D.C. police have completed their investigation into “Meet the Press” host David Gregory’s display of a high-capacity gun magazine on the show last month and the Office of the Attorney General will now decide whether anyone will be prosecuted for the incident.
Without disclosing any details about the police investigation, Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Officer Tisha Gant said Wednesday that the OAG is now “checking for prosecutorial merit of the case.”
During a Dec. 23 taping of the show, Mr. Gregory displayed what appeared to be a magazine as he interviewed National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre during a segment on gun control following the mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. Such magazines are illegal in the District, where gun laws are among the strictest in the nation.
Prosecutors only plan to consider whether charges should be brought against Mr. Gregory, rather than any others who might have obtained or transported the magazine, Deputy Attorney General Andrew Fois said. He hopes a decision will be made within the week on whether or not to go forward with the prosecution.
The NBC show prompted online outcry among some gun rights activists, who noted that possession of such a magazine — whether it was attached to a gun or not — is illegal in the District. The violation is punishable by up to a year in prison, a $1,000 fine or both.
Observers questioned why Mr. Gregory was permitted to violate city law — even starting a petition on the White House website asking authorities to press charges. As of Wednesday, the online petition had 17,957 signatures.
Officials with knowledge of the case said previously that employees of the NBC talk show may have received conflicting information from law enforcement about whether it is legal to possess a high-capacity gun magazine.
Someone from NBC apparently reached out to both MPD and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to inquire about the use of the magazine before the taping of the show.
D.C. police said the agency told NBC representatives that possession of the magazine was not allowed. An ATF official with knowledge of the incident, who spoke on background, said that the ATF fielded a similar inquiry and reached out to members of MPD’s gun unit about the legality of possessing an unloaded magazine.
Officers within that unit told the ATF official inquiring “that ammunition was not OK and that the magazine was OK,” the ATF official said. That erroneous information, which the official chalked up to “miscommunication” between the agencies, was passed then along to the NBC staffer, giving the impression that the magazine could be used.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Andrea Noble is a crime and public safety reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
A mother of three and a passionate conservative, Shirley Husar changes the game.
Political satirist and Christian apologist Bob Siegel discusses religion and politics.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall