DC Police Were Set to Arrest NBC’s David Gregory for High Cap Mag Possession

David Gregory's wife Beth Wilkinson an D.C. AG Irvin Nathan at a charity event (courtesy legalinsurrection.com)

You may recall that former NBC Meet the Press host David Gregory waved a high-capacity ammunition magazine at NRA jefe Wayne LaPierre in a post-Newtown interview. The display was a clear and undeniable violation of D.C. Code Section 7-2506.01(b) banning the possession of high capacity ammo mags, a class D felony. So how did Gregory skate? Judicial Watch (via legalinsurrection.com) has been on the case with various Freedom of Information Act requests. Turns out the D.C. police warned NBC not to use a real mag but a picture. And when the peacock network’s news execs ignored the advice, they issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Gregory. And then . . .

On January 11, 2013, D.C. Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan sent a letter to NBC saying that his office would not prosecute Gregory, “despite the clarity of the violation of this important law.”  The Attorney General added, “There is no doubt of the gravity of the illegal conduct in this matter. . . .”

Judicial Watch hasn’t unearthed a document detailing the real reason behind Nathan’s decision to let Gregory get away with a criminal act. Nor will it. (Politicians aren’t that stupid.) The DC AG’s letter offers this official explanation for hanging fire:

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.

Despite giving Gregory et al. a pass, Nathan’s letter eviscerates NBC’s excuse for breaking the law:

No specific intent is required for this violation, and ignorance of the law or even confusion about it is no defense. 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. While you argue that some NBC employees subjectively felt uncertain as to whether its planned actions were lawful or not, we do not believe such uncertainty was justified and we note that NBC has now acknowledged that its interpretation of the information it received was incorrect.

No one at NBC is spilling the beans about phone calls made to Friends in High Places. But there is that picture at the top of this post featuring Mr. Nathan and Mr. Gregory’s wife closerthanthis at a charity event. Connect the dots. [h/t SS]

comments

  1. avatar Alan Longnecker says:

    One law for peasants, no law for elite.

    1. avatar Josh says:

      That’s right. Remember the poor DC peon who had his life ruined over having a spent shotgun shell in his home last year?

      1. avatar Gene says:

        Wasn’t there also the guy that had a .single spent 22LR case, the guy who’s ex-wife ratted him out for a black powder bullet, and others?

        1. avatar Bigred2989 says:

          Same person

      2. avatar George says:

        I missed that story, but surely being in possession of spent ammunition is not a crime right?

        1. avatar JasonMfromSoDakota says:

          His name is Mark Witaschek. His ex told the cops he was a danger and they found blackpowder slugs, no powder, and a spent shotgun shell he kept as a souvenir from a hunt. Charged him with weapons possessions and he has had his life torn apart by agents who are supposedly sworn to protect and serve the citizens.
          A question all gun owners are forced to ask themselves, is what will they do when men with guns come for your liberties.

    2. avatar MiniMe says:

      Indeed.

      “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

    3. avatar borg says:

      Ironically if someone else is arrested for doing the same thing they could easily claim an equal protection violation citing the unequal they receive compared to David Gregory.

    4. avatar IdahoPete says:

      “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
      “No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?
      (George Orwell, “Animal Farm”)

    5. avatar notalima says:

      Yep, one for thee, not for me.

      Coming to a state near you…if it is not already there.

      See that thing slowly vanishing in the rear view mirror? That’s your freedom. Wave at it as it goes away.

      (Hey, TTAG, does this count as a ‘conspiracy theory’ so you can delete it? 😀 )

  2. avatar ST says:

    If a city is run by a Democrat majority, rule of law is effectively suspended for people “in the know.” If youre on first name basis with the government, you can get away with anything……..

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      And, for at least as far back as Chappaquidick, that means LITERALLY anything.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        CORRECT!!!

  3. avatar Kyle in CT says:

    This, more than anything else, is the real reason behind the protests we are seeing around the country. People will state all kinds of reasons, but when you really dig down, it’s the erosion of our justice system with the “one rule for me, another rule for you” mentality.

  4. avatar DPV says:

    Maybe it was a pinned 10/30 mag?

    1. avatar Scrubula says:

      Back then you couldn’t even own a gun in DC that was able to use higher than 10 capacity magazines, even if it didn’t come with a magazine and you didn’t own any (Think about it, this bans effectively 95% of modern guns).
      I doubt they would allow for modified magazines.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      If it was anyone else that “maybe” would be something they’d have to assert in court, under oath.

  5. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Oh, the irony!

    “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.”

    That is a true statement. And the same thing could be said about the law itself. Magazine size limits don’t make communities safer. But this is a city that strung up a guy for having a spent shotgun shell in his house.

