“NBC evidently got conflicting guidance from federal and local law enforcement officials about the legality of displaying an empty gun magazine on ‘Meet the Press,’ according to statements by the agencies involved. An official with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told CNN that he relayed information to NBC from the Washington Metropolitan Police Department that displaying an empty gun magazine was legal. Meanwhile, an MPD spokeswoman said her department told NBC such a display would be illegal. It was not clear in what order NBC received the communications. NBC declined again on Thursday to comment on the matter.” The ATF told CNN . . .
. . . 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.
If I remember correctly, ignorance is no excuse under the law. Unless, of course, it is.