WASHINGTON — Police in the U.S. capital say they are investigating an incident in which the host of a leading television interview program displayed what he described as a high-capacity ammunition magazine.
The original hand-written copy of the Bill of Rights, approved by the House and Senate, was prepared by scribe William Lambert and resides in the National Archives. That is if Sandy Berger didn’t stuff them in his shorts and socks.
As passed by the Congress:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
As ratified by the States; authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
In 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court issued two landmark decisions officially establishing this interpretation. In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. In dicta, the Court listed many longstanding prohibitions and restrictions on firearms possession as being consistent with the Second Amendment. In McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 (2010), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment limits state and local governments to the same extent that it limits the federal government.
Police spokesman Tisha Gant said Wednesday the department is investigating whether NBC reporter David Gregory may have violated city firearms laws that ban the possession of high-capacity magazines. She declined to comment further on the probe.
While interviewing Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the National Rifle Association, a gun advocacy group, on his “Meet the Press” program, Gregory held an object, apparently as a prop to make a point, and said it was a magazine that could hold 30 rounds.
“Here is a magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bullets. Now, isn’t it possible if we got rid of these, if we replaced them and said, `Well, you can only have a magazine that carries five bullets or ten bullets,’ isn’t it just possible that we could reduce the carnage in a situation like Newtown?” Gregory asked, referring to the recent mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut.
LaPierre replied: “I don’t believe that’s going to make one difference.”
High-capacity ammunition magazines are banned in the capital district, regardless of whether they are attached to a firearm. “Meet the Press” is generally taped in Washington.
An email seeking comment from NBC was not immediately returned.
TMZ reports another bitof information. Gregory did get the okay to use the magazine, the report says. The permission evidently came from a D.C. police official who informed the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
TMZ cites a source who said a staffer from Meet the Press called ATF and inquired about the legality of the prop. Per the report:
Our sources say the D.C. police official informed ATF David could legally show the magazine, provided it was empty. An ATF official then called the staffer from “Meet the Press” to inform them they could use the magazine.
Earlier reports noted the statement from D.C. police that said “NBC was informed that possession of a high capacity magazine is not permissible and the request was denied.” TMZ observed that the show may have gotten conflicting answers. The matter has been under investigation.
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