black women

Why is this single mom facing 12 years prison for carrying a LEGAL weapon?

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New Jersey’s strict gun laws are designed to protect citizens, but some wonder if the wrong targets are hit sometimes.  Shaneen Allen is a law abiding mother of two with no criminal record.  She bought her gun after having been robbed twice.  She learned how to use the gun and made sure it was licensed.

But now she’s face up to 12 years in prison for driving the gun across the bridge to New Jersey without knowing that the law changed just a few minutes away from her house.   The woman registered her firearm in Pennsylvania, but didn’t have it registered in New Jersey, since that’s not where she lives.

After being pulled over for a minor traffic violation, Shaneen told the officer that the gun was in the car.  This is the expectation for law abiding citizens, to make sure that everyone is safe.   But this ended up being a mistake, since the officer then arrested her.

“As I let them know that (that she had a firearm), that’s when they started to lock me up,” Allen said in an interview. “I wasn’t a threat to the police.”

In the conversation below, Attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons analyzes the case and explains why this is a travesty of justice.  According to Attorney Solomon-Simmons, the judge could have taken her special circumstances into consideration and put the mother into a diversion program.  He asks openly whether there is a benefit to society when we choose to incarcerate law abiding citizens who have not committed any violent crime.  His dialogue is very interesting.