  6. avatar fishydude says:

    “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.”
    Yet they prosecuted a conservative for “possessing illegal unregistered ammunition” for having a spent shotgun shell in his car. DC treat an empty shell casing as if it were a live ammunition shell.
    I guess it depends on which team they are batting for. 🙂

  7. avatar Wow says:

    How does prosecution of this law, with the excepton of being tacked on top of murder charges, EVER promote public safety?

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      I certainly see that being a good question to ask if one were to be arrested for that charge and not be an NBC anchor.

  8. avatar Winston Smith says:

    Why in the world does anyone stay in that cesspool?

    1. avatar IH8CT says:

      Cause that’s where all the money is

      1. avatar DickDanger says:

        Don’t forget the PCP

  9. avatar DrVino says:

    They keep saying ” large capacity”, but I recall him waving around a *standard* capacity magazine…..

  10. avatar KCK says:

    Hold on everyone.
    Is it not consistent to say that justice has been served when anyone has escaped prosecution from an unjust law?
    We should then argue that using equal justice under the law, that no one should be prosecuted.

    We should educate people that a law that can be prosecuted arbitrarily is evidence that it is by its nature, a bad law.
    Gregory and others may be more gun freindly if we showed him support rather that demanding his head on a platter.

    1. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

      Worth a shot, just don’t be surprised if they continue to look at us with contempt.

    2. avatar Kyle in CT says:

      I don’t think most people are demanding his head on a platter, but are rather frustrated by the fact that a blatant, nationally-televised violation of the law wasn’t prosecuted even though the network was specifically warned that the action would be illegal beforehand, but accidental violations have been vehemently pursued by the very same office. It’s the hypocrisy and double-standards that people are (rightfully) upset about.

      1. avatar Wiregrass says:

        Don’t think for once that Gregory wants or needs sympathy from the likes of us ignorant, misguided, racist, misogynist, gun nuts.

    3. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Maybe I disremember. What I recall was him waving around the magazine while arguing AGAINST its existence, he wanted it outlawed, it was, and he then possessed one. The only way he could ever understand what he was asking for was to spend a year or two in freaking PRISON because of mere possession of an inanimate object worth around $10.

      1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

        You’re dis-remembering. Magazines that could hold greater than 10 rounds were illegal under current DC statute at the time of the incident. Here, you can watch a couple of morons discuss it, one of whom reads from the statute:

    4. avatar Hannibal says:

      Considering he was pushing for that very law I don’t see why he should get even a small break.

  11. avatar Chris. says:

    “No intent”. That’s the real crime; that there now exists crimes that you don’t have to “intend” to commit!

  12. avatar Shire-man says:

    Knowing and willful violation and he’s off because prosecution wouldnt promote public safety or be in the best interest of the people.

    Now how many victimless non-crime and pre-crime laws could that be applied to while instead people are locked up everyday?

    Really, I don’t mind the blatant anti-liberty tyranny that exists all across this country nearly as much as I mind the blatant hypocrisy in application of said tyranny. Though I do really enjoy it when those tasked with enforcing the tyranny openly admit to how empty, pointless and arbitrary the tyranny is such as they did in this case. It amuses me, infuriates me and emboldens my hardline “kill ’em all” policy towards politicians and cops.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      “Knowing and willful violation and he’s off because prosecution wouldnt promote public safety or be in the best interest of the people.”

      I agree, and offer the question of how prosecution of a man for possession of an expended shotgun shell promoted public safety or was in the best interests of the people.

      When you’re caught lying, cheating, and being stupid, the clear solution is to lie, cheat and be stupid some more, then get your pals to lie, cheat and be stupid in your defense. Bless the police, who at least TRIED to arrest this jackass.

  13. avatar Steve in MD says:

    This is why I go around DC on my way to Virginia.

    1. avatar SouthernPatriot says:

      Ha! Good one! That is why we always go around D.C. on our way from Virginia to Maryland.

  14. avatar Weekend at Bernie's says:

    Police don’t issue warrants.

    1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      The police issued an affidavit in support of a warrant and stated they were going to arrest Gregory the next day.

      http://legalinsurrection.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Gregory-OAG-Email-Jan-7-2013-re-presenting-warrant.jpg

  15. avatar JackieO says:

    Shocked.. Shocked I tell you!!!!

  16. avatar tdiinva says:

    Let me suggest an alternative: Heller, McDonold and NBC’s deep pockets. I can just hear NBC’s lawyers discussing this with the City’s AG. “Nice gun control law you have there, wouldn’t want anything to happen to it.” If NBC went to the mat on this the end result could have been overturning of the ban. After Heller I don’t think the District had any taste for challenge from a deep pocketed major corporation.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      NBC would have tossed the sucker under the bus before risking that.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        You assume that NBC executive really think gun control works and is important. When you deal with gangsters, i.e.,, the DC government, you play by Chicago rules.

