On Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Michael Donio declined to dismiss a case for unlawful possession of a firearm against Philadelphia resident Shaneen Allen. Allen was arrested during a traffic stop last October after she volunteered to the officer that she had a firearm in her car. She mistakenly believed her Pennsylvania license to carry firearms was valid in New Jersey. This was hardly an unreasonable assumption, considering that Pennsylvania concealed carry licensees can lawfully carry in over 30 other states.
Nevertheless, Judge Donio sided with prosecutors in deciding that Allen was not covered by a 180-day gun amnesty period for the surrender of firearms in New Jersey that happened to be occurring at the time of her arrest. The judge also refused to overrule the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s decision to deny Allen a pre-trial intervention program that could have helped her avoid a criminal conviction.