The District of Columbia, one of the worst governed jurisdictions in the United States, has a law on the books, placed there for political purposes by the uber liberals who run it, banning “high-capacity” ammo clips, of the type waved around by NBC
unpaid Obama press flack reporter David Gregory in the above clip. He did it in DC. No intent is needed for the criminal prosecution. It is a strict liability offense. For the past few weeks the question has been whether Gregory would be prosecuted. Not a chance I thought, and I was proved correct when Irvin Nathan, the attorney general for DC, released a pompous letter yesterday explaining why Gregory would not be prosecuted The letter runs to three turgid pages, but I won’t inflict all of that on you. Instead, here is the money quote:
Having carefully reviewed all of the facts and circumstances of this matter, as it does in everycase involving firearms-related offenses or any other potential violation of D.C. law within our criminal jurisdiction, OAG has determined to exercise its prosecutorial discretion to decline to bring criminal charges against Mr. Gregory, who has no criminal record, or any other NBC employee based on the events associated with the December 23, 2012 broadcast. OAG has made this determination, despite the clarity of the violation of this important law, because under all of the circumstances here 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.
Influencing our judgment in this case, among other things, is our recognition that 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, especially while this subject was foremost in the minds of the public following the previously mentioned events in Connecticut and the President’s speech to the nation about them. There were, however, other legal means available to demonstrate the point and to pursue this line of questioning with the guest that were suggested to NBC and that could have and should have been pursued…
On the other hand, 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.
NBC should be made aware that OAG’s decision not to press charges in this matter was a very close decision and not one to which it came lightly or easily.
It comes as no surprise to me that in the three pages of his endless letter, Nathan did not find space to disclose that he is a family friend of Gregory and his high-powered attorney wife, Beth Wilkinson, as disclosed here at Legal Insurrection. Nathan should have stepped aside of course and asked the court to appoint a special prosecutor to decide if Gregory should be prosecuted, as were 105 people last year for the same violation, including a vet at Walter Reed who was in DC only for medical treatment. However, that would have meant that Gregory might actually have been prosecuted, and the Obama administration clearly did not want that to happen. We have long prided ourselves of being a nation of laws not men. Now we are governed by men who hold the laws in contempt if their friends are in jeopardy.