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Shaneen Allen

“Earlier this year, a 27-year-old medical professional named Shaneen Allen drove peacefully out of her home state of Pennsylvania and into neighboring New Jersey. Today, she faces the prospect of three years in prison,” Charles Cooke writes at National Review Online. “When she crossed the state line, Allen was carrying a concealed weapon. ‘I work two jobs and I work late, and getting up at that time of night I got robbed twice last year,’ Allen told MY9NJ’s Bill Anderson. A friend recommended that she get herself a concealed-carry permit. This she did, fulfilling not only the requirements established by the state of Pennsylvania but the tougher restrictions that her city of Philadelphia imposes on top . . .

Pulled over near the border by New Jersey police for an ‘unsafe lane change,’ Allen informed officers that she was carrying a pistol. Her honesty landed her in serious trouble. Immediately, she was arrested and charged with both illegal possession of a firearm and possession of hollow-point ammunition. It was, her lawyer, Evan F. Nappen, tells me over the phone, ‘the most technical of errors. She thought her permit was treated like a driver’s license and was valid everywhere. And why wouldn’t you?”

TTAG readers, being better informed on such issues, would be likely to know better, but most citizens?

“Nappen isn’t surprised. ‘This is about New Jersey’s draconian anti-gun attitude,’ he tells me:

Here, simple unlawful possession of a handgun is a crime of the second degree. The only degree higher is murder! . . . I have other — four or five — cases of licensed law-abiding Americans who are being charged in this county with the same type of situation. . . . If she is convicted, the judge will have no say. He has to pass a sentence of between three years minimum and ten years maximum.

This is a dire outcome in and of itself… But, for Allen, it would be disastrous. The conviction would render her a felon, almost certainly preventing her from working in the medical profession again and prohibiting her from owning or carrying a gun for her protection. Worst of all, it would take her — a single mother — away from her two children.

New Jersey issues fewer carry permits than almost any other state in the union, and the chances of getting hold of one as an outsider are effectively nil. Worse, the state accepts permits from not a single other jurisdiction — not even those that neighbor it. For anyone who lives on the border, this is a real problem.”

As Farago noted in his initial blog post on the Allen case, ignorance of the law is no excuse. However, there are several filters built into the criminal justice system that may–I repeat, may–prevent this kind of excessively punitive treatment of honest citizens.

In this, and similar cases, the police have generally unlimited discretion. There are so many laws on the books, including many that were intended to “make a statement,” that officers–and other rational beings–understand that it’s impossible to enforce them all. Indeed, it would be a gross miscarriage of justice to try to enforce them all.

As long as they are not obviously being negligent in the pursuit of their duties, police officers may choose not to arrest people for every infraction that comes to their attention. This happens every day across the nation, when officers choose to give citizens a warning, or merely to inform them of the law, rather than giving them a ticket or arresting them for a wide variety of infractions.

Normally, officer’s superiors don’t know about each of these incidents of common sense and street-level correction of lunatic legislation, and that’s just fine with them. However, sometimes, because of political heat, or because public sentiment on a given issue is so strong, officers understand that they have less room to exercise discretion on those issues. Sometimes, their superiors more or less order them to enforce certain laws very strictly. And sometimes, officers are just badge-heavy and do their best to arrest everyone they can.

Prosecutors have essentially unbridled discretion. While they too are subject to political pressures and to the shifting winds of public sentiment, their use of discretion is generally less subject to review than that of police officers. They can bargain charges down and even decline to file charges. They can even enter into a variety of diversion agreements where a person charged, by avoiding any charges for a set term, may find the charge dismissed entirely. Interestingly, prosecutors often bargain down charges, and if sufficient public pressure is applied sometimes dismiss them.

The Washington Post notes:

“Discretion is a big factor in the Allen case, too. According to Nappen, Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain could have put Allen in a diversionary program for first-time offenders of victimless crimes that would have allowed her to avoid jail time. He didn’t. ‘Let’s remember, Shaneen Allen volunteered to the police officer that she had a gun and a permit,’ Nappen says. ‘This isn’t something she was trying to hide. She didn’t think she’d done anything wrong. This was a victimless crime, and it’s just unconscionable that they’re putting her and her family through all of this. It could all be avoided.’ Nappen says McClain has yet to give a reason for refusing to allow Allen into the diversionary program. McClain’s office did not respond to a request for comment.”

Fox News quotes John R. Lott: 

“These mandatory sentences sometimes create really unfortunate results. My own academic research indicates that Ms. Allen is the type of person who benefits the most from having permitted concealed handguns: a minority woman who lives in high-crime urban areas. The people who are most likely to be victims of crime are the ones who benefit the most from having a gun for protection. In addition, women benefit much more than men do because they tend to be much weaker physically than their attackers.’

‘Jay McKeen, public information officer for the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, said Allen has a pre-trial conference scheduled for Aug. 5. Prosecutor James McClain declined to comment on the matter, McKeen said.”

Generally, when stopped for a traffic violation, the police have no ability to search your car, and usually no interest in so doing. However, in anti-gun states, police officers often ask as a means of fishing for sufficient probable cause to search and arrest. In such cases, it’s best to simply, politely decline to answer. “I’m sorry officer, but I don’t think that has anything to do with a lane change.”

In a traffic stop, citizens are obligated to provide their license, registration and insurance, but they’re not obligated to answer every question an officer might ask. In Shaneen Allen’s case, she obviously believed she was doing nothing wrong and was trying to be helpful to the officer. Failing to acknowledge such honesty is not something that tends to build support for and confidence in law enforcement.

That said, there are some places where hyper-vigilant enforcement of certain laws is a virtual certainty. No gun owner should expect anything but arrest and imprisonment in New Jersey, New York, California, Chicago, New York City and a variety of other places if they violate any obscure firearm ordinance in the most minute way. They may stumble onto a rational police officer or an understanding assistant district attorney, but that’s never to be counted upon. In some places, officers and prosecutors just don’t care what the public thinks of them. Ironically, such people tend to work in anti-gun cities and states.

