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Chris Christie Pardons Shaneen Allen

Chris Christie Pardons Shaneen Allen

Now more Presidentially-palatable to a gun-loving America?

Members of the Legal Insurrection community will be familiar with the travails of Pennsylvania nurse and single-mom of two Shaneen Allen under the heel of New Jersey’s unconscionable anti-Second Amendment laws, as we covered the matter here in some detail, including PA Nurse Arrested on Gun Charges Given Reprieve (9/24/14) and The Memo that let Shaneen Allen — and Chris Christie’s political future — off the hook (9/29/14).

In brief, Ms. Allen was in possession of a PA-issued concealed carry permit and a handgun when she drove across the Delaware and into New Jersey.  Pulled over for a routine traffic stop, Allen volunteered to the officer that she was in possession of the handgun.  She mistakenly believed that her PA concealed carry permit, like her PA driver’s license, was legally valid in both states.

The New Jersey authorities quickly disabused her of that notion, charged her with illegal possession of a handgun, threatened the mother of two small children with a multiple-year mandatory jail sentence, and refused to allow her to enter a diversion program for non-violent first-time offenders (the same program into which football star and wife knock-out puncher Ray Rice would be readily admitted without hesitation just months later).

After months of focused attention from the National Rifle Association, renowned gun law attorney Evan Nappen, and the entire of the Second Amendment advocacy blogosphere–and with NJ Governor Chris Christie seeing his Presidential aspirations rapidly sinking–a sudden change was made and Allen was allowed into the diversion program, thus avoiding jail time and a criminal conviction.

A similar miraculous escape from New Jersey’s draconian gun laws was managed for a retired school teacher who found himself facing felony charges and the loss of his pension after being found with a 300-year-old flintlock pistol in the glove compartment of the car in which he was riding (the gun was his; he was a collector who had just purchased it, but New Jersey gun law explicitly prohibits unlicensed possession of even flintlocks).  We covered that case here:  Charges Dropped Against NJ Teacher Caught with Flintlock.

One can only speculate if the Governor’s office brought pressure to bear in that case, as well.

Today, Christie took the somewhat remarkable step of issuing Shaneen Allen “a full and free pardon for all criminal charges and indictments arising from the arrest occurring October 1, 2013.”  Here’s an image of the pardon letter:


This action, while warranted, seems unlikely to solve Christie’s longer “gun control” problem. The New Jersey legislature is controlled by the Democrats, and is well aware of the discomfort they can cause the Governor on this issue.  Accordingly, they are aggressively moving through committee even more punitive gun control legislation, advancing it to the Governor’s desk where he can face the difficult choice of either signing it into law–thus almost certainly losing any hope for a Presidential nomination–or vetoing the law, and thus degrading his moral standing within New Jersey, whose residents have elected an overwhelmingly antigun legislature.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

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and with a 5″ Google search, she single handedly could have prevented this whole scenario from ever having taken place. 😀 Nevertheless, I’m glad to see that ultimately it worked out for her that Fatso did the “right thing.” One would hope that any instructors who are aware of this woman’s plight that they see fit to include in their course of instruction at least some links to reciprocity/recognition issues.

    creeper in reply to Marcus. | April 3, 2015 at 11:13 am

    She also could have avoided it by not mentioning the gun in the first place.

    But these are all the actions of a person innocent of any criminal intent. And yet the State of New Jersey made her a criminal.

    Christie did the right thing but, as is usually the case with politicians, for the wrong reasons.

      platypus in reply to creeper. | April 3, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      TRIED to make her a criminal. They failed and Fatso just put a tombstone on their efforts. P.S. Don’t overlook the last sentence of the pardon. Wonder what’s up with THAT.

    Barry in reply to Marcus. | April 3, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    So every time you leave your house you do a google search to make sure you know all the applicable laws – good luck getting on.

    Or, you know, we could follow the constitution, which specifically protects the rights of gun owners, NJ or other state law be damned.

