A young mother pardoned by N.J. Gov. Chris Christie of gun charges hopes she can stand beside President Trump when he signs pending legislation on gun reciprocity laws.
Shaneen Allen spent 48 days in jail and faced a long legal battle after she was arrested in 2013 when she told a New Jersey police officer who pulled her over for a traffic violation that she was carrying a firearm and had a Pennsylvania-issued concealed carry permit.
The nurse, and mother of two, faced a prison term and a felony conviction for mistakenly thinking that her Pennsylvania permit would be recognized in New Jersey. Her pardon from the Republican governor freed her from a pretrial intervention program as the ordeal lead her to turn her back on her Democratic past, voting for Trump and advocating for 2nd Amendment rights, Daily Mail reported.
Allen’s experience inspired legislation that requires states to recognize each other’s right-to-carry permits, as the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, H.R. 38, passed the GOP-led House earlier this month.
“Hopefully I’ll be at the White House next to (President) Trump signing this bill,” Allen said. “Republicans put their money where their mouth was.”
The attorneys general from 23 Republican states support the legislation as does the National Rifle Association.
“When you see the system go wrong in the life of a real person it becomes more compelling,” Republican New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur, who voted for the legislation, said. “The woman did nothing wrong and yet her family was thrown into real chaos.”
The legislation does not allow for convicted felons – and anyone barred by federal law – from carrying concealed weapons across state lines. Gun carriers are also required by the measure to carry photo identification and a valid carry permit.
Advocates of gun control have argued that the legislation overrides stronger existing state laws while proponents cite examples like Allen’s to point to the need for legislation that allows gun owners who travel to do so without worrying about conflicting state laws.
Allen echoed GOP lawmakers who support the bill and who argue that laws will not prevent criminals intent on committing crimes from getting their hands on weapons.
“All I can say is I pray for them. Crime is everywhere,” she said. “Every person that is carrying could possibly save your life. A crime could happen anywhere.”
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