New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday pardoned Shaneen Allen, an African-American single mother from Philadelphia who was arrested last year in New Jersey for bringing a handgun into the state even though she was permitted to carry it in Pennsylvania.
The state’s case against Allen has outraged gun advocates: Allen — who was carrying a Bersa Thunder .380 when pulled over by police in Atlantic County — has said she thought her Pennsylvania concealed-carry permit allowed her to bring the firearm into New Jersey.
Christie signed the pardon at noon Thursday: “I, Chris Christie, governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority conferred upon me by the Constitution of the State of New Jersey and the statutes of the state, do hereby grant Shaneen Denise Allen, a full a free pardon for all criminal charges and indictments arising from the arrest occurring October 1, 2013 to include the aforesaid crimes, and this order is applicable solely to said criminal charges and indictments, and to no other.”
Allen, who had no prior criminal record, said she purchased the gun after being the victim of a robbery. She spent 40 days in jail before she was able to make bail after the arrest.
Last year, a county prosecutor decided to allow Allen, who was facing several years in prison if convicted, to enter a pretrial intervention program.
Thursday’s pardon could have 2016 implications. The National Rifle Association is praising Christie, a Republican preparing for a possible White House run, for his action in the case.
“This ends a vulgar chapter in an endless series of shameful episodes where political opportunists seek nothing but their own advantage,” Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the NRA, said in a statement provided to The Daily Caller. “I compliment Gov. Christie for doing the right thing.”