A New Jersey judge denied a motion this week to drop charges against a Pennsylvania woman who accidentally brought her legally owned gun into New Jersey.
Shaneen Allen, 27, was travelling with her two children recently when they were pulled over by a New Jersey police officer. The officer asked Allen if she had any firearms in the car, and Allen said she did. She showed the officer her valid concealed carry permit from Pennsylvania, and told him her handgun was in her purse.
But, as Allen found out, concealed carry permits are not honored in New Jersey. Now, despite the gun being legally owned in her home state, Allen faces charges in New Jersey for unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of hollow-point bullets. The unlawful possession charge is a second degree felony punishable by a minimum of three years in prison.
Allen and her attorney pleaded with the New Jersey court to drop the charges, citing Allen's ignorance of New Jersey law and the seemingly harmless reason for which she had the gun.
Her attorney, Evan Nappen, is a New Jersey attorney specializing in gun law cases. Here's what he said about the case.
"This is someone who should not be turned into a felon and sent to state prison and have her destroyed because she made a mistake and committed a victimless crime," Nappen said.
Allen says the court is ignoring how freely she admitted to the officer that she had a gun.
"They just threw out the fact that I was being honest and honestly answered the police officer about having a gun,” she said. “I don’t understand it.”
Since the motion to have her charges dropped was denied, Allen will go to trial on October 6, 2014.
Allen, a Philadelphia resident, told the court that she bought the gun and obtained a concealed carry permit after being robbed twice. She said she works a night shift and often has to walk alone at night.
Photo Credit: Alejandro A. Alvarez/Philly.com