NBC’s David Gregory Won’t Face Charges for Ammo

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 12 2013 2:00 PM

NBC’s David Gregory Won’t Face Charges for Displaying Ammo Clip on TV

1358017072979
NBC's David Gregory holds up an empty high-capacity magazine during an interview with NRA chief Wayne LaPierre

Screengram from Meet the Press video

Surely disappointing several gun-rights advocates, NBC’s David Gregory won’t face jail time for displaying an empty ammunition magazine during a Dec. 23 Meet the Press interview with NRA chief Wayne LaPierre. In a letter sent to NBC Friday, Washington, D.C. Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan emphasized “the gravity of the illegal conduct” but noted  that “prosecution would not promote public safety in the District of Columbia, nor serve the best interests of the people,” reports the Washington Post.  Nathan also wrote his office recognizes “the intent of the temporary possession and short display of the magazine was to promote the First Amendment purpose of informing an ongoing public debate about firearms policy in the United States.” Read the full letter here.

After Gregory brandished the 30-round ammunition magazine during the interview, several viewers wrote to local police demanding that Gregory be arrested, noting that owning such a high-capacity magazine is illegal in the District, even if it’s empty. As Slatest pointed out at the time, conservatives and gun-rights advocates “pretty much demanded police take action,” saying anyone else would face prosecution. Watch the portion of the interview that began the controversy after the jump.

Advertisement

In a statement to Politico NBC said it respects the decision as well as the criticism from the attorney general:

“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.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Technocracy
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.