Let the honest gun owner beware.

Mike’s Home blog is Stately McDaniel Manor.

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    • I just mailed a check for $100 to her lawyer with a note indicating it was for her account. Nappan does a lot of good for NJ; I doubt he is getting rich enough defending us OFWGs so that he can defend many Shaneens pro bono. She certainly will never pay off her bill.
      – – – Liberty is not free; it’s not cheap either. If every reader kicked-in $10 this woman’s bill might be substantially covered.
      – – – I wonder – PURE conjecture on my part – whether her case wouldn’t cry-out for a SCNJ or SCOTUS appeal. Three years for the victimless crime of exercising a Constitutional right strikes me as cruel and unusual if not outright absurd on its face. Why isn’t this a Full-Faith-and-Credit requirement case where NJ is bound to honor her PA permit?

      • Appeal to the NJ Supreme Court would be a waste. They are as anti-gun as that A**hole Atlantic Co. DA.I’m afraid the best she can hope for is a Christie comutation like the guy from Colorado.

        • The NJ Supreme Court hasn’t taken a concealed carry case in 40 years. They agreed to hear Pantano last year, but as soon as the US Supreme Court officially declined to grant cert on Drake, the NJ Supreme Court dismissed the Pantano appeal without explanation.

      • All that the FF&C clause would ensure is that NJ recognizes this woman’s PA carry license is valid in…..PA….not NJ. The clause does not mandate that NJ allow her to carry in their state, just because she may carry in her state. In fact, it doesn’t even mandate that they allow her to drive in their state, just because she may in her state. That’s a courtesy reciprocity which states extend to each other to make travel and incidental trips permissible, but it’s not at all a constitutional obligation. If you stay in a state long enough to take up residency, that courtesy runs out and you’d be required to obtain that state’s drivers license.

        For serious driving, like long haul trucking, there aren’t even many courtesies. The commercial drivers license you must have is technically issued by your base state, but the U.S. Dept. of Transportation stipulates its requirements for the states. So it’s something of a de facto national license, despite appearing like a state license recognized by other states. All of those numerous license plates you used to see on 18 wheeler trailers (that system is more computerized these days) represented “apportionment” reciprocity agreements among the states and Canada to share fees based on mileage. No courtesies when big money is involved and the Constitution doesn’t mandate any. Even recognition of out of state marriages wasn’t absolute, despite popular conceptions.

        Really, the purpose of the FF&C was to ensure that civil and criminal records and rulings would be recognized by other states as existing back where tbey originated. For example, a convicted murderer or lawsuit defendant in one state couldn’t flee to another to escape prosecution or litigation. It isn’t a backdoor way for one state to establish laws, such as firearms freedom/regulation, to impose on every other state, however.

  1. I’ve wrote this elsewhere and will repeat here –

    “Ignorance of the law is no excuse for wrongdoing” may have worked decades ago.

    Now, even relatively minor offenses are felony and most people commit at least a misdemeanor everyday and are completely unaware they are doing it. Most of us will commit a felony this week without any knowledge we have done so.

    The laws have become so numerous, byzantine, and obtuse that no ordinary citizen can possibly be aware of them all. Many INFORMED gun owners would know better, but since Ms. Allen may just be more of an ordinary citizen with a gun permit rather than a POTG she may not be as zealous in becoming informed of the law. Worse, from what I’ve been told it is nothing to suddenly find yourself on the wrong side of a state border in that area.

    Back when I was still studying law enforcement, part of a felony description was INTENT to break the law. I’m having a hard time with all of these felony convictions when people like Ms. Allen seem to lack any ill intent whatsoever. I could make a strong case for a misdemeanor violation, but a felony?

    Worse still, every new gun law is now a “felony”. Why? Simple, because a felony conviction bars you from owning guns for the rest of your life. Legally anyway. So, screw up and get a felony conviction in New York because you loaded 8 rounds in your 10 round magazine? Barred from owning guns in your home state of Nevada! Anyone who doesn’t see the obvious game being played is not paying attention. All these new gun laws becoming felonies is a backdoor gun grab.

    For those who have shown no sympathy for Ms. Allen because she “should have known better”, and I have seen many comments here and elsewhere, I dare you to feel the same way when you’re finally pinched on some violation for doing something you had no idea was illegal. In the eyes of the law, because of the many laws there are, you are already a criminal. It’s just a matter of finally being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    • The head of Stalin’s secret police once said, ‘Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.’ We are rapidly becoming a Stalinist state, where crossing the wrong person means going to jail for political thought not criminal behavior. This is the nature of governments. If they’re not torn down periodically they grow out of control.

      • Sadly, I have seen this in person. Local PD brought many people into the jail I used to work in and said they’d file charges later. The law said they could arrest someone and had 24 hours to file. Even though they still have to do paperwork, I had seen police bring someone in just for having the wrong attitude and catching the officer at the wrong time. After 24 hours we might not see paperwork. The officer wouldn’t even contact the jail. Usually we would have to call them. “Such and such is at 24 hours. Do you have paperwork?” Then we’d have to wait an hour to see if they called us back.

        The kicker? As long as everyone showed due diligence, even though legally we should not hold PAST 24 hours, you could be there damn near 30 hours before release. Simply because we had a good reason to make sure charges should be filed and then it typically took us 4 hours to process release paperwork.

        Innocent but charges filed? Great, you still have to see a judge to review charges and decide if there is enough evidence to take the case to court. I forget the name of the legal proceeding. So even if the case is so weak it doesn’t hold up on a mere write-up, you still have to wait to go before a judge. This process could take 12 hours after paperwork is filed. So, last minute paperwork is filed (and it happened all the time) and then last minute audience with a municipal court judge to be found innocent? 36 hours in jail. Plus 4 hours to process release paperwork.

        False arrest? Damn near impossible to prove. Good luck.

