The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

David Gregory presses NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, may have violated DC law

On Sunday’s broadcast of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” moderator David Gregory took a very aggressive posture in his exclusive interview with NRA executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre.

After a series of LaPierre’s answers appeared to frustrate him, Gregory lashed out at LaPierre and held up a high-capacity ammunition magazine, leading to a back-and-forth between Gregory and LaPierre.

Partial transcript as follows:

GREGORY: Because that’s your standard is that fewer people should be killed. That’s the goal here. And the standard is, if it’s possible, your words, if it’s possible that lives could be spared, shouldn’t we try that? That’s your standard, isn’t it?
LAPIERRE: I tell you, my standard is this. You can’t legislate morality. Legislation works on the sane. Legislation works on the law abiding.
GREGORY: Fairness —
LAPIERRE: It doesn’t work on criminals. It doesn’t work on the —
GREGORY: If it’s possible to reduce the loss of life–
LAPIERRE: There are —
GREGORY: — you’re up for trying it.
LAPIERRE: There are monsters out there every day, and we need to do something to stop them. And they’re not—
GREGORY: If it’s possible to reduce the loss of life, you’re worth trying it, correct?
LAPIERRE: If it’s possible to reduce the loss of life–
GREGORY: That’s what you say.
LAPIERRE: Yeah, I want it. That’s what I’m proposing.
GREGORY: OK, so let me widen the argument. Let’s stipulate that you’re right. Let’s say armed guards might work. Let’s widen the argument out a little bit. So here is a magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bullets. Now isn’t it possible that, if we got rid of these, if we replaced them in 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?
LAPIERRE: I don’t believe that’s going to make one difference. There are so many different ways to evade that, even if you had that. You had that for ten years when Dianne Feinstein passed that ban in ’94. It was on the books. Columbine occurred right in the middle of it. It didn’t make any difference. I know everybody– that this town wants to argue about gun control. I don’t think it’s what will work. What will work is this. I’ll tell you this.

However, as Legal Insurrection writer and Cornell Law School associate professor William A. Jacobson pointed out in a blog post shortly after “Meet the Press” aired, Gregory’s possession of an actual magazine may have broken the local laws if it wasn’t a fake:

b) No person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “large capacity ammunition feeding device” means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The term “large capacity ammunition feeding device” shall not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.

Jacobson later updated his post and added the following exceptions, none of which of the qualifications Gregory seemed to have fulfilled:

§ 7-2506.01. Persons permitted to possess ammunition.

(a) No person shall possess ammunition in the District of Columbia unless:
(1) He is a licensed dealer pursuant to subchapter IV of this unit;
(2) He is an officer, agent, or employee of the District of Columbia or the United States of America, on duty and acting within the scope of his duties when possessing such ammunition;
(3) He is the holder of the valid registration certificate for a firearm of the same gauge or caliber as the ammunition he possesses; except, that no such person shall possess restricted pistol bullets; or
(4) He holds an ammunition collector’s certificate on September 24, 1976.
(b) No person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “large capacity ammunition feeding device” means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The term “large capacity ammunition feeding device” shall not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.

Clarification: An earlier version of this article referred to Gregory’s prop as a clip, when it was in fact a magazine.

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