All of these were written someone online and I can’t find the original text. It does show you how a state can ruin lives with their views on the second amendment.
There is outrage growing today within the firearms community over the lack of attention from the mainstream press to the slaying of New Jersey resident Carol Bowne, for whom funeral services will be held Wednesday.
Is it just possible that Bowne’s horrific story is being overlooked because it amounts to an indictment of New Jersey’s draconian gun laws? With the possible exception of the Courier Post in Cherry Hill, which has covered the story with great detail, the bulk of attention has come from the blogosphere and on-line news organs.
Bowne, critics are saying, is the victim of New Jersey’s red tape gun laws. She wanted to exercise her right of self-defense and the state gun laws prevented her from doing so. Now she is dead.
As Examiner reported over the weekend, Bowne was murdered last week by a man described as an “ex-boyfriend” – and against whom she had a protection order – while she was waiting for a gun owner’s permit to be approved. She applied for that permit back on April 21 and had actually checked on its status last Monday, two days before she was brutally stabbed to death in her own driveway. Police found her alleged killer dead over the weekend, having apparently hanged himself.
The newspaper has reported that it often takes two months for a permit application to be approved. Three state legislators announced they will introduce legislation to speed up the process in cases like Bowne’s. It won’t bring her back, but it may – if the legislation becomes law – save someone else’s life. After all, isn’t that the standard offered up by gun control lobbying groups, that it “saves just one life?”
Perhaps by coincidence, yesterday Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun control group started by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and husband Mark Kelly, started advertising yesterday against a proposed amendment to North Carolina’s gun laws. The proposal, according to the Charlotte Observer, would “phase out” the current law, under which would-be handgun buyers must first get a permit from the local sheriff to buy a handgun.
The Giffords group is having fits, asserting that this change would allow people do dodge a background check. However, Second Amendment advocates are calling that nonsense, noting that people would still have to pass the National Instant Check System check, which is federal law.
The bill, HB 562, will reportedly be up for a vote this evening in the state House of Representatives. The Observer says the measure is opposed by Gov. Pat McCrory and the state Sheriff’s Association.
If Bowne’s tragic death tells us anything, it is that bureaucratic red tape can no longer be considered a mere inconvenience. Its use can be fatal.
Story # 2
A New Jersey man serving seven years in prison for possessing two legally-owned guns, disassembled and in the trunk of his car while moving residences, has had his sentence commuted.
Brian Aitken, 25, a successful media consultant, had been in the process of selling his home in Colorado and moving to a suburban New Jersey apartment to be closer to his son, 2, when he was arrested in a bizarre sequence of events.
His lawyers had called the subsequent trial and conviction the “perfect storm of injustice.”
Thousands of gun owners across the country rallied to Aitken’s cause, with more than 15,000 joining Facebook support group calling for his release.
Gov. Chris Christie signed an order Monday night that commuted Aitken’s sentence to time served.
“I am shell shocked,” said Aitken’s father, Larry, who was at the prison awaiting Brian’s release later today. “The commutation is purely the governor saying how ridiculous this sentence is and it ends now.”
“This wasn’t just about gun rights, this was about a fair trial. And this really was a gross injustice,” said Aitken’s attorney, Evan Napper.
Joel Bewley, a spokesman for the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office which brought the case, declined to comment on the commuted sentence.
Aitken’s ordeal began on Jan. 3, 2009, when he confided in his mother during a moment of emotional distress at home that life wasn’t worth living.
He stormed out of his parent’s suburban home, hopped into his car filled with belongings and drove off, according to accounts provided by Napper and Larry Aitken.
Brian’s mother, a social worker trained to be sensitive to suicidal indicators, instinctively dialed 911 but abruptly hung up, second-guessing her reaction. But police tracked the call, came to the home and greeted Brian when he returned to make sure he was OK.
Then they asked to search his car.
