New Jersey’s ridiculous gun laws have once-again turned a law-abiding citizen into a convicted felon over nothing more than an innocent mistake. This time the victim is a former security guard and aspiring police officer named Steffon Josey-Davis.
Josey-Davis legally purchased a 9mm Smith & Wesson in 2013. Shortly after he bought the gun, he made the fateful mistake of stashing it in his glove compartment to make sure his six-year-old sister wouldn’t find it.
The gun was still in the glove compartment when, later the same day, state police pulled him over for driving with an expired registration. Because it is illegal for drivers in New Jersey to transport guns in anywhere but the trunk of their car, the officer confiscated the gun and told Josey-Davis to pick it up at the police station.
When Josey-Davis appeared at the station to retrieve his property, he was promptly arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm – a second-degree felony.
Josey-Davis had legally purchased the gun, but was still waiting for his carry permit to be approved that week. It is customary in New Jersey for police to give gun owners a grace period between when a gun is purchased and when the permit is issued. For some reason, the officers in Josey-Davis’s case chose to ignore this and charge him with a felony.
Josey-Davis had no prior criminal background and had passed extensive background checks to become a security guard. The gun had been purchased legally. Yet he was forced to take a plea deal that sentenced him to a year of probation and labeled him as a convicted felon for the rest of his life.
Now, Josey-Davis is struggling to find employment. His lifelong dream of becoming a police officer has evaporated. He now faces a lifetime of struggle due to little more than a silly oversight.
Josey-Davis’s last hope is to receive a pardon from Governor Chris Christie. As was the case with Shaneen Allen, Christie should grant the pardon and prevent a stupid mistake from ruining another person’s life.
A Change.org petition has been created to further Josie-Davis’s cause.
Here is a video of an interview Josie-Davis gave to Fox News Channel’s Steve Doocy:
Cross-posted at Julie on Politics