Meet the Police: NBC’s David Gregory Under Investigation For Weapons Violation On Show

david_gregory_ammunitionNBC 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

195 thoughts on “Meet the Police: NBC’s David Gregory Under Investigation For Weapons Violation On Show”

  1. Otteray Scribe-

    If NBC’s lawyers tell any NBC employees to not speak with the police, that would run afoul of the conflict of interest rules of professional conduct, seeing that their client is NBC, not its employees.

    NBC is of course free to refer inquiring employees to other lawyers for advice, and even to pay such lawyers so long as the employees get to choose any lawyer they wish.

  2. The real lesson in David Gregory’s gun incident
    Gun laws are so easy to break — and such a state-by-state mess — that it’s hard for any jurisdiction to get tough
    BY ALEX SEITZ-WALD
    12/28/12
    http://www.salon.com/2012/12/28/the_real_lesson_in_david_gregorys_gun_incident/

    “Meet the Press” host David Gregory is in hot water after brandishing a 30-round magazine for an assault rifle on national TV last Sunday while interviewing NRA head Wayne LaPierre, apparently unaware that the District of Columbia, where he filmed the segment, bans such equipment. Other journalists have scoffed at the controversy and even the NRA has dismissed it as “silly”, but D.C. police are apparently taking the matter seriously, saying they are investigating the incident.

    “I really think what David Gregory did while he was inadvertently flouting the law was illustrating in a very graphic, perhaps not intentionally, but in a graphic way just how silly some of these laws are,” NRA President David Keene said yesterday. We don’t often say this, but the NRA is absolutely right.

    The Gregory case incident highlights the problem with the country’s gun laws, a patchwork of state, local and federal regulations that make it almost impossible for a jurisdictions that wants to enact stricter regulations to do so with any kind of effectiveness.

    Gun advocates often point to crime rates in Chicago, Washington and New York City — which have some of the country’s most robust gun control laws — as evidence that gun restrictions don’t work to deter crime. But the problem is that, in the absence of a robust national law like the Assault Weapons Ban, it’s incredibly easy for someone to simply go to the next jurisdiction over to buy a gun or ammunition banned in their hometown.

    While it would have been impossible for Gregory and his staff to purchase the magazine he used in the District of Columbia, they could have easily visited one of the many stores ringing the city in its Virginia or Maryland suburbs, all within just a few miles of their studio. Or you can simply order high capacity magazines like the one Gregory used on eBay or off a dozen other websites.

    “Don’t wave Chicago because where are Chicago’s guns coming from? We trace the weapons that come into my city. They’re not coming from [Chicago],” Newark Mayor Cory Booker said on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday after Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan raised this exact point. “They’re coming from places that have free secondary markets where criminals and gun runners can easily buy weapons and pump them into community like mine, where it is easy for a person who is a criminal to get their hand on a gun.”

    And as Gregory’s predicament demonstrates, the laws are so weak that you don’t even have to be some kind of master criminal bent on breaking the law to do so. The problem is that it’s so easy to flout them, that Gregory and his team at “Meet the Press” may have done. He was just unfortunate enough to display it on national TV, something most people will never do with their illegal guns.

  3. Malisha-
    “How to Kill the guy who endangers you, in seven million easy lessons.”

    Please don’t mistake discussion about selecting a tool and the best way to use it with a desire to kill or a cavalier attitude toward life. I know that people who kill in self defense, rare as it is, usually suffer emotional scars for the rest of their lives. I don’t think I would be any different, particularly if it was a relatively young person who might still have time to get his life back on track. Thankfully, the odds are excellent that my gun will never put holes in anything other than paper, and that is comforting. But the stakes are too great to not plan for this unlikely event (and you get a fun hobby out of it as a side effect). We all take many precautions for events that are unlikely to happen.

  4. Jon,
    Correct on obstruction unless the NBC lawyers tell them to STFU. Like Sgt. Shultz, their best defense is, “I know nothing, Nothing, I tell you.”

  5. Hi, Jonathan-

    The police will be wasting their time to seek a prosecution so long as those at NBC refuse to talk with the police and so long as the magazine is not recovered. Of course, nobody at NBC may advise anyone not to talk, lest the adviser get charged with obstruction of justice.

    Unless the police recover the magazine displayed by Gregory, who is to know whether this was but a replica magazine that cannot even hold bullets, thus falling outside the DC criminal law’s magazine definition.

    Be well.

