UPDATE: Licensed Mother Who Mistakenly Brought Her Legal Gun Into NJ May Face Prison Time
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You might remember the story about Shaneen Allen from early July. The mother of two with no criminal record and a valid Pennsylvania carry permit was unaware of New Jersey’s strict gun laws when she was pulled over in the Garden State last month.
Allen gave the officer her license, her carry permit and informed the officer of her firearm. Allen was immediately arrested for violating NJ’s strict gun laws which amount to an outright ban on carry outside of the home for all intents and purposes.
It looked like Allen might get a break when she was allowed to enter into a pretrial program that might have seen her charges reduced for even dropped upon completion. However, it looks like the county prosecutor has pulled the plug on that option.
According to Philly.com,
Allen was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and armor penetrating bullets. She initially was accepted into a pretrial program for nonviolent offenders that could have led to lesser penalties or having the charge expunged, but Nappen said the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s office opposed that.
“There’s no way a hard-working woman like this should be considered a felon,” Nappen said. He also represented Brian Aitken, a New Jersey man who was sentenced to seven years in prison after being found with guns he had purchased legally in Colorado. The case drew nationwide attention, and Aitken’s sentence was eventually commuted by Gov. Chris Christie.
It’s unclear if the prosecutor is going to push for prison time for Allen, who wouldn’t have faced charges in dozens of other states for the exact same action.
This story illustrates why it is so important to know the carry laws of any state you might be visiting. States like New Jersey and others have no problem making a felon out of otherwise law abiding citizens who don’t know their restrictive gun laws. What is completely legal in most states could land you in prison for years in other states.