Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey and a candidate in the Republican presidential pack, has just issued a full pardon for Steffon Josey-Davis. Steffon was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon back in 2013 because he forgot his legally registered firearm (which he used in his work as a security guard) in his glove compartment. In the state of New Jersey, having a gun in your glove compartment is considered the same as carrying it concealed, and as Steffon didn’t have a concealed handgun license (which are nearly nonexistent apart from politicians in NJ) he was arrested and charged with a felony. After having the NAACP reject his case for not matching their political agenda, he appealed directly to the governor — and got his pardon.
From Steffon’s GoFundMe page:
Hello, My name is Steffon Josey-Davis I’m a 24 year old from New Jersey who became a convicted felon for a legally owned firearm. As an armored Guard for Loomis, As a Armed service company who transported U.S & foreign currency to banks and service ATM’s. I was also on the road to a successful career with my township police department.
One Morning on September 20th 2013. I was preparing myself for work, grabbing my firearm out of my safe, bulletproof vest, Making my way to the garage. While in the process of disarming my firearm. My little sister came into the garage. To avoid any accidents, I put the firearm in the glove compartment moments after putting my bulletproof vest on the passenger seat. After securing my firearm, I took my sister upstairs to put her back in bed. Losing track of time, I noticed I was running late, grabbed my keys and continued to leave my house that morning for work. Not realizing my firearm was still in the glove compartment.
When I left out of the house that morning I was later pulled over in my vehicle. During my traffic stop, I notified the officers who I was, Who I worked for and I had my Legally owned firearm in my glove compartment.
The officers took my fire arm and let me go, When I went to claim my fire arm from the police department they arrested me and charged me with unlawful possession of a firearm I legally owned.
I was facing 10 years in prison for a simple technicality. I am now a convicted felon.
Americans all across the country face similarly ridiculous punishments for violating draconian gun laws every single day. Steffon’s case just happened to fit with Chris Christie’s political agenda, but the reality is that most of NJ’s gun laws should probably be kicked to the curb. Thanks to the prevailing culture of the state that probably will never happen, but we can still hope.