New Jersey's strict gun laws are leading to the arrest and in some cases incarceration of people for possessing guns they are legally entitled to own.
Shaneen Allen, a 27-year-old mother of two from Philadelphia, Pa., with no prior criminal record, was driving to Atlantic City in neighboring New Jersey in October when she was pulled over by police.
She was carrying a gun she had purchased legally a week earlier for protection after being robbed twice, and had a concealed carry permit from Pennsylvania.
Nevertheless, Allen was arrested in New Jersey for unlawful possession of a weapon and is facing three years in prison.
"I'm very much worried because I have two kids who depend on me," Allen, who is hoping for leniency from the judge in the case, told Fox News.
New Jersey resident Brian Aitken was arrested in 2009 while transporting locked up and unloaded guns legally purchased in Colorado from one residence to another, and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
His sentence was commuted by Gov. Chris Christie in 2010 after Aitken had served four months, but the commutation does not expunge his conviction and as a result he has been denied access to his young son for the past four years.
"Until my case is resolved I can't vote or pass a background check. It's next to impossible to get a credit card or even sign a lease for an apartment," writes Aitken, who wants to take his case to the Supreme Court. "I can't leave the county and I can't see my son.
"Tens of thousands of gun owners in New Jersey remain at risk of becoming thrown in prison simply for transporting something they legally own from one residence to another."
New Jersey's gun law was changed in August, increasing the mandatory minimum sentence for "unlawful possession of a firearm" from 36 months to 42 months, and in some cases a conviction can bring a prison sentence of 10 to 20 years.
Another victim of the state's draconian gun laws is Steffon Josey-Davis, a security guard who was arrested in September 2013 for possessing a legally owned gun.
Josey-Davis was pulled over on his way to his job with an armored car company and his loaded gun was found in his glove compartment. He was arrested because he did not yet have a permit to carry the gun. The permit was pending and due to be approved the week he was arrested.
He was charged with having a handgun in the glove compartment of his vehicle. State law stipulates that drivers can transport a gun only in the trunk, unloaded.
He accepted a deal for a year of probation to avoid a sentence that could have been as long as 10 years.
Josey-Davis, who had no previous criminal record, is now a convicted felon and unable to secure a job.
He has hired attorney Evan Nappen to appeal his conviction.
"This is a case of a law-abiding citizen being turned into a criminal by New Jersey gun laws," Nappen told Fox News.
"New Jersey's gun control laws are out of control. It's clearly evident they need serious reform."
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