  6. Jason,
    Correct on the more devastating loads, such as 00 buckshot or slugs. My preference for home defense in the middle of the night is a Mossberg 500 with a short barrel and loaded with goose shot. No need for buckshot at close range and goose shot will not go through most sheet-rock walls. As for target reacquisition, with the 20″ barrel and no choke, there is usually no need for a second round according to the ones I am personally familiar with. Might wake up the neighbors. Heh!

    We had two (2) such incidents in the past year here in our county. Both involved elderly gentlemen in their 80s versus twenty-something methhead home invaders. Both homeowners were armed with 12 gauge shotguns.

    In the first instance, the home invader tried to attack the octogenarian homeowner only to be met with a single round of buckshot to the middle of his chest, with the inevitable result.

    The second incident is much more interesting, in that the home invader lived to tell the tale, not that he will want to. The older of my two daughters is handicapped and fell. She was taken to the local Level I trauma ER by ambulance, and called me to tell me where she was. While on the phone, she said she did not know what was going on, but the corridor outside her exam room was full of police officers, and somebody in the exam room next door was hollering a lot. There was a long pause, and then she said, “Oh. My. God.” Seems a nurse came out into the corridor to show the police Lieutenant a major piece of evidence. Nurse was holding up a pair of trousers covered with blood, and with the whole crotch missing. Seems the elderly homeowner took care of the Darwin Award matter by removing the guy from the gene pool without killing him.

  7. “How to Kill the guy who endangers you, in seven million easy lessons.”

    Wow. It’s something you’d think every old woman would have learned long ago.

  8. OS-
    I’ve seen some evidence that the more devastating loads will over penetrate pretty badly. There’s certainly no denying that if you hit someone with a shotgun, they are probably going to be in bad shape. However, shotguns are generally much longer and heavier than an AR/M4 clone, and to be honest, I don’t like the idea of having to rack a slide for potential follow-up shots (not to mention the more severe recoil making re-acquisition of the target slower and more difficult.

    All of this is academic for the time being. I don’t have an AR and now is the worst time to buy. So my carry gun doubles as my HD gun.

  9. Jason, don’t get all thrilled with yourself to the point that you can tell me what to opine on and what not to opine on. You imagine that people who vote for the president understand the office, understand constitutional law, understand the functions of the state department, understand government finance? GET REAL. If you don’t think you can protect your home without hollow-point bullets, oppose gun control if it seems that hollow-point bullets are essential to your mental health so you won’t stay up all night worried about a home invader whom you can’t effectively oppose without them. But if you think you can set yourself up as the decider of what opinions I can form with limited knowledge of a KILLING TECHNOLOGY when I have spent my life studying CHILD PROTECTION TECHNOLOGY (and protecting them from a brutal and destructive social problem, not protecting them from Lanza, Zimmerman, et al.) I’m here to tell you to step the Hell down.

    I support rational gun control; I believe that includes not only either banning hollow-point bullets or making it so hard to get them that only those people who have a real, non-paranoid need for them can get them, and then have to report on their use, that is what I will back and support and advocate. I will write to my elected officials and speak about that. If they have arguments they believe are important to show me that my position should change, or if they vote in a way other than I advocate and they want to write to me to explain why they did so (and that has happened in several cases already), fine, but not one of them is going to try to tell me, “Malisha, you’re no weapons expert and you don’t know how to kill anybody so stop telling me what you think is right and wrong.” See, and neither are you. Here’s what I think about your strenuous defense of your strong attachment to hollow-point bullets: Ugh, creepy.

    A hollow-point was undoubtedly the best way to kill a kid in a residential neighborhood on a drizzly evening on 2/26/2012 in Sanford? You can probably prove to me that yes, it was indeed the best way to kill that kid in that neighborhood that night. Indeed, the gunman (who undoubtedly knew more than me about hollow-point bullets) chatted with a neighbor after the fact, about what kind of bullet he used to “bring down” his dangerous assailant/alias “the kid.” So these two upstanding citizens knew a lot more about hollow-point bullets than I know, so their superior knowledge should win the day, right?

    One of them is a gunman, a killer, and an accused murderer. The other is, I believe, a witness who changed his story three times and has yet to be placed under oath to try to explain himself. They know a lot about those bullets, even chit-chatted about them over the bleeding corpse of “the suspect” who had done no threatening of anyone, and who is still being preached against as if he was the devil incarnate by the likes of BarkinDog and various others who value their weapons more than the remnants of their social responsibility.

