The prosecution of a single mother who faces up to a decade in prison for carrying a weapon for which she had a concealed carry permit in her state is being re-evaluated, according to a report from the National Rifle Association.
Shaneen Allen, of Pennsylvania, already has spent 46 days in jail because she drove into New Jersey with her weapon. She was offered a deal that includes a mandatory minimum of more than three years in prison.
Because New Jersey refuses to recognize Pennsylvania’s concealed-carry permit, she was handcuffed, shackled and jailed after she told a New Jersey officer who stopped her for an alleged traffic violation that she was carrying. In Pennsylvania, the disclosure to police is required by law.
Allen, who has two young children, had obtained the weapon and the permit after being robbed twice in a year. The arrest came during a social outing that took her across the state border into New Jersey, where a state trooper alleged she committed a lane violation.
In a new interview with the NRA, her attorney, Evan Nappen, said the judge has agreed to Atlantic County Prosecutor James McClain’s request for a delay of three weeks to “re-evaluate” the case.
A conference that had been scheduled for this week has been delayed until Sept. 25, and her trial, which was to begin Oct. 6, is now set for Oct. 20.
“I think this is a great sign,” Nappen said. “It’s about time that this … hard-ball position on firearms get a re-evaluation. … Hopefully, [the prosecutor will] be inclined to use his discretion … and the focus can stay on people that are a threat of violence to us. Not folks like Shaneen.”
NRA commentator Ginny Simone obtained a copy of McClain’s letter and read from it: “I am presently in the process of reviewing our office’s position on the appropriate resolution of this matter.”
WND reported the campaign by NRA to publicize the case.
Here’s one report:
Said Nappen: “Is New Jersey that superior to the rest of the United States, that their license is so sacred and sacrosanct, that they cannot recognize a single other license based on a Second Amendment right?”
New Jersey Assemblyman Michael Carroll, calling the state “freedom hell,” says the law is “insane.”
Prosecutors earlier had refused permission for Allen, a medical assistant, to enter a diversion program for first offenders, even though evidence showed she made an “honest mistake.”
“I have to worry about spending three years in state person without my kids. Where’s the justice in that?” Allen asked.
Her advocates say a federal law providing reciprocity for recognition of gun permits might be the only solution, since “New Jersey’s hopeless.”
Assemblyman Ron Dancer has introduced a bill that would give judges the option of lesser penalties for visitors who inadvertently violate state law.
He said it’s “unconscionable” that Allen faces “mandatory time in prison for telling the truth.”
“This is about justice and constitutional rights,” he said.