New Jersey’s gun laws are the exact sort of lunacy the Bradys, Bloomberg and Obama believe should be foisted on all Americans, destroying the lives and careers of the innocent while creating little more than a minor inconvenience for criminals.
New Jersey’s gun laws – the same types of laws Mike Bloomberg and his ilk want to see adopted nationwide – are outrageous and unjust. They destroy the lives of innocent people while doing nothing to reduce crime. Case in point: Shaneen Allen, single mother of two, health-care worker trying hard to provide for her family in Philadelphia. She was working two jobs, often pulling late shifts and odd hours.
Shaneen had been robbed twice in the past year, and a family member encouraged her to get a gun for protection. She went through a firearms training class, passed a background check and was issued a license to carry a firearm by the Pennsylvania State Police. About a week after acquiring a firearm, Shaneen was pulled over for a minor traffic violation. As she had been instructed in her licensing class, she immediately informed the officer that she had a license and a handgun with her. Unfortunately for Shaneen, she was on the New Jersey side of the river at the time, and her Pennsylvania license is not recognized in New Jersey. Shaneen spent over a month in a New Jersey county jail and is now facing up to 10 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum sentence of at least three years, along with a felony conviction on her record. If she is convicted or pleads guilty, the judge will have little choice regarding her sentence; he will be required by law to sentence her to at least three years or more.
County prosecutors in New Jersey however, have quite a bit of leeway in deciding how to handle cases like this, and until recently, the official policy of the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office was to offer people like Shaneen something they call Pre-Trial Intervention, or PTI. In other states this is often referred to as Deferred Prosecution. Under PTI, the accused is placed on probation for a year or two, and if they “keep their nose clean,” the charges simply go away and their records cleared. The objective of PTI is to avoid tying up the courts and detention facilities with cases and people that really don’t belong there. Shaneen Allen is a perfect example of someone who would, and should, be offered PTI.