      Marcus in reply to Barry. | April 3, 2015 at 6:58 pm

      Rotsa ruck, Barry, as you’re cooling your “constitutional carry”argument in a NJ slammer.

A pardon is not good enough.

As long such stupid, unconstitutional law remains in the books, it can be used to selectively punish/reward enemies /friends of those in power.

These laws should be repealed.
And if the legislature wants to pass more of them, it is the moral duty of the Governor to veto them. And the people of New Jersey should stand up and challenge them in court.

Nice. Too little. And New Joisey should pay her compensation, though it won’t.

A long hand happy life to Ms. Allen.

I’m glad Christie pardoned her because she deserved to be pardoned. Christie is good for NJ. Stay there, CC, and keep cleaning up your state.

Henry Hawkins | April 3, 2015 at 9:58 am

One warranted pardon does not rehabilitate your 2A problem, Gov. Christie. Christie is politically savvy enough to know that. Whether he signs or vetoes upcoming gun control legislation should tell the tale of whether his aims are at the WH for 2016, or reelection in NJ to maintain his place for 2020, 2024, etc.



Henry Hawkins | April 3, 2015 at 10:02 am


“Kansas to allow carrying of concealed guns without permit.
New law to take effect July 1”

“TOPEKA, Kan. —Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a new concealed weapons bill into law that will mean fewer restrictions for Kansans with guns.

When the law takes effect July 1, Kansas will become the fifth state where gun owners won’t need a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The training requirement for concealed weapon carriage has also been removed.”

Supporters said they shouldn’t have to get what they describe as a permission slip from the government to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Under the new law, Kansans who carry concealed weapons in other states that require permits, including Missouri, will still need a permit. Those permits will only require background checks and not completion of a training court.

    creeper in reply to Henry Hawkins. | April 3, 2015 at 11:18 am

    It’s about time. I’ve had to avoid Kansas on my last three trips south. The last time I sent a letter to the state’s department of commerce, pointing out the revenue they were losing. Money always talks.

    Mkelley in reply to Henry Hawkins. | April 3, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    My home state, Montana, is mostly friendly to gun owners, but we do have a Democrat Governor:

    –Governor Bullock (D) of Montana vetoed constitutional carry, HB 298. Bullock called the bill an “absurd concept that threatens the safety of our communities by not providing for the basic fundamentals of gun safety or mental health screening.” Governor Bullock is, at a minimum, mistaken . . .

    HB 298 would not have eliminated Montana’s concealed weapons permit process. It would only have removed legal restrictions from carrying concealed without a permit. The permit system itself would not have been changed.–

    Montana is unusual in that we have basically constitutional open carry everywhere but in incorporated cites anyway.

Selective enforcement of the law is simply a tool of Tyrants to garner good will from the masses.
Please do not be fooled.
Selective enforcement is wrong. NJ gun laws are wrong, and unconstitutional.

Draconian gun laws indeed but my question is, how can a “full and free pardon of all criminal charges..” be “subject to revocation at any time, at the discretion of the governor, without notice?”

I don’t ever want to travel in NJ ever again!

    Exiliado in reply to GrumpyOne. | April 3, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Good catch!!

    It reveals what a hippocrite Christie really is.

      platypus in reply to Exiliado. | April 3, 2015 at 4:58 pm

      Actually, the life span of the pardon is until the statute of limitations runs out. After that, it doesn’t matter whether there’s a pardon or not, or whether it got revoked.

      But it does make a great show, don’t you agree?

    Henry Hawkins in reply to GrumpyOne. | April 3, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    It’s the ‘Willie Horton Clause’, referring to the inmate who tanked the Dukakis campaign by rewarding Dukakis’ pardon by going out and killing someone. A similar pardon backfire hit Huckabee. The lesson, of course, is to grant no pardon that might come back to haunt you politically.

    Imagine what the anti-gun media will do if this Philly lady pardoned by Christie shoots someone this summer.

Awesome news for this mother! Very happy that this can be behind her.

Took him wa-a-a-a-ay to long. Don’t trust him at all on this issue.

