America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 58

N R A

H. Q.

B U L L E T I N

ILA REPORT
NRA LEGISL ATIVE ACTIVIT Y

New Jersey AG's Intervention
Spares Shaneen Allen Prison Time,
But Federal Reform Is Still Needed

E

ach year, we hear tales of traveling gun owners who accidentally run afoul of the
law because they fail to understand the intricacies of interstate reciprocity for
concealed carry permits. This is why one of nra's primary legislative goals in Congress
is the passage of the Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2013. This legislation would
offer those carrying a concealed firearm pursuant to a lawfully-issued license or permit
the same freedom to move interstate that is enjoyed by licensed drivers, by ensuring
that each state recognizes the concealed carry licenses or permits issued by the others.
Few cases have illustrated the need for this legislation more vividly than that of
Shaneen Allen. Allen, a single mother from Philadelphia, faced felony prosecution after
misunderstanding that her Pennsylvania concealed carry permit, valid in more than
30 states, was nevertheless not recognized in neighboring New Jersey. Embodying the
state of New Jersey's contempt for the Second Amendment, Atlantic County Prosecutor
Jim McClain threw the book at Shaneen Allen, insisting in his plea offer that she complete
at least 3½ years of a possible 10-year prison sentence without chance of parole.
Allen's case shocked the conscience of a broad range of Americans, particularly
given the disparate treatment McClain's office had recently provided to professional
football player Ray Rice. Rice was caught on video knocking unconscious his
then-fiancée with a punch, but McClain still approved him for New Jersey's Pretrial
Intervention Program (pti), which allows first-time offenders to avoid criminal
conviction after a period of supervised rehabilitative efforts. Meanwhile, McClain
refused to show Allen the same leniency, even though the Atlantic County pti director
had agreed to accept Allen into the pti program.
In September-nearly a year into Allen's ordeal-acting New Jersey Attorney
General John Hoffman issued statewide guidance to county prosecutors clarifying
the application of New Jersey's mandatory sentencing scheme to certain minor
firearm violations. Only then did McClain relent. "In applying the factors set out in
the [attorney general's] clarification," he stated, "I determined that the defendant in
this case should be offered the opportunity to be admitted into the Atlantic County
pti program." These developments mean that not only will Allen and her children be
spared the ordeal of her facing a felony conviction and lengthy prison term but that
other travelers who unwittingly violate New Jersey's harsh laws gun laws may also
avoid a similar nightmare.

Indeed, the "mitigating" factors
the attorney general's memorandum
counsels prosecutors to consider
closely parallel the circumstances of
Allen's case. First, she lawfully owned
the firearm and would have been
lawfully able to carry it in her state
of residence. Once in New Jersey,
the firearm apparently never left her
vehicle. She was otherwise law-abiding,
and police only discovered the gun
because of a routine traffic stop. Allen
volunteered the presence of the firearm
even before being asked about it, and
police immediately took it into custody.
Finally, Allen was honestly unaware
that her Pennsylvania concealed carry
permit did not apply in New Jersey.
As the attorney general recognized
in his memorandum: "[I]n most of
these cases, imprisonment is neither
necessary nor appropriate to serve
the interests of justice and protect
public safety."
Although Allen's case appears to be
headed for a positive resolution, true
legal reform is still needed, including
enactment of "Shaneen's Law" in
New Jersey and the Right-to-Carry
Reciprocity Act now pending in
Congress. In the meantime, Allen
joins such pivotal and largely unsung
civil rights heroes as Otis McDonald
and Mary Shepard, whose personal
struggles achieved greater recognition
of the Second Amendment for their
fellow citizens. As Allen's attorney Evan
Nappen noted, these victories were not
achieved in isolation but with the aid of
untold numbers of Second Amendment
supporters who ensured that these
struggles did not go unnoticed.
"Every nra member should be proud,"
Nappen said.

IL A G rassro o ts: ( 8 0 0 ) 3 9 2 - 8 6 8 3 * NR A- I L A : ( 703) 267-1170 * NR A- I L A web s i te: w w w. nr aila. org

ILA CONTRIBUTIONS

(The following contributed $1,000 or more to the NRA Institute for Legislative Action during August 26, 2014 - September 24, 2014.)