Buried in the trunk, beneath piles of clothes and boxes of dishes, was a black duffle bag holding a boot box containing two handguns; “unloaded, disassembled, cleaned and wrapped in a cloth,” his father said.
There were also several large-capacity magazines and cartons of hollow-point bullets.
Aitken had legally purchased the guns at a Denver sporting goods store two years earlier, he said.
But transporting a gun without a special permit or in a handful of exempt situations is illegal in New Jersey, giving officers no choice but to arrest Aitken and charge him with a crime. The magazines and bullets are also illegal in the state, experts said.
Aitken and his family believed the incident was a fluke because the weapons were disassembled and locked in the trunk, Aitken had cleared FBI background checks and even inquired about gun laws in New Jersey so he could be in compliance after the move.
“For quite some time I was pretty confident as soon as intelligent people with logical minds took a look at what happened they might slap him with a fine or something,” Aitken’s father Larry said. “When the prosecutor came down with an indictment, I was dumbfounded.”
But after a two and a half day trial in August, a jury convicted Aitken of the charges and a judge sentenced him to seven years in prison.
Story # 3
A Philadelphia mother of two who obtained the necessary permits to carry a gun in Pennsylvania and was arrested in New Jersey for unlawful possession of a weapon is now facing three years in prison.
Shaneen Allen, 27, obtained a license-to-carry permit and purchased a .380 Bersa Thunder handgun after she was robbed in a Philadelphia alley in July 2013, according to a report on Philly.com.
During a trip to Atlantic City last October, Allen was arrested following a routine traffic stop and was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of hollow-point bullets. Allen told Philly.com she told the police officer she had a firearm in her purse and a carry license for it.
New Jersey has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country and does not recognize carry permits from any other state. A report from the Washington Post suggests race might have played a part in Allen’s arrest.
Allen is facing a mandatory three-year prison term and has a hearing in Atlantic County tomorrow, according to Philly.com.
Many gun advocates have rallied in support of her, the website said, and she is being represented by Evan Nappen, a lawyer who specializes in gun cases.
The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office declined to comment when reached by Philly.com.
She was pardoned by NJ Governor Chris Christie.
Monday morning, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie issued a pardon to 24-year-old Steffon Josey-Davis. Davis, a former armed guard for currency security company Loomis, was arrested and charged in 2013 for accidentally transporting his legally registered handgun.
“WHEREAS, Steffon Josey-Davis, was arrested on September 20, 2013 and was thereafter indicted for one count of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5 (b) in the Borough of Highland Park, County of Middlesex, State of New Jersey,” the pardon states. “WHEREAS, Steffon Josey-Davis has made a written application to the Governor for a pardon for the aforesaid offense, and the State Parole Board, upon request of the Governor, in accordance with the law, has made an investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding said application for Pardon; NOW, THEREFORE, 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 statures of this State, do hereby grant Steffon Josey-Davis, a full and free Pardon for all criminal charges and indictments arising from the arrest occurring September 20, 2013 to include the aforesaid crime, and this order is applicable soley to said criminal charge and indictment, and to no other.”
Josey-Davis was an armed guard for Loomis who ran afoul of a technicality in New Jersey law and faced ten years in prison as a result.
While I’m unaware of anyone keeping statistics on which Governors issue the most firearms-related pardons, New Jersey’s shrill and paranoid gun control laws have certainly led Christie to issue two high-profile pardons this year, including Pennsylvania mother Shaneen Allen in April. She had committed the Very Serious Crime of driving across a bridge from Pennsylvania with a licensed concealed weapon.
Christie also commuted the sentence of Brian Aitken in 2010 from a long prison sentence for merely transporting firearms from one residence to another. Aitken subsequently had one of his conviction dismissed, another overturned, and is fighting to have the final charge dismissed as well.
New Jersey deserves radically better firearms freedoms, but they will never have them if they keep electing rabid and irrational anti-gun Democrats.
Conclusion. Many states have many laws concerning the ownership and use of firearms. Be careful outside of New Mexico and know the laws.