BATFE claims mea culpa over David Gregory flap

NBC’s David Gregory may be in a bit of trouble for having a 30 round AR-15 magazine on his show, Meet the Press, recently.  The issue is that the show is filmed in Washington, DC, and 30 round magazines are illegal in the District of Columbia.  It’s been widely reported that Gregory sought permission from DC law enforcement to use the prop, and was told no.

Now, it appears that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is saying that they told the anti-gun journalist that it was fine to use the magazine.

From CNN:

The ATF official told CNN on Thursday that a reporter with NBC News - not Gregory - called ATF last Friday to inquire whether it would be legal to have ammunition or an empty magazine on the set of the Sunday show, which is broadcast from Washington.

The ATF official said he reached out to officers with the MPD to ask if that was permissible.

“What was relayed back to me - which turned out to be a miscommunication - is ammunition was not legal unless (in the possession of an officer), but a magazine was not a problem,” said the official, who passed along the information to NBC.

The detail about empty magazines being legal in Washington was apparently inaccurate. Possessing a large-capacity ammunition device, such as a magazine, is illegal in the District of Columbia if the device holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

Of course, BATFE allegedly relayed the information to Gregory’s people and the host used the magazine.  The official also told CNN that he did not give Gregory permission, only relayed the information as he understood it.

An interesting note is that if you or I asked BATFE’s advice on a gun issue, and there was a miscommunication, we would probably be prosecuted anyways.  We might beat it, but any legal matter can be incredibly expensive.  The official also told CNN that he did not give Gregory permission, only relayed the information as he understood it.

Now, I want to say that I think DC’s ban on these magazines is completely idiotic.  It’s not like bad guys don’t know how to reload after all.  Gregory shouldn’t have broken the law with having a magazine like this on his show, because it shouldn’t be illegal.  However, Gregory appears to be an advocate of laws like this, so why shouldn’t he be treated like everyone else?

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