Tract Clark, Midland, TX; Horton Spitzer, Wilson, WY; Harriet Van D. Spitzer, Wilson, WY; Howard Wulforest, Reno, NV; Jon Madsen, McAllen, TX; Lee-Ann Ledbetter, Burgess Norman,
OK; Russell Viering, Groton, CT; P. Paul Pappalardo, Greenwich CT; C. Barbaccia, San Jose, CA; Gary Zimmerman, Redondo Beach, CA; Ronald Greisen, Anchorage, AK; Stanley
Cornett, Kingwood, TX; Paul Creegan, New York, NY; Robert Kane, Smithtown, NY; David Sipos, Youngsville, LA; Philip Fry, Ortonville, MI; Thomas Peterson, Allendale, NY; Philip Bender,
Reno, NV; Henry Keck, Enid, OK; Dale Thackett, Coffeyville, KS; P. Dale Rubikam, Philadelphia, PA; Lawrence Edwards, Brick, NJ; Elisha Hubbard, Juniper, FL; Timothy Dermer, Mesa,
AZ; James Cannon, Richmond, TX; June Knabusch-Taylor, Monroe, MI; John Knight, Calhan, CO; Wesley Noe, Midland, TX; Hal K. Sullivan, Blue Creek, OH; Frank Byrne, Philadelphia,
PA; Edward McDermott, Polvadera, NM; Mathew Reno, Gillette, WY; Thomas Guzzo, Sharpsburg, GA; Alwyn Browne, West Gardiner, ME; Marc Hart, Southlake, TX; Walter Obermeier,
Cranberry Township, PA; James Matthews, Sarasota, FL; Paul Graf, Reddick, IL; Kenneth Williamson, Iowa City, IA; Francis Savard, Intervale, NH; Neal Woods, Ottawa, KS; Brian Calihan,
Plant City, FL; Ruth Brewer, Platteville, CO; Karen Lien, Perkasie, PA; David Myers, Boulder, CO; Skip Morse, Sutton, MA; Mitchell Walker, Bellevue, CO; Glenn Adams, Evergreen, CO; Jeff
Adams, Boise, ID; Alan Mossberg, Tierra Verde, FL; Jerald Zierdt, Colbert, WA; Anthony Phelan, Fort Myers Beach, FL; James Cannon, Richmond, TX; Kent Esgar, McCloud, OK; Edward
Lye, Akron, CO; Bruce Ross, Paso Robles, CA; Mark Gruss, Deadwood, SD; John Jordan, Cook MN; Evelyn Morgan, Bradford, PA; John Place, Yakima, WA; Fred Sawyer, Saint Louis, MO;
Greg McNece, Davis, CA; John Hughes, Lake Havasu City, AZ; Tom Becker, Kirkwood, MO; Regis Synan, Export, PA; John Hill, Centreville, VA; John Myers, Mountain Grove, CO; Richard
Daniels, White Plains, MD; Russell Tilton, Owings, MD; Mark Pretzat, Alexandria, VA; Carlos Garcia, Miami, FL; Jonathan Goldstein, Narberth, PA; Michael Zech, Whitewater, CO;

56

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http://www.nraila.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of America's First Freedom - December 2014

America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 1
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 2
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 3
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 4
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 5
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 6
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 7
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 8
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 9
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 10
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 11
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 12
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 13
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 14
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 15
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 16
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 17
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 18
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 19
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 20
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 21
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 22
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 23
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 24
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 25
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 26
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 27
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 28
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 29
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 30
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 31
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 32
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 33
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 34
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 35
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 36
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 37
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 38
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 39
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 40
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 41
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 42
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 43
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 44
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 45
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 46
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 47
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 48
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 49
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 50
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 51
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America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 53
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 54
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 55
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 56
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 57
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 58
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 59
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 60
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 61
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 62
America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 63
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America's First Freedom - December 2014 - 65
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