No Jail Time For Single Mom Who Brought Handgun Into NJ By Mistake

Posted: Sep 24, 2014 10:09 PM

It appears that Shaneen Allen will be avoiding prison time after she was charged with bringing her legal firearm into New Jersey. Allen, a Pennsylvania resident and mother of two, bought a handgun and obtained a concealed carry permit after being robbed twice; she doesn’t have a criminal record. The problem is that New Jersey does not have a reciprocity agreement with Pennsylvania regarding concealed carry permits.

As Katie wrote in a previous post, she accidentally brought her firearm into New Jersey, where she willingly informed a police officer, who had pulled her over for a traffic violation, that she was carrying her handgun. As a result, she faced up to ten-years in prison.

Well, not anymore (via Press Of Atlantic City):

A Philadelphia mother facing prison time for bringing her legally registered gun into New Jersey will be allowed into a diversion program, after the attorney general clarified a directive that had expanded New Jersey's gun law.

Shaneen Allen was arrested last year after a motor vehicle stop on the Atlantic City Expressway in Hamilton Township. She told the state trooper that she had her loaded gun and a concealed carry permit with her.

The single mother of two said she didn't realize that the permit did not cross state lines. New Jersey does not allow the average citizen to have concealed weapons, even if they are legally registered.

Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain originally denied Allen pretrial intervention because he said a 2008 directive that expanded the state's Graves Act did not allow for an exception.

But the attorney general released a clarification to the state's county prosecutors Wednesday with respect to out-of-state visitors from states where their gun possession would be legal.

"In most of these cases, imprisonment is neither necessary nor appropriate to serve the interests of justice and protect public safety," acting Attorney General John Hoffman wrote

Allen was due in court Thursday for motions in the case and to prepare for trial, but instead will officially apply for PTI, her attorney said.

Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain placed former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice into a diversion program, which allowed him to avoid jail time when he beat his then-fiancé–Janay Palmer–in Atlantic City. Rice knocked out Palmer, who is now his wife, in an elevator at Revel Casino last February.

Before this development, it seemed that owning a gun was worse than beating your wife in the Garden State, but it’s great to see that Ms. Allen received justice after this harrowing ordeal.