        It takes almost nothing to be arrested today. The Stalin quote is scarily apropos to contemporary America. Your freedom can be yanked for an entire day over nothing. It’s perfectly legal and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.

        • You’ve only seen the tip of the ice berg. Consider what’s going on with the federal bureaucracies. Consider just one victim of the IRS scandal, True the Vote. The people who started that group are business owners and after they applied for 501c corp. they got audited twice, visited by the FBI, OSHA, the EPA and a couple of others I can’t think of off the top of my head. All because they started an organization that checked for dead people on the voter rolls and tried to keep them (the dead people) from voting. We’re just one step from Stalinism. And that’s just the FEDERAL government. Most of the states are just as bad. Google Justine Peletier. They’re kidnapping our children for psycho-medical experiments and we can’t do a damn thing about it. There’s a woman in Florida facing a felony charge for letting her child walk to the park.

          If radical reform isn’t imposed on our masters soon this can only end in violence.

      • Frosting on the cake: NYC, Chiraq and LA are considering “crime prediction software.” And DARPA wants to automate the manual scanning of social media by the FBI and DHS. (Hi guys! How’s the wife and kids? Tell them I said “Hi.”)

        • It’s getting harder and harder for truly stupid criminals to continue walking the streets. The smart criminals on the other hand have already learned not to announce their felonious intentions all over the internet.

        • A buddy gave me a housewarming gift a few years ago of a door mat that reads “Come back with a warrant.” I wonder if there’s a virtual version available as an app that would post that response up front to government hackers upon their connection attempt to my devices. Not that it would actually stop Bob from the NSA, but even geeky statist goons with pocket protectors need a laugh every now and then.

    • I’ve never liked the “ignorance is no excuse” line because the average person has, realistically, no good way to look up laws relevant to whatever it is they want to do. A local PD may or may not answer your questions. The interwebz is a black hole of contradicting and outdated information. There is no central “law database” where you can look up relevant statutes. Depending on where you live, you might have to contend with federal, state, county, and municipal laws and regulations. It’s bad enough when you know basically what to look for – what is the non-law-school-educated citizen to do when he really is ignorant of the law?

      Basically, if ignorance is no excuse, how do I become un-ignorant?

      • Good point. I would only add my objection to the “ignorance of the law is no excuse” by noting that it often is an excuse….for law enforcement officers.

        First, think of all the cases that get dismissed outright by the courts. There are many reasons for that, but a common one is that the ticketing/arresting officer overstepped his authority or misunderstood/misapplied the law on the street. Case dismissed and he gets an inconsequential oops moment, but he himself is not then tossed into jail for false arrest or false imprisonment. Nope, just oops and walks away, despite his ignorance. That same officer takes someone into custody for absolutely no official reason, just on his own off the clock, and that would be kidnapping! Yet, under color of official duty, he can do essentially the same and just ooops.

        Second, there’s the “good faith exception” to the exclusionary rule. Normally, illegally obtained evidence cannot be used against you. However, among the many carve outs and exceptions is one that allows admissibility so long as the officers acted in good faith belief that their illegal actions were legal. That’s even worse than “Ooops, we didn’t know, so don’t punish us.” That’s more like “Ooops, we didn’t know (or are pretending we didn’t know….), so let us proceed to punish you!”


      Well said! The only way to defeat bureaucratic-terrorism is to find strength in numbers. Listen to Larry Pratt giving a July update of things, join GOA and get to work. National Right to Carry would have solved this injustice.

      Crossing the border should be a felony and missing the hearing should be another felony. That would bar citizenship and voting…


    • Making simply being alive a felony carrying penalty up to death, and then allowing lackeys of the Junta to determine who to prosecute for which crime and not, has long and proud traditions amongst government apologists.

      At one time, the story was that America was different. But, as they no doubt teach in school nowadays, that was only because back then America was a racist, sexist, homophobic, redneck place inhabited solely by dead white sexually repressed males with the audacity to believe in some sort of God who wasn’t even named demooocraciiiiiiiii.

  2. We again have another chance to show the real war on women that is gun control. Don’t lose this opportunity.

    • We will miss this opportunity simply because so many POTG have already dismissed this as “she should have known better”. Pitiful.

      • Yup… and that makes me sad.

        She should not have HAD to know better. You know, “Shall not be infringed…” :/

        • If schools still teach the BOR it would be an abnormal thing for anyone to grow up thinking that permits or ammo restrictions or carry prohibitions were even a possibility.

          But like so many other lies of childhood when you grow up you discover that nothing is the way you were taught it was and everything is a horrible contradiction as if the nation were built by raving lunatics in a tard frenzy.

        • Perfectly legitimate question, EJ. I hadn’t heard the acronym, either, before I started hanging out here. By people of the gun, it’s just meant the greater firearms owning community in general. Maybe a little more specific to mean those for whom firearms are a lifestyle, as with concealed carriers and blog commenters, but as far as I know the definition isn’t really too strict beyond gunowners as a whole. Good question, which I’d bet others may have wondered, too.

      • Most of the comments I’ve read and heard thus far are just the opposite. Most seem to fall on the side of “HOW could anyone know ALL the laws”. I can only hope you’re wrong about the consensus.

  3. At the risk of being flamed, I everyday carry a SA XDC 45. in an IWB holster and there are times I forget I have it on. I don’t mean “where the H did that come from” forget but not in the front of my mind kind of thing. It’s part of me. There are times when I have the ordeal of going to Jersey that I have to turn around and take it back to the house. I can completely understand how this happened but, I don’t believe she didn’t know there was no reciprocity with NJ. They go BSC when it comes to hollow points in the peoples republic.

    • Forget gun laws for a moment. Chances are very good, regardless of what state you are in, that you have committed a crime and are not even aware of it. I don’t mean somewhat likely, like 65% chance you have committed a crime but 90% or HIGHER that you have violated some law and don’t even know it. Or maybe you do. Regardless, let me ask you this.

