Many New Jersey readers have seen media coverage of a pardon recently announced
by Governor Chris Christie. The case involved a young man who was pursuing
a career in law enforcement when he found himself on the wrong side of
the law. The story has led to an increased awareness and renewed debate
on the state's stance toward gun
The man at the center of the case is 24 years old and was working as an
armed security guard when he encountered legal difficulties. He had gone
through the process of applying for a permit to carry a handgun that he
legally owned. However, that application had not yet been approved before
he stowed the weapon in the glove box of his car. He had been cleaning
the weapon in his garage when his 6-year-old sister came in, and he tucked
the gun into the compartment so that she would not see it.
Later that evening, he was driving the car with his girlfriend when he
was pulled over by police. When he realized that the gun was in the car,
he told the officer and turned the weapon over. He was cited for an expired
vehicle registration and the weapon was confiscated. The young man was
told to report to the local police department the following week to pick
up his weapon but was arrested when he arrived. He was eventually accepted
a plea deal in which he admitted to the unlawful possession of a firearm,
which is a felony.
After his attorney challenged that criminal record and word spread of the
matter, debate arose surrounding New Jersey's gun laws and the ease
with which individuals can be charged with felonies. The young man sought
a pardon from the Governor and was eventually successful in that endeavor.
He is now able to move forward in his dream of becoming a police officer.
In the meantime, the case has certainly raised awareness of the state's
gun legislation and the risks of running afoul of those laws.
Source: Fox News, "Christie pardons NJ man whose legally owned gun made him convicted felon", Cristina Corbin, June 9, 2015