The D.C. attorney general on Friday declined to charge the host of NBC’s “Meet the Press” for displaying an empty ammunition magazine on national television, saying that doing so would not make the District safer.
The decision, coming amid a charged debate over gun laws, spares journalist David Gregory the possibility of jail time. But the attorney general warned the network “of the gravity of the illegal conduct . . . in a city and a nation that have been plagued by carnage from gun violence.”
In a letter to NBC, Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan admonished Gregory for knowingly flouting the law, but Nathan said he decided to exercise “prosecutorial discretion” and not pursue a criminal case. “Prosecution would not promote public safety in the District of Columbia, nor serve the best interests of the people,” Nathan wrote.
The letter ends a nearly three-week-long investigation by D.C. police, prompted by viewers who e-mailed the department after watching Gregory display a 30-round ammunition magazine during a Dec. 23 interview with the National Rifle Association’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre. The two were talking about the school shootings in Newtown, Conn.