Pardoned NJ Gun Owner Wants his Pistol Back

Pardoned NJ Man Wants His Gun Back

We told you recently about Steffon Josey-Davis, the New Jersey man who was pardoned of gun charges last week by Gov. Chris Christie. Now he wants his gun back, according to this story on NJ.com.

Josey-Davis was stopped for a traffic violation by Highland Park police in September, 2013. He disclosed he had a Smith & Wesson 9mm in his glove compartment that he'd forgotten to remove at home. The police confiscated the gun and told him he could pick it up later at the police station. When Josey-Davis went to retrieve it, he was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. By the rule of New Jersey's law, having a gun in one's glove box is the same as carrying it concealed, for which the state rarely issues permits.

He sought a pardon from Christie, claiming he had no criminal intent. Christie agreed, and granted him clemency on Jun 8. But in the 10 days since, Josey-Davis says that the police and prosecutors have not returned his gun, despite his attorneys' efforts to get it back, the story said.

"Crazy George Zimmerman got his gun back," Josey-Davis said, "and I can't get mine."

His attorney, Ed Nappen, says it may not be so easy because of Jersey's civil asset forfeiture law, which states "firearms which are unlawfully possessed, carried, acquired or used" become contraband subject to seizure by the state. Upon being seized, they "shall be retained by the State until entry of judgement or dismissal of the criminal proceeding, if any, arising out of the seizure."

Since Josey-Davis originally took a plea before being pardoned, the state no longer had to keep his firearm in storage. Guns like that are usually destroyed.

"Since he's been pardoned, it's our position that forfeiture shouldn't apply," says Nappen. "The right thing to do is, plainly, have his gun returned to him."