      Do you think it would be fair for an officer to book you for a crime that you committed even though you were unaware you were breaking a law? Would you think that was justice? Even if you believe you were innocent and could beat the charge, do you want to have to go to court to defend yourself for unintentionally breaking the law?

      Would you feel good about someone saying “You should have known better?”

      • I was walking along the golf course the other day, and I picked up a feather to make a point. As I noted to my fellow exercisers, I may have just committed a federal felony. How? Illegal possession of a part of a raptor.

        The feather might have been from a hawk. I dropped it.

  4. @ TTAG: I don’t know where to post this, since I didn’t see you leave an email address, and I can’t get into the forum right now (password issue), so I thought I’d post it here.

    I don’t know if you post YouTube comments, as that place is just full of idiocy and everyone uses aliases, but some psychopath has been posting about how he wants everyone in the US to buy guns and shoot each other. I though maybe you could post it on TTAG.

    There is a screengrab with the person’s alias and URL, here:

    That comment was posted today, July 30, 2014, at 5:34 PM EST.

      • Thanks. Should I forward this info (minus unimportant parts) to that address, or are you part of the TTAG team?

      • Are you sure you’re responding to the correct post? I thought Alex Jones was pro-Constitution, and American.

        • Oh, I see! – you were implying he’s an asshole!… you need to be a bit more obvious than that.

          Well, even if Alex Jones is an ass (and that’s an opinion. I would call him “aggressive”), he does often make sense… he’s just not always good at presenting that. So I wouldn’t completely agree that this guy is an “Alex Jones,” because unlike Alex Jones, this guy is both an asshat AND an idiot.

    • there are probably millions of comments like that on YT, it’s simply not even a surprise any longer – or story material, sadly.

      However I would bet you, if you found out what country he was from, you’d probably discover that what he’s saying is not true. I’ve been downright shocked by the amount of Europeans, for example, who have zero idea that they can legally own a firearm in their country. They don’t know anyone who does (or admits that they do), and they simply assume they are illegal.

      I first ran into it in Spain ten years ago. It came up when talking about my hobbies to a few Spaniards I met, whose response was bewilderment and some form of “guns are illegal here”. Then the next thing I know it, my friend’s landlord is inviting us over for dinner and showing us his cache of Mausers – both rifles and pistols.

      Even Brits can own some things like straight-pull ARs and AKs, but you’ll hear some subjects of the Queen online stating that guns are simply banned in the UK. Not true – ignorance or dishonesty? Not sure.

      • The elite in most European countries are often shooters. If it becomes known that you are a shooter, especially if you have some proficiency, you are assumed to be part of the elite, because only the elite have guns, for the most part.

  5. Okay. Honest mistake on her part blown up into a second-degree felony? What a bunch of… Women need to be armed because, as a rule with a few exceptions, they aren’t as strong physically as men. Yet here come the politicians screaming “DISARM EVERYONE! FOR THE CHILDREN!” And they’re disarmed and once again— Women are being robbed. This is not how it should be. In a good world, this is how a person robbing a woman would work: Man pulls knife and demands money. Woman pulls gun and screams go away. Man runs like a bat out of hell. Woman calls 911 and they book the guy a day later.

  6. Could she have known better?? Yes. Should she have to spend weeks/ months studying gun laws in every state she may visit for whatever reason or whatever length of time? Hell No! This is ridiculous to expect the average citizen to look all this up just because she’s in that state for an 8 hr shift while tryin to support her family. Honestly the arresting officer should have his moral compass checked, yeah I know everyone lies when they get pulled over but this lady actually told you the truth and you really shouldve just let it go after tellin her that its illegal to carry in this state and that her license doesn’t transfer like a DL. Simple I know and everyone still goes home a little wiser and no worse for wear. Cops are getting outta control lately over reacting to every damn thing then they wonder why no one trusts them like they used to.

    • FELONY charge. The officer has no discretion in this case. If the charge was not a felony, the officer could possibly use their discretion and decide to let her go. Probably still would not because it seems like law enforcement in Blue States are increasingly on the side of government rather than the taxpayers.

      All the more reason why these gun laws should not be felony. I know they should not exist at all, but they are not being classified properly.

      • “The officer has no discretion in this case.”

        Bull. He has full discretion, especially since he knew that she was just uninformed about how psychotically anti-Constitution New Jersey is. This boot-licking crap of “police just HAVE to follow orders, no matter how horrible!” needs to stop, NOW. Claiming that police officers aren’t responsible for their actions harms every civil right, not just gun rights.

      • Dear Rob Aught:

        Police officers do indeed have discretion whether the violation in question is a misdemeanor or a felony. Of course, to let someone off where a violent felony is the issue would be negligence. But officers quietly undo the lunatic, political “statement” making of legislators every day. They know that to arrest people like Shaneen Allen is inherently unjust. At least most do, anyway. Obviously New Jersey is a special case.

        • Not to defend the officer or the charge, but simply as a matter of procedure. Very few jurisdictions allow officer discretion in the cases where a felony is involved. It’s easy to sit in judgement of the police officer and say he should overlook it, but might be different if it was YOUR paycheck, YOUR family to feed, and YOUR pension on the line. If his department found out he was overlooking possible felony charges he might actually be out of a job.

          I believe that is one of many reasons why Blue States make all gun laws felonies. Officers can’t simply overlook them like they could a misdemeanor and the consequences prevents people from being able to vote or own guns if convicted. It’s a complete win for the “progressive” state.

          Now if he had discretion to overlook and charged Ms. Allen just because he could, that would be something else entirely.

        • The same case can be made against your own statement….

          “might be different if it was YOUR paycheck, YOUR family to feed, and YOUR pension on the line.”

          Now that she will likely be barred from owning a firearm her chances go up of becoming a victim coupled with the fact that a firearm conviction could easily deny her many employment opportunities she otherwise could have had in the future.

          What about HER paycheck, the future protection of HER family and what about the mouths SHE has to feed? All of those things are in danger because of a choice the officer made. I’m not saying the officer was in the wrong(the laws on the other hand…), sometimes it’s just not as clear cut as “doing your job”.

