Continued from page 1

Two weeks after the June raid, D.C. police investigators went to his sister’s house — unaccompanied by Virginia police and without a warrant — and asked to “view” the firearms, according to a police report. She refused. The next day, the D.C. police returned to her house with the Arlington County police and served her with a criminal subpoena.

The Office of Attorney General of the District of Columbia Irvin Nathan signed an affidavit on Aug. 21, 2012, in support of a warrant to arrest Mr. Witaschek. A spokesman for Mr. Nathan would not comment on a pending case.

Mr. Witaschek went to the police station on Aug. 24 at 5:30 a.m. to turn himself in, but was not transferred to central booking until 11:30 a.m., at which time he was told it was too late to be arraigned that day. He spent the night in jail and was released the next day at 10 a.m.

Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier reserves such harsh tactics for ordinary citizens. When NBC News anchor David Gregory violated the gun-registration law last year by wielding an illegal 30-round magazine on live television, he was not arrested.

Mr. Nathan also gave Mr. Gregory a pass, writing that prosecuting him “would not promote public safety.”

Mr. Nathan, who is unelected, showed no such leniency to Mr. Witaschek. In September 2012, the attorney general offered Mr. Witaschek a deal to plead guilty to one charge of unlawful possession of ammunition with a penalty of a year of probation, a $500 fine and a contribution to a victims’ fund.

Mr. Witaschek turned down the offer. “It’s the principle,” he told me.

To increase the pressure a year later, Mr. Nathan tacked on an additional charge in August of illegal ammunition from the first, warrantless search. Mr. Witaschek chose to accept the risk of prison time by going to trial instead of pleading guilty.

The firearms laws in places such as the District of Columbia, Chicago, New York, Connecticut and New Jersey do nothing to reduce violence, but merely infringe on the Second Amendment rights of the law-abiding.

However, if these laws are going to be enforced, the police and government must treat everyone equally.

The charges against Mr. Witaschek should be dropped.

Emily Miller is a senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times and author of “Emily Gets Her Gun” (Regnery, 2013).