Concealed carry owner and Pennsylvania single mother Shaneen Allen has received her long-overdue pardon from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Allen was arrested in 2013 for bringing a gun into the state even though she was legally allowed to carry it in Pennsylvania. She thought her permit would allow her to bring her Bersa Thunder .380 across state lines, but Pennsylvania permits are not recognized in New Jersey.
The single mother of two young boys purchased the gun for self-protection after she was the victim of a robbery. Allen, who had no prior criminal record, served 40 days in jail before she was able to make her bail.
The local prosecutor came under fierce criticism after it was revealed that he had refused to allow Allen into a program that would have kept her out of prison as a first time offender, while letting former football player Ray Rice entrance into the same program after he was caught on video beating his wife.
Governor Christie issued a “full a free pardon for all criminal charges and indictments arising from the arrest occurring October 1, 2013,” wiping Allen’s record clean.
Allen told a local news station: “I don't have the words for how I feel, I don't really think it's processed yet. But I'm really grateful, I am, I'm very blessed that I even got this opportunity to start over.”
She is now looking for work in a hospital and looking for a fresh start. Her lawyer, Evan Nappen, said, “All of us can be proud that this type on injustice was addressed and that positive things occurred is the cherry on top is getting her fully pardoned.”
Whether or not Christie made his decision in preparation for a potential White House run in 2016, he deserves credit for recognizing that gun laws only make sense if they are used to promote public safety, not to persecute law abiding gun owners for innocent mistakes.