According to this story from ABC, a prosecutor in New Jersey, home of some of the most draconian concealed carry laws in the nation, has dropped a felony gun charge against a Pennsylvania corrections officer who was carrying a firearm without a state permit.
A spokesperson for the Gloucester County prosecutor’s office said in the story that the charge was inappropriate because the man in question, Raymond Hughes, was the victim of a drunk driving accident when Glassboro police learned he had a firearm in his vehicle.
Hughes had a permit to carry in adjacent Pennsylvania, but Pennsylvania permits aren’t recognized by New Jersey, nor are any permits from any state. If Hughes had been found guilty of the second-degree felony gun charge, he would have faced a minimum of 3 1/2 years in prison. http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/jersey-gun-charge-dropped-pennsylvania-guard-37117186
The story says the case could also have cost him his job as a sergeant at a state prison in Chester, PA.
The issue of New Jersey’s lack of reciprocity when it comes to firearms licenses has long been a problem for out-of-state residents driving through the Garden State.
In October we reported on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie making good on his promise to pardon three individuals, all out-of-staters with guns that were legal in their home state, who had been arrested and slapped with felony gun charges while in New Jersey:
• Brian Fletcher of North Carolina was facing a prison sentence for having a legal firearm in his truck while completing emergency cell phone tower repairs after a storm.
• Todd Doering of Landsdale, Pa., was arrested in July 2010– for having a gun in his car outside of a store. He was convicted of possessing a gun without a permit and possessing hollow-point ammunition (also illegal to own in N.J.) and had been sentenced to two years of probation.
• Elizabeth Griffin of Florida was facing 10 years in prison after being arrested for carrying her Florida-legal firearm while boarding a ferry in Liberty State Park last July.
Since New Jersey is between Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York, and doesn’t recognize permits from any of them, such situations often arise when out-of-staters are passing though in vehicles and are stopped by police for a reason unrelated to their firearm.