D.C. Attorney General Won’t Charge David Gregory For Gun Violation

By Alex Weprin Comment

The Washington D.C. attorney general’s office has announced that it will not charge “Meet the Press” moderator David Gregory, or any employee of NBC, with illegally possessing a high-capacity gun magazine.

On “Meet the Press” late last year, Gregory interviewed NRA head Wayne LaPierre, and held up a high-capacity magazine as part of the segment, it is illegal to even be in possession of that sort of magazine within the District of Columbia.

In a letter explaining the decision, acquired by the Washington City Paper, the attorney general says that while Gregory and other NBC employees absolutely broke the law, a prosecution “would not promote public safety.” it also said that “the decision not to press charges in this matter was a very close decision and not one to which it came lightly or easily.”

The AG also chastised NBC, saying that its initial response was “feeble and unsatisfactory.’

In a statement, a spokesperson for “Meet the Press” said:

“We displayed the empty magazine solely for journalistic purposes to help illustrate an important issue for our viewers. We accept the District of Columbia Attorney General’s admonishment, respect his decision and will have no further comment on this matter.”

Key excerpts:

Having carefully reviewed all of the facts and circumstances of this matter, as it does in every case involving firearms-related offenses or any other potential violation of D.C. law within our criminal jurisdiction, OAG has determined to exercise its prosecutorial discretion to decline to bring criminal charges against Mr. Gregory, who has no criminal record, or any other NBC employee based on the events associated with the December 23,2012 broadcast. OAG has made this determination, despite the clarity of the violation of this important law, because under all of the circumstances here a prosecution would not promote public safety in the District of Columbia nor serve the best interests of the people of the District to whom this office owes its trust…

We therefore did not rely in making our judgment on the feeble and unsatisfactory efforts that NBC made to determine whether or not it was lawful to possess, display and broadcast this large capacity magazine as a means of fostering the public policy debate. Although there appears to have been some misinformation provided initially,NBC was clearly and timely advised by an MPD employee that its plans to exhibit on the broadcast a high capacity-magazine would violate D.C. law, and there was no contrary advice from any federal official.