David Gregory under police investigation for using magazine on Meet The Press

Gregory displayed the magazine on Sunday's edition of Meet The Press. Photo: NBC News

(AP/ABC7) Metropolitan Police Department officials say they denied NBC's request for permission to use a high-capacity firearm magazine during a segment of Meet The Press this past Sunday.

MPD spokesperson Gwendolyn Crump said in a statement that officials with the network inquired about using the magazine as a display item during an interview David Gregory was to do with National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre during Sunday's show. The request was denied.

Gregory went on to display what he said was a high-capacity magazine on the show anyway. MPD officials are investigating the situation, Crump said.

Ownership of such magazines in the District of Columbia is illegal.

"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 Dec. 14 mass shooting 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.

The event has ignited a highly-polarized social media firestorm. Some viewers support Gregory's move, saying it gave context to an incredibly complicated topic.

Viewer Tom Butts wrote, "Good segment on gun control. I think showing the magazine was appropriate."

But others say no journalist is above the law.

"David Gregory should be arrested for violating D.C. 's gun law," William S. Warner, Jr. wrote.

NBC News says it has no comment at this time.

Our colleagues at POLITICO have learned Gregory will not be hosting "Meet the Press" this Sunday. According to NBC News he is taking a previously scheduled vacation.

"Meet the Press" is generally taped in Washington.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.