Judge: D.C. Must Hand Over Affidavit Seeking Meet the Press Host’s Arrest

David Gregory illegally possessed high-capacity magazine in D.C.

David Gregory holding a high-capacity ammunition magazine on Meet the Press in 2012 / AP
December 10, 2014

The District of Columbia must release records on former Meet The Press host David Gregory’s illegal display of a high-capacity magazine on live TV, a judge ruled Monday in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by the watchdog group Judicial Watch on behalf of conservative blog Legal Insurrection.

A D.C. Superior Court judge ruled the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) must turn over an affidavit filed to the D.C. Attorney General seeking Gregory’s arrest.

In a December 2012 edition of Meet the Press, Gregory displayed a high-capacity magazine during an interview with the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre.

Possession of high-capacity magazines is illegal in D.C., which has some of the strictest gun-control laws in the nation. After the segment, many conservative groups began questioning why the MPD did not charge Gregory with any crime.

"We never wanted David Gregory prosecuted for violating the ridiculous gun law provision," Legal Insurrection’s William Jacobson wrote in response to the court decision. "We wanted public officials to be held accountable for the unequal application of the law."

Emails obtained by Legal Insurrection showed that an NBC representative contacted the MPD beforehand asking about the legality of displaying a high-capacity magazine on TV in D.C.

An MPD representative responded, "No, possession of high capacity magazines is a misdemeanor under Title #7 of the DC Code. We would suggest utilizing photographs for their presentation."

Yet D.C. Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan sent a letter to NBC on January 11, 2013, writing that his office would not prosecute Gregory, "despite the clarity of the violation of this important law."

Missing from the documents obtained by Legal Insurrection were a warrant and affidavit in support of the warrant filed by the MPD to the D.C. Attorney General.

In May 2013, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit on behalf of Legal Insurrection for the rest of the records.

"Making the arrest record public will help shed light on what the District of Columbia police thought of Gregory’s violation of law," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.  "As it stands, we still do not know why the Attorney General refused to prosecute Gregory. That fact remains a mystery."