  7. I’m on her side even if she screwed up. I live in Illinois and also face this s##t ALL the time. I have NO money to contribute to her defense but I can tell others & offer my prayers. Yeah this was compared to the violent football guy who knocked his gal out. Money talks.

  8. The crappy part is we are having this discussion, a constitutional right should be a right no matter what state line you cross.

  9. “victimless crime” uggg I hate these term. I think “crimless victim” is a better description of her. I realize she did technically break nj laws but this is still ridiculous. CCW permits need to be recognized like drivers licenses.

    I wish she would have asked the arresting officer if he was using hp bullets.

  10. This unfortunate situation could be corrected by exercising a power we the people have yet many don’t know they gave. Jury nullification.

  11. “Ignorance of the law is no excuse…” that line has become total BS today. It used to only apply to “malum in se” laws, things that were evil in and of themselves. Things like murder, rape, assault, arson, theft, the things you should KNOW aren’t allowed.

    If you’re going to apply that phrase to “malum prohibitum” laws, laws which are not evil in and of themselves, then the phrase, and the entirety of the law itself, will begin to break down, and that is what we’re starting to see in America.

    If I were her lawyer, I’d argue that not only does she have the right to buy, own, and carry a loaded weapon for her own defense thanks to the Second Amendment which nullifies any laws that NJ has on its books against firearms, but NJ is also Constitutionally-bound to recognize her out-of-state CCW permit just like they are required to recognize her out-of-state driver’s license, and marriage certificate.

    If she were gay, and NJ didn’t recognize her out-of-state gay marriage license, there would be hell to pay. If NJ started to not recognize out-of-state driver’s licenses there would be even more hell to pay. It should be the same thing with CCW permits.

  12. Our governments in action. Meanwhile New Jersey is happily releasing violent, repeat criminals from prison every day. Wasting taxpayer money to prosecute her. The stupidity boggles the mind.

    I have made plans to visit many states over the next few years (bucket list thing). National and state parks primarily. I have crossed off several states that I will not enter. Kalifornia, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Iowa, New York, New Jersey, etc. Anywhere that does not honor Texas CHL.

    • FWIW, Washington doesn’t honor Texas CHL for the specific reason that Texas refuses to honor Washington’s. That’s what reciprocity means, tit for tat, essentially.

      • Washington also has better overall gun laws then Texas. Basically anything other than SBS & MGs are allowed in WA, open carry of pistols and long guns legal, and the WA CHL only costs $60 and a NICS check – no training required.

        Even though we find ourselves having to battle the California immigrants from time to time, the PNW is a very pro-gun place to be.

  13. I’m not going to blame Shaneen. Her heart was in the right place and she even disclosed the gun in the glove box even though she didn’t have to. I’m not going to blame the cop. Once the cat was out of the bag, he was boxed in. I’m not going to blame the prosecutor either. They’re all savages and he’s no worse than some and better than many — ‘memba Mike Nifong?

    No, I blame the rotten, stinking cesspool known as New Jersey, The Landfill State, a place that’s barely good enough for New York City’s garbage.

    • You said you couldn’t blame the cop. Was there a camera focused on the inside of her car? She was obviously cooperating, and had no ill intention. The cop could have easily explained to her that her permit did not entitle her to bring her weapon across the border, and that in light of the fact that she meant no harm, let her off with verbal warning. Now her whole life may be turned around for the worse.
      P.S. What was the “cat that was in the bag” Did something happen that the cop could not reverse?

      • Okay, let’s say that you’re the cop. You make a lawful stop and ask the usual questions that your superiors require you to ask — are there any drugs in the car? Any guns? She answers yes, I have a gun, and you let her off the hook with just a ticket for the lane change.

        An hour later, she shoots someone in self defense. It doesn’t matter. The gun is illegal and she’s going to jail on the gun charge. And you have to (i) lie and say you asked her about a gun and she said no, or (ii) lie and say you didn’t ask, or (iii) lie and say she didn’t tell you, or (iv) admit that she told you about the gun but you let her go anyway.

        Sorry, but the cop did what he had to. He couldn’t let her walk once she admitted to committing a major felony.

      • “..Was there a camera focused on the inside of her car?. …”

        Well kinda. Almost all police today have a camera system in the car and a lapel mic on them that records all conversations. She was probably recorded saying she had a firearm, so at that point it’s hard for the officer to not proceed.

        • In that case I see your point.
          However. If she was headed back towards PA and close to the border, if it was me , I’d have let her go. I would have wrote it up in my report that I let her off with a warning, simply because it was obviously a mistake on her part that she thought the license was good in MD.
          Of course, my CO might have fired me, but to me, I would feel I was doing the right thing. The job isn’t worth wrecking someones whole life.

  14. It’s just awful what they are doing to this lady. I think all of PA should boycott the Jersey beaches in protest. Hit them where it counts. It’s the only thing they have in that shit state.

  15. How about highlighting how irresponsible she was in not learning about gun laws and more importantly, her firearm and how to use it before carrying? THAT should be the cautionary tale here. By her own admission she “didn’t have time to learn the law before carrying”. Jesus effin’ Christ on a crutch. No sympathy from this quarter.

      • Did I say that? Learn the laws of reciprocity before you carry, and maybe a little range time wouldn’t hurt and research into WHY you should use hollow points instead of FMJ in a carry weapon (hint to Shaneen: It’s NOT because they are cheaper). Fuck’s sake, people, we don’t deal in what should be, we have to deal with what IS until it gets changed. This woman makes me wonder how many IGOTD’s are out there around me all damn day.

      • Did I say that? Learn the laws of reciprocity before you carry, and maybe a little range time wouldn’t hurt and research into WHY you should use hollow points instead of FMJ in a carry weapon (hint to Shaneen: It’s NOT because they are cheaper). For chrissake, people, we don’t deal in what should be, we have to deal with what IS until it gets changed. This woman makes me wonder how many IGOTD’s are out there around me all damn day.

