A New Jersey superior court judge’s refusal earlier this week to drop charges in a criminal case illustrates the problem with gun control laws: They turn honest citizens into criminals, while doing nothing to address the underlying problem of gun violence.
Shaneen Allen, a 27-year-old healthcare professional, was stopped last fall for a minor traffic violation. Allen, a Philadelphia resident, advised the officer that she had a firearm in the car, as well as a valid Pennsylvania permit, according to My9NJ.com.
“One of my family members, he thought it was appropriate for me to get one because I’m a single mother and I have two children and I work two jobs and I work late,” she told My9. “And getting up at that time of night I got robbed twice last year and he felt the need for me to get my license to protect me and my kids.”
But she had crossed into New Jersey, a state that doesn’t recognize her Pennsylvania permit, and which has a mandatory three-year minimum sentence for firearm violations.
New Jersey is playing hardball. In addition to denying the defense motion to drop the charges, Judge Michael Donio refused to overturn the prosecution’s decision to deny Allen’s request to avoid jail time by entering New Jersey’s pretrial intervention program, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Allen has a spotless criminal record, which isn’t surprising. Statistics show that people who have permits to carry firearms are among the country’s most law-abiding citizens, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center, which found:
During almost three decades, from October 1, 1987 to May 31, 2014, Florida issued permits to almost 2.66 million people. These permits have been revoked for firearms-related violations at an annual rate of only 0.0003 percent. For all revocations, the annual rate in Florida is 0.012 percent.
The numbers are similarly low in Texas. In 2012 (the latest year that crime data are available), there were 584,850 active license holders. Out of these, 120 were convicted of either a misdemeanor or a felony, a rate of 0.021 percent. Only a few of these crimes involved a gun.
Revocations and suspensions occur when people are charged with a crime, but only about 5 percent or less of these cases result in conviction and thus people are eligible for having their licenses reinstated.
While 120 were convicted of a crime in 2012, 905 people had their permits revoke, for a total rate of 0.15%.
Over the last five years that revocation data is available (2009 to 2013), the rate is slightly lower, 0.13%.
For Michigan, overall revocation rate for the five years from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2014 is slightly higher but still low, at 0.26%.
Statistics of offensive versus defensive use of firearms are just as startling.
“If you look at information from the Justice Department, they have something called the National Crime Victimization survey,” John R. Lott Jr., economist and Yale professor told Townhall. “What you find is that guns are used in crime about 250,000 times a year. If you look at similar surveys of people who use guns defensively, it’s about two million times a year.”
So guns are used defensively to thwart crime about 8 times more often than they’re used to commit them.
“Most people don’t realize that,” he added.
Last month, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie struck a blow against gun-grabbing lawmakers by vetoing a bill that would have limited gun magazine capacities to 10 rounds, Breitbart News reported.
It’s time for the governor to speak up not only for the Second Amendment again, but also for common sense, by taking whatever action he can to to see that charges are dropped against Allen.
Watch the My9NJ.com news report: