Shaneen Allen pardoned by Gov. Christie on gun carry charges
Gov. Chris Christie has granted a pardon to Shaneen Allen, the Philadelphia mother who was arrested for carrying a gun in New Jersey even though she was licensed in Pennsylvania.
Allen, 27, has been "cleared of all criminal charges and indictments arising from the arrest" in Hamilton Township in Atlantic County on Oct. 1, 2013. Allen was arrested in Hamilton Township after telling a state trooper she had a gun and a concealed carry permit issued in Pennsylvania. New Jersey does not recognize other states' gun licenses and faced a mandatory three-year jail sentence.
"We're very happy about that, obviously," her attorney, Evan Nappen told the Press of Atlantic City upon hearing of the pardon.
“This ends a vulgar chapter in an endless series of shameful episodes where political opportunists seek nothing but their own advantage. I compliment Gov. Christie for doing the right thing," Executive vice president of the National Rifle Association Wayne LaPierre said in an email to Breibart News.
Allen spent 40-days in jail before being released on bail, lost her job and custody of her children. Her arrest touched off a firestorm of support from gun supporters and legislators hoping to change the law.
In September, Christie said during "Ask the Governor" he is "monitoring" the case and seemed to hint at an eventual solution, noting that "the pardon power of the governor is broad and extensive." Still, he ended by saying, "I don't want to impose myself on the criminal justice system."
Allen's case also spurred legislative action to change New Jersey's law. Under legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer (R-Jackson) judges would have the option of not sending someone like Allen to prison if the person from out-of-state is caught with a gun in New Jersey and meets three requirements. Current laws impose a minimum three-and-a-half-year sentence on out-of-state residents violating New Jersey's gun laws. Dancer says it's unreasonable for people to know the gun laws in each state.
In September Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain allowed Allen to enter a pretrial intervention program.
Kevin McArdle, Fred Tuccillo and the Associated Press contributed to this report
- Gov. Christie pardons Philly mom in Atlantic County gun case / Press of Atlantic City
- Chris Christie Pardons Pennsylvania Woman Arrested on Gun Charges / Bloomberg