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Fri Oct 24 09:44:03 SAST 2014

Police investigate NBC News anchor for showing gun clip

Reuters | 27 December, 2012 07:21
David Gregory of NBC News and his wife Beth Wilkinson. File picture.
Image by: JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS

NBC News anchor David Gregory is being investigated by police after displaying what he said was a high-capacity gun clip on Sunday’s broadcast of “Meet the Press”.

Gregory held up what appeared to be a 30-round gun magazine - barred under Washington municipal code - while hosting the nationally broadcast interview with National Rifle Association Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre.

"Here is a magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bullets," Gregory said as he held aloft the black cartridge, according to video posted on the network's website.

"Now isn't it possible that, if we got rid of these, if we replaced them and said 'Well, you could only have a magazine that carries five bullets or ten bullets,' isn't it just possible that we can reduce the carnage in a situation like Newtown?" Gregory asked LaPierre.

"I don't think it's what will work," LaPierre responded.

The incident is "being investigated as a violation of D.C. code," said Washington Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Tisha Gant. She declined to elaborate.

Washington's municipal code prohibits possession, sale or transfer of "any large capacity ammunition feeding device, regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm."

The maximum penalty for conviction on such a charge is a $1000 fine and one year in prison.

NBC spokeswoman Erika Masonhall, contacted by email, said the network had no comment on the investigation.

After the broadcast, which originated in Washington, a number of bloggers and websites questioned Gregory's actions and the legality of the gun clip.

A petition posted on the White House website calling for a charge to be brought against Gregory contained more than 7000 e-signatures as of Wednesday morning.

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