Single mom faces three years in prison on gun charge for honest mistake; she crossed state lines

Photo Credit Fox News

After being robbed twice within a year, a Philadelphia mother of two purchased a handgun to protect herself and may end up spending the next three years in prison for that decision.

Shaneen Allen, who had a concealed carry permit issued in Pennsylvania, was pulled over in New Jersey for a traffic violation in October. She didn’t know that her permit was invalid in that state and told the officer she had a handgun, Fox News reported.

She would eventually be charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of hollow-point bullets — in New Jersey, the gun charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison.

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“New Jersey’s draconian and crazy gun laws gives the judge no discretion here — none,” her attorney, Evan Nappen, told Fox News. “You will get three years with no chance of parole if you’re convicted of this gun charge. So in the effort of promoting gun control in New Jersey, they’ve created a situation where very sympathetic people get harmed and turned into the victim by gun laws.”

Nappen said the gun charge was “not proper to begin with.”

“She made an honest mistake,” he said.

Allen has no criminal record and had purchased the gun only a week prior to her arrest.

“The officer knew there was a gun there, she was completely honest and open,” he added. “There’s no aggravating factors in this case; she’s a single mom of two, working in the medical field who was robbed twice and that’s what inspired her to get a gun license in the first place.”

According to Fox News, the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center said Allen’s case was similar to that of Brian Aitken, a New Jersey man who was sentenced to seven years in prison —  N.J. Gov. Chris Christie commuted his sentence.

Hopefully Christie, who signed a number of gun control bills into law last year, will recognize this honest mistake for what it is and do the same thing here, if Allen is convicted.


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