In 2012, 105 people were arrested on charges that included the possession of high capacity rifle magazines. A three and a half week investigation into David Gregory’s possibly illegal use of one such magazine on NBC’s Meet The Press has so far not led to any arrests.
Emily Miller of The Washington Post seems to think its not very fair that while regular folks get handcuffed for possessing a high capacity feeding device — that is, any magazine that holds more than 10 rounds — Gregory seems to be continuing on his merry way with no repercussions for his choice to pull out a 30-round magazine and show it off on national television. Although he was making a valid point about ammunition control, he was also allegedly blatantly breaking Washington, DC law.
According to The Washington Post, the spokesperson for the District’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG) reported that there would be no official decision on whether or not Gregory would be prosecuted until “possibly this week.”
Richard Gardiner, a firearms attorney, notes the delay in action is not uncommon with “high-profile cases.” Gardiner explains, “The police investigate the facts and give the results to the prosecutor to decide whether to bring charges.” He adds, “It’s also routine in cases like this where the crime was not committed in police officers’ presence.”
Gregory has reportedly not been interviewed by police, a fact which Gardiner finds unsurprising, noting that “the police usually only interview people who are not sophisticated and wealthy because the police figure they don’t have counsel and so don’t know that they can say, ‘no.’ ” Good to know.
While Gregory has not yet been arrested or even questioned regarding his actions — in which he reportedly called the police department in advance for permission to use a magazine as a prop, and was refused — the same did not hold true for Maryland resident James Brinkley.
On September 8, 2012, Brinkley reportedly dropped his wife and young children off at the White House for a tour. He had planned to head to a nearby shooting range to prepare for the US Marshals Service test. Like David Gregory, Brinkley called the police department in advance for instructions on how to safely transport his weapon and ammunition to the range.
Unlike Gregory, Brinkley followed the department’s instructions to the letter. He was, nevertheless, arrested on the spot after an officer spotted his empty holster and found the weapon in the locked trunk (unloaded and locked in a padlocked box, alongside two ordinary, 15-round magazines.)
Brinkley was arrested and charged with two counts of high capacity magazine possession and one count of possessing an unregistered gun.
Do you think that Gregory should be arrested for discarding police officer’s instructions to not bring a 30-round magazine onto his show? Do you think it was just a well-played stunt, and the ammunition was fake? Most importantly, how do you feel about the difference between how investigators are treating Gregory, verses how Brinkley, an ordinary man, was treated for the same offense?