New Jersey Governor Chris Christie scored some points with gun rights proponents and logical thinkers everywhere by pardoning 24-your-old Steffon Josey-Davis of all criminal charges after he was arrested last year for having a legally owned firearm in his glove compartment, according to this story from FoxNews.com.
His ordeal went like this: On Sept. 20, 2013, Josey-Davis, an aspiring police officer, was getting ready to leave his home for his job as an armed security guard with Loomis Armored, where he worked transporting and guarding money on its way to banks and ATMs.
“I was preparing myself for work, grabbing my firearm out of my safe, bulletproof vest, making my way to the garage. While in the process of disarming my firearm, my little sister came into the garage. To avoid any accidents, I put the firearm in the glove compartment moments after putting my bulletproof vest on the passenger seat,” Josey-Davis stated on a GoFundMe page he created in January to overturn his conviction, according to this story from mycentraljersey.com.
Josey-Davis says he then took his sister upstairs and put her back to bed before grabbing his keys and leaving for work, forgetting the gun in the glove compartment.
Later that day he was pulled over by Highland Park police. He says he told officers who he was, where he worked, and that he had a legally owned firearm in the car.
The officers issued him a citation for an expired vehicle registration (it expired that morning) and took the gun, telling him to pick it up at the police station on Monday, and let him go. When he went to claim the firearm, he was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, a second-degree felony.
In the state of New Jersey, having a gun in your glove compartment is the same as carrying it concealed, and Josey-Davis didn’t have a concealed carry license (which very few in New Jersey have). He was arrested and charged with a felony, according to this story from conccealednation.org.
He took a plea deal of probation, because he was afraid of being sentenced to 10 years in prison, he said. Josey-Davis lost his job, career, money, and all the plans he had to get married and buy a house.
After, he started a robust social media campaign to seek a pardon from Gov. Christie, including a change.org petition that has attracted more than 85,000 signatures.
He also hired prominent gun rights attorney Evan Nappen to appeal his conviction.
Nappen claimed that between August 2013 and February 2014, the state had a firearm amnesty in effect, meaning individuals in similar situations were exempt from such charges.
“For whatever reason, this law didn’t seem to be well known. The state police did a poor job publicizing it,” Nappen said. “I think it’s particularly striking that that wasn’t raised. New Jersey’s gun control laws are out of control. It’s clearly evident they need serious reform. The legislature is really ultimately to blame.”
“I feel so blessed,” Josey-Davis told FoxNews.com Monday. “Gov. Christie knew in his heart this was the right thing to do.”