        There, I removed the bloody F-word. Can you post my comment already?

        • Answer the question. Do you want her to go to prison — in which case you really have no sympathy as you claimed — or you don’t want her to go to prison, in which case you do have sympathy for her.

        • As I’ve asked above. If you commit a crime and aren’t aware of it, and chances are pretty good you have, if they arrest you do you think it is just? Should you have “known better”?

          You would have to be at least an amateur legal scholar to go a whole week without committing a misdemeanor unknowingly. There are simply too many laws on the books.

          The police can find something to pin on you. It isn’t that hard and if they get lucky they can get you for a felony, even if you didn’t really mean it or if you didn’t know. It happens all the time and not just for gun laws.

          It is using the force of law to turn ordinary citizens into criminals. It is a perversion of our justice system and it happens everyday. You have more in common with Ms. Allen than you think. If you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, I hope you remember your comments today.

        • Sure, she was in the wrong, an honest mistake. So fine her fifty or a hundred bucks, slap her wrist a couple of times and be done with. It’s a terrible thing to end her life as she knows it, just because she made a mistake. Can you imagine what three years in the can will do to her and her family?

      • Nope. That’s why my tax attorney does my tax forms for me. To all above, do I want her to go to prison? No. But the chances of that happening for the “crime” she committed are nil. Do I want people to learn SOMETHING about concealed carry before they do? Hell yes. Here, I’ll amend my comment: Some sympathy but she needs to learn to carry responsibly. Better?

        • Should exercise of a fundamental, God-given human right, enshrined and protected against infringement in the constitution, require retention of a lawyer in order to exercise?

          Unconstitutional laws are unconstitutional. Unjust laws are unjust.

          But sure: let’s blame the victim.

    • Gosh, if only all of those Jews in Nazi Germany had learned how to follow the law…

      The second amendment is the only right for which one needs a law degree in order to understand how to exercise it lawfully from State to State. The problem isn’t that Ms. Allen didn’t take the time to learn the laws; the problem is that the laws are inherently unconstitutional.

  16. “cop killer bullets”…. hmm I might be wrong but I think my Hornady critical defense rounds don’t discriminate as to who they kill, Not that I’ve shot at my brothers in blue but I think a HP round will expand whether the target is wearing a uniform or a hoodie

    • IIRC, even a licensed NJ carrier cannot carry their gun with hollow points. They are legal for the range, hunting (subject to license and other requirements) or in the home but not anywhere else. Hollow points can be transported, but not in the gun.

  17. Let me state the obvious reason why the local asshat prosecutor won’t cut her slack: RACISM. This is about a Negro who got off the plantation and didn’t recognize her place. Harsh but I call ’em like I see “em

    • I ain’t black so I’m not sure if my thoughts count here, but I don’t think it’s directly the prosecutors fault. If anything I’d guess that the arresting cop felt ‘How dare this negro feel that she has the right to protect herself?’ if he was white, or ‘This sista oughta know better, bringin’ guns inna the inna city. She gon’ get some kids shot.’ if he was black.

      I think the prosecutor’s only thought was ‘Bring guns into my beautiful state, will you? I’ll make a lesson out of you, so that no more criminals sully my splendid place.’

      Either way, this is too much. Isn’t this charge worse than B&E in NJ?

    • There is more than a good chance you’re right, Unfortunately in today’s world it’s not racism until the media proclaims it racism via the talk shows or the USDOJ machine. The anti-gun issue is a bigger axe to grind for them. If that were not the case Big Al Sharpton and Chicago Jesse would be grabbing headlines.

      • Yeah, come to think of it, where ARE they? Is she not poor enough for them to turn out? Is she too well educated? She did have a J-O-B, after all.

    • I’m with Dirk. This prosecutor is a racist, of the progressive sort-
      see, if the po’ black folks stay down where they belong, no problem.
      We liberal white folks are all about diversity, as long as you follow our agenda.

      But a self-empowered single black woman, with a gun. Nope. Thats a baddddd negro.
      She dared to stray off the plantation, so rhey put her in the slave chains of the progressive state.
      Teach her a lesson, never mind leaving her kid to foster homes for ten years plus.
      Hey, ends justify the means, doncha know. Gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette.

      Same for LGBT. If you REALLY think the progressive left cares about you and your liberty, you are in a dream world. Stray from the party line and you will be demonized, cut out, marginalized at best.

      Say, where is MDA on this? Hello?
      Where is Rev Sharpton?
      Rev Jesse?
      Where is Eric Holders radicalized DOJ Civil Rights Division?

      With one phone call The One could spring this poor woman-
      whats up with that, Valery Jarret? Moochelle?


      See what I mean? Its not the color of her skin- its the dangerous belief in self-responsibility for her own life and llberty she DARED to defy the progtard plantation owners directives.

      War on Women. Indeed.

    • “Harsh but I call ‘em like I see “em”

      So I guess we’re playing Race-Cards again…..

      …place your bets, people!…. and your accusations!

    • The “race card” should be kept in a retention holster.

      In a safe.

      With three separately-keyed locks.

      To overly play it diminishes its effectiveness in situations in which it really is relevant.

      On family poker night I’d be somewhere else when the middle son had the deal; half the deck wild, “no peekie” et cetera. Same thing.

  18. I may have said it earlier:
    If the 2A is the law of the land then the cop is ignorant of that law or is violating it.
    Wish he would be scared of violating the big law.
    World on its head!

  19. Never, never, NEVER talk to the police. If you get pulled over and the LEO starts fishing with questions like “Do you know why I pulled you over?” or Do you know how fast you were going?” or “Where are you headed/coming from?” just hand over your license and registration and say politely “I prefer not to answer any questions.” And of course, never consent to a search.

    This poor woman was trying to be honest and cooperative and look where it got her. The Fifth Amendment is as important as the Second.

