N.J. Governor Chris Christie granted a pardon Thursday for a Pennsylvania concealed carry holder who was arrested for bringing a registered firearm across the border in 2013.
Governor Christie signed a pardon at noon on Thursday, April 2, 2015 that released Shaneen Allen from any criminal charges or indictments.
Shaneen Allen, mother of two and gun owner, was arrested early on Oct. 1, 2013 after being pulled over for an unsafe lane change in Atlantic County. Allen informed the officer that a handgun was in the vehicle and that she had a Pennsylvania concealed carry permit. Because she was unaware that driving with a handgun was illegal in the state of New Jersey, she was arrested, charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, and later faced a felony prosecution with a mandatory three-year jail sentence. This was major progress from her original jail sentence of 11 years.
When Christie was asked about the case in 2014, he had stated that he would like to wait until the verdict was in before intervening with the state’s justice system.
Allen had spent 40 days in jail before she was able to make bail after her arrest. After Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McLain denied her a pretrial intervention, Allen’s case became a well-known cause for gun rights with the National Rifle Association. She then began her legal fight with McLain and was granted into a pretrial intervention program in Sept. 2014.
Her arrest and continued battle has lead to the support of many legislators and gun owners who will use her case as an example as to why they believe current state gun laws should be changed.