If the governor really wanted to have Presidential aspirations, he’d have the state repeal these idiotic, unconstitutional draconian gun laws.

That is, if he takes time away from eating donuts at the local Krispy Kreme.

Ms. Allen is fortunate Krispy Crème has presidential aspirations. Otherwise she would not have received a pardon and would likely be in jail unless someone would step in to defend her pro bono.

It’s called putting your finger into the wind.


Not more palatable to a 2nd Amendment responsible America.

Bleat, bleat, moan, moan as you will about the 2A issues, NJ laws, blah blah. Bottom line is this: she did NOT DO HER DUE DILIGENCE and/or WAS HUGELY INADEQUATELY INSTRUCTED.

    Barry in reply to Marcus. | April 3, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Sure, like you know every freaking law on the books. You probably break some law every single day.

      Marcus in reply to Barry. | April 4, 2015 at 7:25 am

      Not the point, Barry. But, since you obviously missed it, I’ll run it by you again: we who carry for self-defense make it our responsibility to know the laws of the states through which we travel, especially when it comes to those called NJ, NY, NYC (a state unto itself), MD, CT, MA, RI, DE, SC, to name a few. Do I know all the laws in those states? Of course not, but I know enough of them to know NOT TO DO IT… not even with the alleged protection of the FOPA in place, you know, Barry, the one allegedly that allows inter-state travel of a weapon locked in a container, ammo locked in a separate container, magazines locked in a separate container (just to be safe) and all locked in an inaccessible area of one’s vehicle.

      Here’s a nuance for you. OH is now reported to be allowing concealed carry for non-residents via unilateral recognition for those out of state citizens who have a concealed weapons permit. One aspect of that law, however, is potentially troubling (there are others as well). In PA, however, the license is called a License To Carry a Firearm, not a License to Carry a Concealed Firearm, not a Concealed Carry Permit. Those nomenclature differences have raised the question as to whether or not a PA LTCF falls within the scope of the new OH law. The reference for you is You can bet on it that I’ll make it my responsibility to find out the answers from the AG’s office in OH, with written documentation to carry with me if necessary, before I travel through OH.

      Bottom line is that it is MY responsibility to know the laws of the states through which I travel or into which I carry concealed because those are the laws to which I’m subject!! One final point, Barry: do you happen to know how OH differs from other states with respect to the Law of Self-Defense? It might interest you. The guy who wrote the article here to which we are all responding has an interesting course you might want to consider. 🙂 🙂

      There ya go, Barry. I hope that’s helpful to you. 😀 😀 😀

        Barry in reply to Marcus. | April 5, 2015 at 12:31 am

        “..because those are the laws to which I’m subject!!”

        Last I heard you are subject to all the laws of the state. I’m not arguing that it is a good idea to know the laws if you are carrying, but those are not the only laws. The problem here is the blatant disregard for the constitution, in NJ and elsewhere. Ms. Allen is entitled to carry a weapon in any state, protected by the constitution. Period. It may be a good idea to know the law of each state with respect to carrying in order not to be so inconvenienced, but do not forget what the real problem is. If the state of NJ passes a law that says you cannot criticize the governor, are you OK with that, and would you abide by it?

That she is black and female made it a lot easier politically to pardon her.

Gremlin1974 | April 4, 2015 at 5:35 am

“Now more Presidentially-palatable to a gun-loving America?”

Nope, way to late and way to obvious.

tiredofbias44 | April 4, 2015 at 7:39 am

Christie played the hand Democrats who run this state gave him splendidly. He cannot change
the laws and a lot of nonblack folks have been abused by them in NJ for decades. The Dems were thrilled their voters rarely get abused under this law. But when they tried to put one of Obama’s voters in a swing state in jail all hell broke loose. Obama forced NJ dems to crawl to Christie who was able to rewrite the prosecution rules and begin pardoning people who got caight up in this mess.

But for her being a single black woman Democrats here would never have stood by as Christie took some of the teeth out of the law. Now in the future Christie can pardon folks who are not a single black woman and the gun lobby will have to remain silent as they are right now.