  20. Hey Chris Christie. Time to step up and stop this now rather than waiting for after the trial. You KNOW it’s BS.

  21. Ignorance of a law that criminalizes a victimless crime is a perfectly fine excuse. Fuck all these laws. Stop talking like statist boot lickers.

  22. If I were Chris Christie, I would call her lawyer and assure him that I would issue a full pardon the moment after she’s convicted.

  23. 3 felonies a day. Look it up abad. We should all be locked up for NOTHING. I cross the border with Indiana sometimes 10 times a day. I am profoundly aware I live in Illinois. This poor lady deserves our support-not our ridicule. I’m not seeing overt racism here Dirk. I’m seeing a prick cop who needed to exercise his “authoritah”.

  24. I present the TRUE war on women. Absolutely f$&#in shameful. I hope the DA rots in a very warm place.

  25. Ralph will tell you- DAs are political animals- for the stats and the agenda of whomever appointed them, and the community they represent. Picking this woman out for prosecution was a conscious act, for an easy bust, another notch on his belt, and a nod to someone, some favor, some payola in the progtard agenda. Never mind throwing the single black mom under the bus- doesnt even come close to mattering, vs those considerations.

    This tells you all you need to know about NJ and Chris Christie, and the Progtards who he *thinks* are going to help him get elected, who I am quite sure want to make an example of this uppity negro GUN OWNER!!!!

    I hope all the single Mothers of Color are paying attention…trusting THE GOVERNMENT to take care of you, now? Yeah….that will work.

  26. “Intentionally violating another person’s actual ‘Rights’ is an actual criminal act.”

    In the circumstances at hand, simple Questions as follows: “Whose actual ‘Rights’ were violated and by whom, exactly?”

    ‘Just doing my job’ is no excuse for failing to adhere to simple Moral codes of thought and conduct and enforcing provably Immoral laws against wholly innocent people.

    In the first instance in which any person in ‘law-enforcement’ finds him or herself in a position in which they have ‘no choice’ but to enforce Immoral laws against an innocent person — it then becomes their personal Moral obligation and Duty to see to it the law is sufficiently altered in such a way that they won’t be placed in that same position again.

    For those who may not yet know, search: ‘Jury Nullification’.

    Conscience, Morality and ‘Rights’ my friends, Conscience, Morality and ‘Rights’.
    Do No Harm / Successfully Defend

    • Fortunately, some police officers – and some soldiers – recognize the duty to disobey an immoral order.

      “My [country/state/republic/commonwealth/New Jersey], right or wrong” didn’t fly too well at Nuremberg…

  27. well, lets do this. encourage every one in n.j. to leave. next, the rest of us, stay out of n.j. that way, they can pass all of the anti-gun laws they want, and it will be esy to enforce.

  28. If somebody mentioned this already, my apologies for the duplication. My understanding is that the law she allegedly broke was actually not in effect at the time of her arrest – there was a 6 month “moratorium” on certain gun laws. But the prosecutor, McCain, is hell-bent on making an example out of her. This is the same guy that just cut a metric crapload of slack for some football player named Rice for punching his pregnant girlfriend unconscious, then dragging her out of a hotel elevator & dumping her on the floor. Rice apparently is doing zero jail time, story here. It would be nice if the mainstream media would pick up on this… (I know, I’m delusional…)

    • Excellent point with respect to the ammunition, but she still was in possession of a handgun without a New Jersey license, and it was concealed to boot.

      The law is stupid and wrong, but she did violate it.

  29. Lott said: “Ms. Allen is the type of person who benefits the most from having permitted concealed handguns: a minority woman who lives in high-crime urban areas. The people who are most likely to be victims of crime are the ones who benefit the most from having a gun for protection.”

    I agree completely! Residents of rural areas will find it handy to be armed due to long police response times, but most forcible felonies occur in the cities. As a victim of prior street robberies, Ms. Allen had plenty of reasons to carry.

    This is something that anti-gun liberals and leftists need to think about. If there is a crackdown on people who carry guns, who do you think will be targeted the most? Well who is always targeted when the state decides to launch a dragnet (a war on drugs, a war on subversives, etc). Obviously, minorities in poor, high-crime areas will be facing high discretion tactics. If you felt that “stop and frisk” in NYC was bad, wait until there is a big gun crackdown. Lefties may have visions of rednecks getting jacked up at the gun club, but, as always, the real “war” will be occurring in the hood.

  30. The last time I was pulled over for a traffic violation was my first time while armed. I offered the officer my LTCF along with my other information knowing everything was in order and there was no reason for him to give me a hard time. The officer removed the thumb snap retention from his GLOCK 21, He asked If I was armed, I responded “Yes Sir”, I was then asked to exit my vehicle, I was disarmed, three additional officers arrived, my weapon was unloaded and presumably the serial number was run against some database, somewhere (does this exist?)? 15 or so minutes later I was returned my weapon and sent on my way with a warning for a taillight that was out. I was one block from my house, the pizza I had just picked up needed to be reheated.

    Im not sure I will ever inform an officer that I am armed again, it was not unpleasant, but I don’t feel it was in any way necessary. If I had an illegal weapon, I would not have told the officer I had one… and he would never have known.

    • To protect yourself, you may want to look into how the law reads in your state regarding notification. In Texas, you used to have to advise an officer that you were at the moment carrying under license. The law changed recently such that technically the duty to inform remains, but all legal penalty has been removed for failing to inform.

      Keep in mind, for example, again in Texas, your license plate is connected to your vehicle registration, which is connected to your driver’s license, which is connected (because issued by the same state Dept. of Public Safety) to your carry license. So the officer already knows when he stops you that you’re a concealed carrier. Even without a legal penalty for not infoming, he may regard you suspiciously for not having done so, and that may influence the course and inconvenience of the encounter.

    • I’m pretty sure (never know until it happens, right?) that’s the point I would have refused to exit my vehicle.

      “No thank you, sir. What is your articulable, specific, reasonable suspicion that I have committed some unlawful activity, that would justify a search and/or seizure?”

