a case where a picture — or consultation with counsel — might have been in order. There is no exception for the media in such possession cases.
On the show with the National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre, Gregory showed him the clip and said “Here’s a magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bullets. 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?”
The predictable response from LaPierre was “I don’t believe that’s going to make one difference.” The less predictable response came from gun owners and gun control advocates who noted that the possession of such a clip is a crime. The D.C. law states “No person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device.” This does not require that the clip be attached to a weapon and does not appear to require that it have rounds in the clip.
The reported investigation could also ensnare those NBC employees who obtained and transported the clip.
I honestly believe that Gregory is not blameful and that the law should have some flexibility for news or artistic speech when the clip is empty of rounds. What do you think?
Source: Washington Post