The New Jersey District Attorney who let NFL wife beater Ray Rice off the hook is doing everything within his power to send a young mother to prison for accidentally bringing a legally purchased firearm into the state.
Atlantic County District Attorney Jim McClain, who is being criticized for taking too lenient an approach with Rice, has come down hard on Shaneen Allen, the Philadelphia mom who mistakenly brought a handgun into New Jersey from Pennsylvania earlier this year.
Allen was pulled over for a routine traffic stop a few months after she had purchased a gun to protect herself. Not realizing that her Pennsylvania handgun permit did not apply in New Jersey, she informed the officer that a gun was packed away in the trunk. She was arrested and charged with a felony.
As first time offenders, both Rice and Allen are eligible a diversionary program that would allow them to avoid prison time. While Rice was allowed to take advantage of the program and stay out of jail, McClain has prohibited Allen from doing so.
Now Allen is facing a mandatory three-year prison term while Rice walks away scot-free. At a hearing last month, Allen wiped away tears after a judge denied her motion to dismiss the charges.
Women like Shaneen Allen should have the right to protect themselves. If Rice’s wife Janay had been carrying a weapon, maybe it would have deterred her husband from his vicious attack.
Instead, the New Jersey government believes that a woman owning a gun is a worse crime than domestic abuse.