B. Todd Jones, the Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Cathy Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., are being challenged on selective enforcement of the District’s ban on so-called “large capacity ammunition feeding devices” for semi-automatic firearms. This column will serve as a follow-up to an earlier request asking who authorized violation of the ban, after NBC’s David Gregory produced a magazine during his Dec. 23 “Meet the Press” interview with National Rifle Association head Wayne LaPierre.
That request was documented by Gun Rights Examiner and sent to the respective agencies via email. Because the responses to very specific questions created more questions than answers, this column will now be used to transmit an open letter to the two law enforcement executives:
Dear Director Jones and Chief Lanier,
A crime has been committed, your agencies are involved, and someone is lying. Those are serious charges, but fortunately, they’re demonstrable. And until it’s cleared up, the actions and reputations of your respective agencies will continue meriting public scrutiny.
As you know, NBC’s David Gregory displayed an ammunition magazine that is banned under D.C. Official Code 7-2506.01, and that a conviction on this charge can result in a maximum fine of $1,000 and/or up to one year imprisonment.
That’s pretty serious.
You also must know that media pundits as diverse as Howard Kurtz and Greta Van Susteren have scolded you for spending any time investigating this, calling any such effort a waste of time because Gregory didn’t intend to commit any crime, and was merely scoring a journalistic point, even if it was ill-advised.
I actually agree with both of them, that to prosecute this would be a shameful waste of resources, and yes, as Greta says,“silly,” but then, I’d say the same thing if you were to prosecute any peaceable citizen on such an offensive and presumptuous charge, and there’s the rub. Being a strict liability offense, Gregory’s motives and intent are not the issue, although there is evidence pointing to NBC willfully violating the law, and that comes directly from Chief Lanier’s Office of Communications Director Gwendolyn Crump, who told me by email: