WASHINGTON — District of Columbia police say they are investigating an incident in which NBC News journalist David Gregory displayed what he described as a high-capacity ammunition magazine on ‘‘Meet the Press.’’
Gun laws in the nation’s capital generally restrict the possession of high-capacity magazines, regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm. Gregory held up the magazine as a prop for Sunday’s segment, apparently to make a point during an interview, even though D.C. police say NBC had already been advised not to use it in the show.
‘‘NBC contacted (the Metropolitan Police Department) inquiring if they could utilize a high-capacity magazine for their segment. NBC was informed that possession of a high-capacity magazine is not permissible and their request was denied. This matter is currently being investigated,’’ police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said in a written statement. She declined to comment further.
While interviewing National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre for Sunday’s program, Gregory held up an object that he said was a magazine that could hold 30 rounds.
‘‘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 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?’ ’’ Gregory asked, referring to the Dec. 14 shooting in which a gunman massacred 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
LaPierre replied: ‘‘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’’ ban.
It was not clear how or where Gregory obtained the magazine, and an NBC News spokeswoman declined to comment Wednesday. ‘‘Meet the Press’’ is generally taped in Washington.