WASHINGTON Jan 11 The District of Columbia has
declined to prosecute NBC News anchor David Gregory for
displaying an illegal high-capacity gun clip on a broadcast, a
prosecutor said on Friday.
District of Columbia Attorney General Irvin Nathan said his
office would not seek to charge Gregory for showing the 30-round
magazine on the Dec. 23 broadcast of "Meet the Press" in part
because it was an element of the renewed debate about firearms.
His office "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 Dec. 23, 2012,
broadcast," Nathan said in a letter to NBC's lawyers.
He called the decision "very close."
Gregory held up the magazine while hosting an interview with
National Rifle Association Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre at
NBC's studios in the District. Law in the U.S. capital bars
possession of high-capacity magazines whether or not they are
attached to a weapon or loaded.
The "Meet the Press" show on firearms was part of a
galvanized public debate on guns after the Dec. 14 massacre of
20 schoolchildren and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut.
Nathan said the clip was returned to its owner outside the
District after the show. It then was turned over to District
police with NBC's help.
He added that Gregory had displayed the magazine even though
city police had told NBC that possession was illegal.
"We note that NBC has now acknowledged that its
interpretation of the information it received was incorrect,"
(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Eric Walsh)