    • Better to inform and take the inconvenience than not inform and risk a serious – potentially injurious – overreaction by a cop who suddenly discovers that you’re armed.

      Say a general description BOLO which you match, requiring detention and possibly arrest? The pat-down could get a tidge lively, methinks.

      As to running the serial, it was probably against a hot list – serials of weapons reported stolen or otherwise connected to a crime by informer or complainant.

  31. Hey – cops just follow orders right? That cop got home safely though – that’s what matters.

  32. NJ is crazy statist, we’re mostly agreed, but it’s their state and there are procedures in place for changing or challenging their laws. Until then, one must follow the law.

    Then again, this seems draconian under the circumstances and NJ should avail itself of its dicretionary authority under the law (at the prosecutor or grand jury level, if not the roadside cop) to end this leniently in the interest of justice. Being statist crazy, though, expecting a moment of clarity and rationality out of them may be too much. And here we are.

    The reason the POTG are having so much trouble with this is precisely because they are good people. They know she has a God-given right to carry that firearm and that NJ is unreasonable and unconstitutional. However, they also believe in the rule of law and disapprove of special exceptions for special people and arbitrary enforcement. So they’re torn on how to reconcile this in their minds and how best to resolve this case.

    • “Until then, one must follow the law.”

      Or… Or, much more simply, just add New Jersey to the list of places I will never go. Right after Somalia and Liberia. I make a point never to travel to 3rd world dictatorships, I don’t want them to have my money or me as a political prisoner. Every year there seem to be more and more 3rd world countries right here in America.

      • Prescribed, although proscribed knda works.

        No, she shouldn’t have; however, she was risking very dire consequences.

        This gal wasn’t engaging in civil disobedience; she believed that she was in compliance with relevant statutes. Ignorant, but not activist.

        Not really the same thing. One doesn’t Rosa Parks New Jersey gun laws without deep pockets and a lot of free time.

  33. “In some places, officers and prosecutors just don’t care what the public thinks of them. Ironically, such people tend to work in anti-gun cities and states.”

    Hold on.

    In some places, officers and prosecutors just don’t care what the public thinks of them. Such people tend to work in anti-gun cities and states because Tyrants loath the competition that an armed public proposes.

    There, fixed it for you.

    • Unlikely; New Jersey is a state in which noone may legally inform the jury of their right to nullify. The defense has quite the wall to scale.

      Since she did in fact violate the [stupid, unconstitutional, useless] laws of the AHJ, her situation is quite problematic; the barrier is somewhat higher for “not guilty” than “ths is stupid,” but juries have been known to do the right thing.

      Hopefully jury sense will carry the day. If one trips, falls and scrapes a knee on the sidewalk, the blood and tissue left behind is legally litter. However, only the New Jersey AJ would so charge the unfortunate pedestrian – and only the jury in To Kill a Mockingbird would convict them.

      Gods know I’d not want my fate to be decided by a Committee…

  34. Here is a neat interactive webpage that I found that quickly creates a color-coded map of what states you can legally carry your gun (Blue=Safe; Red=You’re screwed). You just answer a few questions. You can find out more about what is honored in a state by hovering your cursor over the state you’re interested in, the info will be displayed below the map.

    !!– I would only use the map to find out what states you CANNOT carry in, and double check the laws of any states it says you can carry in, just to be sure of it’s accuracy. –!!

  35. What’s up with all this concealed carry license reciprocity ignorance of the law bull-squirt? Why isn’t New Jersey required to abide by the Constitution of the United States?

    • I could not agree more.

      If the principle of reciprocity negates Mississippi laws against a mixed marriage, then the same should apply to other basic rights.

      We don’t arrest a visiting Arab Prince for bigamy, for instance, and these days the landscape is settling down about gays.

      Unfortunately, reciprocity of permits is another matter; in the thirties and before, a commercial vehicle needed a license plate for every state in which it traveled. All vehicles, actually, but almost noone harassed non-commercial traffic. Operators’ permits as well weren’t universal. That only changed because the status quo was inconvenient.

      While firearms shouldn’t require a permit, in some places they do – Constitution be damned. That’s the violation, rather than failure to reciprocate.

      Odd that the U.S. military was sent to round up Mormons ’cause of polygamy, but not against New Jersey.

      Well, more sickening than odd.

  36. As long as they are not obviously being negligent in the pursuit of their duties, police officers may choose not to arrest people for every infraction that comes to their attention. This happens every day across the nation, when officers choose to give citizens a warning, or merely to inform them of the law, rather than giving them a ticket or arresting them for a wide variety of infractions.

    That can be a problem when you leave it in the hands of the officers. EVERYONE should be arrested for breaking the law. The policeman should arrest and clear. The judge should sentence and the jury should determine if that law intended to be applied to her.

    Unfortunately, she is black, so in probabilistically, she is going to jail for at least 3 years. Blacks need to be especially careful about carrying. They can’t get away with stuff that whites will more probably get away with.

  37. The officer likely had no discretion, as the exchange was almost certainly being recorded.

    In some states, commonwealths, republics et cetera the their Constitution specifies that the job of a prosecutor is to seek justice, rather than simply to convict; I s’pect New Jersey ain’t one o’ those.

    I can understand her volunteering that she’d a gun; it’s perceived as safe and sensible, lest an officer notice an undisclosed firearm and overreact.

    There’s just no good way to slice this; New Jersey sucks big, hairy bunny pellets and is grateful for the privilege.

  38. Abad, so you expect someone to learn EVERY SINGLE LAW for every single state when they carry??? My god … Should I just get a law degree while I’m at it? The constitution details the right to carry a firearm, that should be permit enough. As a military veteran, it disgusts me that I live in this liberal country with these laws that clearly don’t work… It’s far too cumbersome to learn all the little laws and loopholes about carrying a firearm… If you’re a pro liberty, pro constitution individual, you’d be supporting her right to carry a firearm legally and not have to face prison time because she wants to protect herself…. Common sense man

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