    So I say get used to ignorant people like me telling you what I think of your need for hollow-point bullets. If you think my ignorance of the killing technology should dissuade me from expressing myself at least this well or, I hope, much better, think again. I’ll take my ignorance, see you your macho know-more intimate knowledge of bullets and raise you 25 I.Q. points, and yes I will express my opinion that our citizenry can damn well do without hollow-point bullets even if it makes folks like you and Fabien really really mad.

    Do I think “sensible gun control” and limitations on the use and ownership of hollow-point bullets will win in this political, social, and economic climate? Frankly, no I do not. I think the gun-ho-gung-and-dung-gang has a lot more voting power than the “cease fire” crowd any day. Fortunately, I won’t live long enough to see where all this ends up in another 40 years because it’s already so nauseating to me that I over-use some generic medications. But I will certainly express my ignorant and emotional opinions at every opportunity and blog them whenever I feel like it.

    I have noticed that weaponry really attracts a certain kind of pre-insulted, pre-assaulted, overly defensive types. I think Zimmerman was one. I’m not speculating on how he got that way but I have seen him do what would be a parody of that kind of person if there was a really good, subtle comedy writer behind his rap. That case has a lot to tell us about our culture, and even more to tell us about how we have responded to it, and it is the case that keeps on giving.

    If Zimmerman didn’t have a hollow-point bullet in that gun, it might have been a very interesting, uplifting heart transplant story, the kind they show on made-for-TV movies. Instead, the narrative of our descent.

  10. Jason,
    That is why the single best home defense weapon is a shotgun, preferably a pump action. In the wee hours of the morning, in a dark house, there is no more distinctive sound than a shell being racked into a pump gun. That is usually enough to make anyone but the most determined competitor for a Darwin Award to make a hasty exit. If is does have to be used, the end is quick and permanent, albeit messy. And you do not accidentally shoot grandma sleeping in the next room.

  11. Fabien, your cover is blown. You like Zimmerman because you’d like to do what he did. But I’ll answer your questions anyway. (I won’t put the same number of exclamation points after each sentence to match the number of question marks you use; to do so would seem ignorant and emotional.)

    OK, here goes. “You have already determined that it was GZ that turned it into combat???”

    Yes, I have come to the conclusion that it was GZ who turned “it” [which was actually “nothing” before it became combat] into combat. Here is my reason: George noticed Trayvon, according to his NEN call. Shortly after noticing Trayvon he said, among other things: “These a55holes, they always get away”; and “F*cking punks” [according to his own admission, although “F*cking coons” is also a possible interpretation of his exasperated expletive expression]; and “he looks like he’s up to no good”; and “He looks like he’s on drugs or something”; and “Sh*t, he’s running”; and “there’s a real suspicious guy.” These comments show animus on George’s part, against Trayvon. Yet when he is asked what is so suspicious about Trayvon, he gives, over the course of several days, various explanations that are at best vague and foolish. Essentially, what happened was that George saw Trayvon and didn’t like him. At the same time, George told the dispatcher twice that Trayvon had fled from him, after noticing him watching. So I naturally assume that if George is telling NEN the truth, he sees Trayvon, Trayvon sees him, and Trayvon runs away. Once George is out of his truck and following Trayvon, which he admits three times in the course of the next few days and then one more time on Hannity, the dispatcher asks if he is following Trayvon and he says, “Yeah.” At this point, he has shown malice and he has followed Trayvon. In return, Trayvon has seen him and run away. This places clearly in my mind the rebuttable presumption that George was the aggressor. When there is combat and one person is the aggressor and the other is not the aggressor, it is safe to assume that the one who has expressed animus and chased after the other is the aggressor. It is not rocket science, even for us ignorant, emotional girls.

    Were you there????

    No, and I didn’t need to be there to make the deductions and form the conclusions that I set forth above. I read George’s written statements in which he refers to Trayvon Martin as “the suspect” even though he was “the suspect” at the time that he was writing the statement, and Trayvon was “the deceased” or “the victim.” I listened to the NEN call and the interviews by Singleton, Serino, and both Singleton and Serino together. I watched the video re-enactment. I had sufficient data to come to my conclusions with the knowledge gained from these sources, analyzing them with my own intellect.

    How do you know this????????

