Sunday, 20 July 2014

"Hard-working Single Mom" Arrested for Admitting to Owning Handgun

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It’s no secret that the Obama administration is determined to disarm the American people (at least the law-abiding ones). A recent story out of Philadelphia makes it very clear that the threat to the right to keep and bear arms is not confined to the federal government.

As first reported by a Philadelphia TV news station:

A single mother from Philadelphia could be facing up to three years in prison for what she and her attorney say was her effort to be honest with New Jersey authorities.

On Oct. 1, 2013, Shaneen 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.

There are so many violations of the right to keep and bear arms present in just this brief rehearsal of the events leading up to Allen’s unlawful arrest.

Although many conservative news outlets have reported on this shameful misuse of police power and disregard of one of Allen’s fundamental liberties, most have ignored the fact that concealed carry permits represent the reduction of what is a God-given right to a government-approved privilege.

As reported by the news channel, Allen’s lawyer is not backing down from this fight.

"She voluntarily and honestly told the officer that she had her licensed handgun and gave him her license to carry," Allen's attorney Evan Nappen said, as quoted in the story.

"She’s a hard-working single mom. It’s really crazy that New Jersey is taking someone who’s got no criminal record and was doing nothing wrong — other than a minor traffic violation — and making it into a felony-level conviction with minimal mandatory time."

Nappen is an expert in Second Amendment defense, but even he demonstrates the problem plaguing Americans: looking to Washington, D.C. for permission to do that which is beyond their authority to rule.

In the article, Nappen is quoted saying he “believes a federal law mandating concealed carry license reciprocity among states might be a fix for the issue.”

Again, our Republic was not founded by men and women who looked to government for the green light for the exercise of timeless rights that had been enjoyed by their ancestors for centuries.

Later in the piece, the tone turns from being one of outrage at the mistreatment of “hard working single mom” trying to defend her family to a promotion of a proposed federal law that would force states to recognize concealed carry permits issued by other states.

University of Pennsylvania Law School professor Kermit Roosevelt said he considers a federal carry law a good idea, too.

"I think, as a general matter, a federal law would be a good idea,” Roosevelt said.

This would not solve the problem and, in fact, would be unconstitutional.

The Second Amendment very clearly states that the “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Shall not be infringed, not “shall not be infringed” unless people prefer uniform laws that govern across state lines.

We have lost our way. We impotently rant about the tyranny of the federal government and its consolidation of power, yet we focus our efforts to restore liberty and the balance of power on the election of congressmen and presidents. We inexplicably look to Washington when we should be rebuilding our states and shoring up their sovereignty against the ferocious federal power grab that is only just beginning.

States are not left defenseless in the battle to fight the cancer of consolidation. There is a remedy — a “rightful remedy” — that can immediately retrench the federal government’s constant overreaching. This antidote can stop the poison of all unconstitutional federal acts and executive orders at the state borders and prevent them from working on the people.

The remedy for federal tyranny is nullification, and applying it liberally will leave our states and our nation healthier and happier.

If nullification is to be successfully deployed and defended, states lawmakers must remember that the Constitution is a creature of the states and that the federal government was given very few and very limited powers over objects of national importance. Any act of Congress, the courts, or the president that exceeds that small scope is null, void, and of no legal effect. No exceptions. James Madison said it best in The Federalist, No. 45: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

The states created the federal government, set the boundaries of its power, and reserved to themselves all other rights not specifically delegated to the new national authority. The contract containing the rights and responsibilities of the parties to this contract that created the federal government is called the Constitution.

The bottom line is that looking to the federal government for a law forcing states to do something that is explicitly outside the federal government’s authority is unconstitutional and will only produce more top-down tyranny, leaving states as nothing more than administrative units of an all-powerful central government.

In the case of the arrest of Shaneen Allen, she is justified — legally and morally — in purchasing and carrying a weapon for the protection of her children. The violent crime rate in some parts of Philadelphia is disturbing (as many as 10.3 violent crimes per 1,000 residents) and no parent should be condemned for doing everything possible to keep children safe.

Allen will appear in court on August 5 to enter a plea on the charges filed against her. Her attorney informed local news that he will seek a dismissal of all charges.

Photo of Shaneen Allen with her children: Facebook

Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American and travels nationwide speaking on nullification, the Second Amendment, the surveillance state, and other constitutional issues.  Follow him on Twitter @TNAJoeWolverton and he can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.m.

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