WASHINGTON (CNN) — A decision is expected Friday on whether there will be any criminal charges brought over the display of what appeared to be a high capacity gun magazine during a Meet the Press broadcast.
D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan received the results of an investigation by city's Metropolitan Police Department, and is weighing a decision, spokesman Ted Gest said Thursday.
During a December 23 "Meet the Press" interview with Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association, NBC's David Gregory held up what the host described as a 30-round magazine. Gregory asked if banning those and only allowing magazines with five or ten bullets might reduce gun tragedies such as the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
"I don't believe that's going to make one difference," replied LaPierre, who is the NRA's CEO and executive vice president.
Magazines that can hold more than ten rounds are against the law in the District of Columbia, where the public affairs program took place.
NBC News has not commented on the controversy that erupted, but did seek information prior to the show about whether they could legally use the magazine. Tisha Gant, a police spokeswoman, said the network asked the police department and was told it would be illegal to use the high capacity magazine.
An ATF official told CNN he also had received an inquiry from NBC, made some inquiries with the police, and was told an empty magazine would not be a problem. The ATF official passed along that answer to NBC but later learned there was a "miscommunication" and that even holding an empty 30-round case would be illegal. The official said he did not give NBC permission to use the magazine but merely relayed some information.
Possessing a magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds is a misdemeanor in Washington and carries a maximum penalty of up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
It is not known whether Nathan will find criminal charges are appropriate in this case.
CNN's Mike Ahlers, Kevin Bohn and Larry Lazo contributed to this report
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