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Perhaps NJ Gov. Christie should issue a pardon

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POSTED August 17, 2014 10:55 p.m.

I recently got an email forwarding an article about a woman from Pennsylvania who appears to be in the process of being railroaded into prison by the justice system in New Jersey.

Shaneen Allen, age 27 is a single mom who resides with her two children in Pennsylvania where she works as a medical technician. Twice in the past year she had been robbed and decided that she had to do something to protect herself and her family. She applied for a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Allen had never had any criminal record and was granted a CCW permit in Pennsylvania. She legally obtained a .380 Bersa handgun and began to carry it in her purse.  She decided to drive to Atlantic City, New Jersey to get some things for her 10-year-old son’s upcoming birthday.

While driving to Atlantic City Allen was pulled over by a police officer for an unsafe lane change. When the officer approached the car, Shaneen informed the officer that she had a gun in her purse, but that it was properly licensed and that she had a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Allen was arrested and charged with several felonies. It seems that New Jersey doesn’t recognize Concealed Carry Permits issued by Pennsylvania. I’ll bet that Allen now wishes that she hadn’t been so forthright and had said nothing about a gun. After some negotiation with the Atlantic County District Attorney’s office, she was offered a plea bargain deal in which she would serve 3 ½ years in a New Jersey State Prison. Allen has decided to reject the deal and be tried by a jury.

There are several issues regarding this case that trouble me. The first issue is in The Bill of Rights: the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires every state to extend Full Faith & Credit to the acts of another State. Examples are seen in every day human activities: driver licenses from one state are recognized by every other state. Thus a tourist from Virginia who comes to California can rent a car and drive to Yosemite or Disneyland using his Virginia license. Another recent example of Full Faith & Credit has been the recent controversy over same sex marriages. As I understand it a couple legally married in Maryland is recognized as being married in every other state. It seems to me that concealed weapon permit to defend yourself and your family should be as valid in every other state as marriage licenses and driver’s licenses.  At last count, 35 states recognize the Concealed Carry licenses of each other. Why should New Jersey be granted an exception to follow the U.S. Constitution?

Another issue is one of Women’s Rights, as a practical matter, men are usually larger and stronger than women. A 5 foot tall woman weighing 105 pounds who is accosted by a 250-pound, 6 foot tall male is at a serious disadvantage. The practical effect of this is that refusing to allow citizens to carry a gun for self defense has a significant and very real effect on women. It’s hard enough as it is for single women to support a family. Shouldn’t everyone, regardless of sex or size be able to protect themselves?

There are several possible solutions to this dilemma.

u 1 Congress could pass a law requiring CCW reciprocity by all the states. That’s a good idea, but I wonder if Harry Reid would allow it.

u 2. Another solution might be for Allen to appeal her case all the way to the Supreme Court and maybe they will require New Jersey to follow the U.S. Constitution and recognize the laws of other states.

u 3. Perhaps the best solution of all would be for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to simply issue a pardon to Allen. In one act he would be supporting both the U.S. Constitution and supporting the rights of women and men equally. What a novel idea! How about it Governor Christie? Why not step up and pardon Ms Allen. You’d be a hero to citizens all over the country. If you agree, why not send Governor Christie a letter or email?  He can be found at:

Governor Chris Christie

Governors Mansion

Trenton, New Jersey.

What the heck? It’s worth a try.

Until next week:

Tight Lines!

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