David Benowitz Comments On Use Of High-Capacity Magazine By David Gregory On Meet The Press

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The Sunday morning talk show host was attempting to make a point about gun control by using a type of ammunition magazine that is not legal in the District of Columbia, where the show is filmed

According to the Washington Post, David Gregory, who hosts the NBC Sunday morning show "Meet The Press," is facing a potential criminal investigation after he used a large-capacity ammunition magazine during a segment about gun control in which he interviewed Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association (NRA). It is illegal in the District of Columbia to possess a magazine that can hold more than ten cartridges, whether or not it is attached to a gun at the time.

Washington, D.C. criminal defense attorney David Benowitz commented on the case in an article posted on the New York Times, saying that if someone were to be found with that type of magazine on the street, “You would be arrested; you would most likely be charged with possession of an illegal magazine. . . depending on what time you were arrested, you would most likely be held overnight.” If convicted, Mr. Gregory could be facing up to a year in prison and/or a $1,000 fine.

An investigation of this case may be ongoing, and it remains to be seen who, if anyone, at NBC may eventually be charged. Even if there were no bullets in the magazine during the time of the taping, it is still illegal to possess that type of magazine in the District of Columbia.

In an interesting twist, NBC reportedly asked local police if they could use the magazine on their broadcast, and were told that they could not, according to the New York times article. If this is in fact the case, and Mr. Gregory knew it, Mr. Benowitz says that it will not help his situation. Meanwhile, according to an article posted on Yahoo News, an official from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) told a member of the ATF that Mr. Gregory could in fact display the magazine on his show. Howver, a statement released by MPD today indicates that it was contacted by NBC regarding the use of the high-capacity magazine and informed the station that its use was not permitted.

In that same Washington Post article, Mr. Benowitz calls into question how NBC came to possess the magazine, explaining that if an NBC staffer went out of the District and brought the magazine back in to use on the show, that too could be a criminal violation.

The segment in question aired this past Sunday. Mr. Gregory was interviewing Mr. LaPierre and confronted him about whether that type of magazine should be outlawed in response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT on December 14th.

David Benowitz is a founding partner of Price Benowitz LLP, a criminal defense and personal injury firm with offices in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. For more information about relevant gun laws in those states, please visit our Maryland gun lawyer and Virginia gun lawyer pages.

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