A Philadelphia mother who was arrested for carrying a legally-owned gun in the wrong state says she now has renewed hope. The prosecutor who initially punished her is now taking another look at her case.
Shaneen Allen, 27, told NBC10 Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain sent her a letter stating her trial has been postponed several weeks as he reviews his office's position on the matter.
"I grabbed my kids and started praying," Allen said. "I was like, 'oh my God, maybe things can look up for mommy. Maybe mommy won't be going to jail.'"
U.S. & World
Stories that affect your life across the U.S. and around the world.
On October 1, 2013, Allen, 27, was pulled over in Atlantic County, New Jersey for a routine traffic stop. When the officer approached her vehicle, the mother of two informed him that she had a handgun in the car and presented her concealed carry permit for Pennsylvania.
Allen quickly learned that her Pennsylvania gun license held no legal weight in New Jersey when instead of getting a traffic ticket, she was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and armor penetrating bullets. She now faces a possible 3 ½ to ten years in state prison.
Records show the director of Atlantic County’s Pretrial Intervention recommended Allen for the program. Entry into the program would have kept Allen from serving jail time and expunged her record of any charges.
McClain and Superior Court Judge Michael Donio denied Allen’s acceptance into PTI however. The prosecutor and judge have received criticism for allowing NFL player Ray Rice into that same program after he punched his fiancée in an elevator at the Revel Casino, knocking her unconscious.
The Atlantic City Press reports McClain sent a letter to Donio asking that Allen's case be adjourned to allow a review. Donio granted the request, according to the Atlantic City Press. Allen's trial has now been rescheduled from October 6 to October 20 as McClain reviews her case.
Since her story first surfaced, Allen has received support from various groups and individuals. The New Jersey Second Amendment Society recently put up billboards in Atlantic County which read, "Free Shaneen From Unfair Prosecution."