How Dianne Feinstein Got Away With Displaying Guns for Her Big Assault Weapons Ban Unveiling

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) speaks next to a weapons display during a Capitol Hill news conference on Jan. 24, 2013 (Getty Images)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) made sure to go through the proper channels when she displayed 10 so-called assault weapons during Thursday’s unveiling of her new proposed gun ban — lest she run afoul of Washington, D.C.’s strict gun laws.

Feinstein’s office, apparently mindful of the situation NBC’s David Gregory found himself in, asked D.C. Police to provide them with weapons to display, Feinstein spokesman Brian Weiss told the Washington Post. Such guns are permitted in D.C. if they are in police custody, Weiss said.

According to the Post:

U.S. Capitol Police and the Senate Sergeant at Arms inspected the weapons to ensure they were inoperable before they were permitted inside the Dirksen Senate Office building for the event, according to Weiss and Capitol Police spokesman Shennell Antrobus.

“We routinely work with our stakeholders during the course of their duties, and within the framework of the various applicable laws, to ensure the weapons brought in for hearings are done so in a safe manner,” Antrobus said in an e-mail.

D.C. police investigated Gregory after he held up what he said was a high-capacity ammunition magazine on live TV during “Meet the Press.” It’s a violation of District law to possess a magazine capable of holding 10 or more rounds of ammunition, but the D.C. attorney general ultimately decided not to prosecute.