A legal gun owner, and mother of two, is facing up to ten years in prison on account of a law intended to come down hard on criminals in possession of a firearm. Although she was at first offered 5 years as a plea deal, the prosecutor’s office has put a hold in the case as they consider dropping all charges against her.
The entire incident began in New Jersey where Shaneen Allen crossed from her home state of Pennsylvania where she was pulled over by a state trooper for an alleged “lane violation.” From there, she spent the next 46 days in jail and was threatened with up to 10 years in jail if she decided to take the case to court.
The prosecutor’s office offered here deal of 5 years in jail with a mandatory minimum of 3 if she pleaded guilty and saved everyone the time and effort.
Apparently Allen purchased the firearm after having been robbed twice in the same year and had on it, at the time of her arrest, three safeties indicative she wasn’t operating under any criminal intent. Most recently, Allen’s attorney, Evan Nappen, has stated that the judge is “re-evaluating” the case entirely.
According to Nappen, “The judge just sent out a letter to us agreeing, and allowing the adjournment … we were set to have a pretrial conference.” He furthermore expressed, “I think this is a great sign. It’s about time that this position … hard-ball position on firearms, get a re-evaluation. … Hopefully, he’ll (the prosecutor) be inclined to use his discretion. …. And the focus can stay on people that are a threat of violence to us. Not folks like Shaneen.”
The New Jersey law is intended on coming down hard on criminals found to have a firearm in their possession. Of course, seeing how the state of New Jersey doesn’t recognize the gun laws of Pennsylvania, Allen was, in all effect, a criminal however ignorant of this fact.
Instead however, a simple mistake could have taken up to the next ten years of her life as the state sought to make an example out of her. Because of the stink put up by the NRA however, and the national attention that was able to be raised, it appears that Allen may get off with time served.
Although this is in no way definitive at this point, Nappen conveyed that he’s “cautiously optimistic.”
Feel free to let us know what you thought of the entire ordeal in the comments below.