There are many times throughout the careers of a judge or a prosecutor, that they can use their best judgement and common sense to remove charges from a case that they deem unnecessary. To the majority of people, this should have been one of those cases.
I’ll set the stage for you: A single mother of two from Philadelphia, Shaneen Allen, faces gun charges in the we-hate-it-when-honest-citizens-can-defend-themselves state of New Jersey. The reason that she is facing charges in the first place is why so many people are talking.
Allen has a concealed carry permit in Pennsylvania, and everything about her permit and firearm is legal in that state. But one day she made the mistake of driving over an invisible border into NJ and was pulled over for an “unsafe lane change”. Being the honest citizen that she is, she immediately informed the officer that she had a permit to carry a firearm and that a loaded firearm was with her in the car.
What she didn’t know was that her permit and firearm became instantly illegal once she crossed into New Jersey, a state with extremely strict gun laws. As TheBlaze previously reported, the mother was arrested and at first faced about 3 years in prison.
Allen reportedly appeared in court this week and, to many people’s surprise, the case wasn’t dismissed by the judge. In fact, she now reportedly faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for possession a concealed weapon and another potential 18 months for possession of hollow-point bullets — more than 11.5 years in total.
As it sits right now, the charges are still being brought against Allen. I have heard and read the arguments on both sides and I understand that she broke the law. This is one of those cases though, that should open peoples eyes to the ridiculousness of a few of these gun laws on the books. In this case, we have a law-abiding citizen who has never been in any sort of legal trouble in her life. She took the steps to legally arm herself after her apartment was broken into twice. With two young children, most of us would do the same thing.
Over the years, there has been (very slow) talk of Constitutional Carry. This bill would allow anyone with a concealed carry permit from any state, visit any other state in the US without the fear of being prosecuted for having an illegal firearm in that state. It’s full reciprocity, and it makes absolute sense. If this law were in effect, Allen would have been free to go about her day after being pulled over.
So we’re left to sit and wait to see what happens once this goes to trial. One thing is for sure, this story cannot die. I have seen it for weeks and am happy to see new articles pop up on a daily basis.
By committing a victim-less crime in an unintentional manner, the state of NJ is making an example out of her.