  17. avatar Peter says:

    Banana Republic of America

  18. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    I would use the documents in any prosecution in the District. Make the city explain how a peon is being prosecuted for similar crime.

  19. avatar Mirgc says:

    Louis a grunt cop have been able to make a arrest? Get it in the systems and force the DA to dismiss it (documented). 0f course it would probably be the end zone f the cops job in DC. But if he was transferring anyways…

  20. avatar Calvin says:

    “We therefore did not rely in making our judgment on the feeble and unsatisfactory efforts that NBC made”

    Sure, didn’t need ’em. The persecutor had his own feeble and unsatisfactory reasons for doing what they did.

  21. avatar Yellow Devil says:

    Careful. This article is too “right-wing”.

  22. avatar jwm says:

    If the execs at nbc were warned not to let Gregory proceed with a real mag and they green lighted it anyway, isn’t that a criminal conspiracy?

    1. avatar JasonMfromSoDakota says:

      You are correct but following and being punished by the law only applies to we lowly servants -The elite executives who gave the green light established the criteria for qualifying as a felony criminal conspiracy and breaking the law on national(bought and paid for)television created the overt act necessary to prove the crime has been acted out.
      We all know the system is broken but we are too comfortable with our own self interests to be inconvenienced by the tides of change.

  23. avatar Rick says:

    NBC was apparently too dumb to just buy a airsoft AR magazine, which is the same size as a real one.

  24. avatar Sammy says:

    Keep in mind, Washington, DC is not just a city that is denying it’s population their rights, it’s our national capital, The elite minority would do this to all of us given the chance. And to re-phrase it, self defense is not a right. Self defense is a demand of nature.

  25. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

    So why didn’t LaPierre press charges? He was there, he witnessed the incident, and he was the target of the evil magazine waving.

    Yes, the AG can ignore the event, but when someone else presses charges its harder to wave your hands and make it go away.

    At the very least, LaPierre could have used to opportunity to show the stupidity of the law and the mendacity of the people who break it.

    1. avatar blahpony says:

      I still think LaPierre should have said “Sir, you are commiting a felony and I will have no part of it.” and left. Let Gregory explain why he suddenly has no guest on the show.

  26. avatar John M. says:

    The law of nature is rule or be ruled. It is clear to me which side Mr. Gregory is on and which side I am on.

    And who at this point wouldn’t wish for King George and his nobility to rule us instead of Gregory and his ilk? The Declaration of Independence reads like marketing literature here in the Brezhnevian twilight of our Permanent Bureaucracy and nomenklatura.

  27. avatar Desert Ranger says:

    Another case of the anti’s “shooting themselves in the foot”, as this gives defense attorneys a great legal precedent for getting clients off on similar charges in this jurisdiction…

    1. avatar John M. says:

      This was just executive discretion not to arrest him. There’s no precedent here for any plebs or peons to use.

  28. avatar Ralph says:

    Gregory lies to America every night and somebody wants to arrest him for possession of an illegal magazine? Frankly, that’s the least of David Gregory’s crimes.

    1. avatar John M. says:

      I’m starting to come to the conclusion that we on the right should start treating the word “journalist” the same way the Left treats the word “racist:” with scorn, opprobrium, condescension and derision.

  29. avatar Robert W. says:

    A clear, albeit relatively minor, example of how the destruction of your Second Amendment Rights will lead to the destruction of your First Amendment Rights. Even though the reporter is clearly not someone we want to be friends with, he was using the magazine as a form of political speech and protest, which is the core of the first amendment. Through an infringement on his 2nd Amendment right to own such a magazine his 1st Amendment rights were infringed on through a back-door.

  30. avatar Gs650g says:

    Dick Gregory. Perfect name

  31. avatar publius2 says:

    Is it just me or does Mr Nathan have that ‘glow’

  32. avatar Hannibal says:

    Smells like prosecutorial corruption to me. Hey Eric Holder, where are you now?

  33. avatar Steve says:

    The reason they didn’t prosecute is because if they did, people might realize how stupid the law is.

  34. avatar Mad Max says:

    Maybe NBC’s attorneys threatened to change sides and challenge D.C.’s law based on the Heller decision.

    I don’t think D.C would want to get in a major 2A battle with a large MSM outlet. They would likely lose the PR fight.

    1. avatar John M. says:

      NBC management would have rather pried Mr. Gregory’s skull off and eaten his brain than mount a 2A challenge to that law. There’s a 0% chance they even considered it.

  35. avatar Mort says:

    Special people, special rules!

  36. avatar Seth Hill says:

    So now that they did not arrest and prosecute David for doing this, anyone that is now arrested can use this as leverage in their defense. Wait until that starts to happen and watch the fun ensue.

  37. avatar Dan says:

    Sounds like we have a prosecutor that needs to become intimately acquainted with tar and feathers.

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