    “We” do not know this, Fabien. “I” believe this to be true and “you” apparently do not or, at the least, do not want to. But I think if someone you did not know was following you in the dark and would not give you a good reason for doing so, and if they followed you first in a car and then on foot, when you were not doing anything to give them cause to want to accost you, you might very well feel threatened and even cornered. I will bet that if you were carrying, your gun would be out of the holster already as you defended your freedom.

    We dnot know if TM swung on him or if GZ grabbed him and started the fight.

    Actually, “We” do know. If I may take “we” to mean Detective Christopher Serino, Doris Singleton, most rational people, most people who care more about the rights of ordinary individuals to not get killed than the rights of wannabe-cop gunslingers to kill at will, and the forensic scientists who found no trace of Zimmerman’s DNA on Trayvon Martin’s hands, knuckles, shirt, hoodie sleeves or cuffs. To us, if Trayvon had “swung on” George, he would have connected, and if he connected, he would have carried away a wee bit of George’s DNA and/or blood, etc. in the process. Furthermore, “we” believe that even if he had “swung on George first,” it would have been in self-defense once he realized that George was intending to unlawfully restrain, harm or kill him, which would not have been a wild guess by the time the two were in contact.

    Do you?????

    Yes. I do, to the extent that this knowledge is now or ever will be in the future available to me, a jury, a judge, or anyone else. To the extent that this is a knowable thing, I “know” it. To the extent that this is NOT a knowable thing, it will never be known, but neither will it be known that any potential killer of any other potential person was the aggressor, in which case we should not bother to have these laws at all, and we should just admit that anybody who wants to kill anybody else, go for it. Everybody arm up and be prepared. If someone wants to kill you, you shoot first. And that, Fabien, is what Trayvon Martin could have done that night if he had been armed and of age to carry his weapon to the 7-11 and back. Is that where you want to live? Where you have to carry your sidearm to go to the corner store and you have to be ready to kill on the way home or be killed because someone who sees you doesn’t think YOU look right? Is that your vision of America? Oh — I mean: Is that your vision of America?????

    Here’s what I know, Fabien: If you give a loaded gun to someone like George and he feels threatened, or he feels irritated, or he feels low, or high, or wrong, or wronged, or off, or resentful, or upset, or creeped out, or emotional, or insulted, or disrespected, or ignored, or dissed, or whatever, he might profile somebody, chase them down, and kill them, and then make up a bunch of stupid excuses which others who sometimes feel as he felt will support with all the energy they can muster.

    I also know that our society can ill afford to let this become more common than it already is.

  12. idealist- I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Onion News Network. It’s humor is parody and satire, sometimes funny but often directed against conservative issues and politics.

  13. Malisha-
    Our soldiers aren’t *allowed* to use hollow points. They aren’t allowed under the Hague Convention. You might not think it’s important to limit the risk to innocent life when defending yourself, but I take the responsibility seriously. And yes, I want the ammo to give the best chance of ending the threat. If there was a weapon that instantly stunned them like a Star Trek phaser, I’d gladly carry that instead.

    “I don’t know which kinds of guns are the perfect kinds of guns for which uses; that has never interested me”

    If you have the honesty to admit that, please don’t follow it up with:

    “You can stop an aggressor in your house or at your car with a BB gun, so why have overkill on your right hip when you go to the grocery store?”

    Good god.

  14. Malisha. You have already determined that it was GZ that turned it into combat??? Were you there???? How do you know this???????? We dnot know if TM swung on him or if GZ grabbed him and started the fight. Do you????? You automatically assume the TM “was an innocent bystander” You can’t know that. As far as firearms deaths you assume none are justified. You also don’t take into consideration how many are bad guys killed ng bad guys. Also there are more ways to kill people than just guns. 1% of murders are commented with”assault rifles” 5% with hands and feet. 6% with blunt objects.
    The murder by governments still FAR exceeds the deaths from all the wars we have fought or any street crimes. You still don’t know what you are talking about when it comes to hollow points. They do what they are designed to do. Lethal force is lethal force. They are designed to stop the target and not penetrate beyond it. I guess you think we need safer bullets.

  15. The press conference by the hollow point ammo mfr and the dissatisfied customer were quite illuminating as to their viewpoints.
    Particularly the customer’s desire to shoot with gruesome results of the mfr reps was a case against gun ownership.

    The WHO study shows that one can committ suicide without risk to others. Pill overdose is guaranteed not to harm others physically. Guns are not.

  16. Gun Control Issues, Public Health, and Safety
    http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/TUTORIAL/GUNS/GUNSTAT.html

    Gunshot wounds impact severely on the criminal justice as well as health care systems. Some basic statistics are important in understanding the magnitude and severity of the social and economic burden to the U.S. The subject remains contentious. (Glantz and Annas, 2009)

    In the U.S. for 2010, there were 31,513 deaths from firearms, distributed as follows by mode of death: Suicide 19,308; Homicide 11,015; Accident 600. This makes firearms injuries one of the top ten causes of death in the U.S. The number of firearms-related injuries in the U.S., both fatal and non-fatal, increased through 1993, declined to 1999, and has remained relatively constant since. However, firearms injuries remain a leading cause of death in the U.S., particularly among youth (CDC, 2001) (Sherry et al, 2012).

    The rates of firearms deaths in the U.S. vary significantly by race and sex. The U.S. national average was 10.2 deaths per 100,000 population in 2009. The highest rate was 28.4/100,000 for African-American males, more than quadruple the rate of 6.3/100,000 for white males. (CDC, 2009)

    The number of non-fatal injuries is considerable–over 200,000 per year in the U.S. Many of these injuries require hospitalization and trauma care. A 1994 study revealed the cost per injury requiring admission to a trauma center was over $14,000. The cumulative lifetime cost in 1985 for gunshot wounds was estimated to be $911 million, with $13.4 billion in lost productivity. (Mock et al, 1994) The cost of the improper use of firearms in Canada was estimated at $6.6 billion per year. (Chapdelaine and Maurice, 1996)

    A study of firearm deaths in high income countries (Australia, Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom (England and Wales), United Kingdom (Northern Ireland), United Kingdom (Scotland), and the United States) was conducted with data from the World Health Organization assembled by the WHO from the official national statistics of each individual country from 2003 (Richardson and Hemenway, 2011). The total population for the United States for 2003 was 290.8 million while the combined population for the other 22 countries was 563.5 million. There were 29,771 firearm deaths in the US and 7,653 firearm deaths in the 22 other countries. Of all the firearm deaths in these 23 high-income countries in 2003, 80% occurred in the US. In the US the overall firearm death rate was 10.2 per 100,000, the overall firearm homicide rate 4.1 per 100,000, and the overall homicide rate 6.0 per 100,000, with firearm homicide rates highest persons 15 to 24 years of age. For the US the overall suicide rate was 10.8 per 100,000, and slightly over half of these deaths were firearm suicide (5.8 per 100,000). Firearm suicides rates increased with age. In the other high income countries 2003 the overall firearm death rate was 1.4 per 100,000, the overall firearm homicide rate 0.2 per 100,000, and the overall homicide rate 0.9 per 100,000. Firearm homicide rates were highest in the 25 year old to 34 year old age group. The overal suicide rate was 14.9 per 100,000 with a overall firearm suicide rate of 1.0 per 100,000.

  17. Otteray,

    I’m sixty-six years old and have never felt the need to purchase a firearm–neither has my husband. No crazed individual has ever attacked either one of us. Neither have we been attacked by vicious predatory animals.

    One of my husband’s childhood friends was killed by his brother when he was playing with a gun.

    *****

    Guns in the Home and Risk of a Violent Death in the Home: Findings from a National Study
    American College of Epidemiology
    http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/160/10/929.full

    Abstract
    Data from a US mortality follow-back survey were analyzed to determine whether having a firearm in the home increases the risk of a violent death in the home and whether risk varies by storage practice, type of gun, or number of guns in the home. Those persons with guns in the home were at greater risk than those without guns in the home of dying from a homicide in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 1.9, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 3.4). They were also at greater risk of dying from a firearm homicide, but risk varied by age and whether the person was living with others at the time of death. The risk of dying from a suicide in the home was greater for males in homes with guns than for males without guns in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 10.4, 95% confidence interval: 5.8, 18.9). Persons with guns in the home were also more likely to have died from suicide committed with a firearm than from one committed by using a different method (adjusted odds ratio = 31.1, 95% confidence interval: 19.5, 49.6). Results show that regardless of storage practice, type of gun, or number of firearms in the home, having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide and firearm suicide in the home.

  18. Re Grandma shooting:

    Sounded like automatic fire to me. Legal?
    Grandma in her first salvo got off at least two rounds pointed highet than the backstop.

    Why do an oppressed people seek guns as comfort? Because they get screwed in the rest of their lives. And venting is healthier, but can train up insppropriate responses.

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