Perhaps, as the national outcry grows, the New Jersey justice system will do right by Allen. But the larger problem remains: While the courts have recognized that gun ownership is a normal, protected American activity, gun owners face a patchwork of laws that in many states impose Draconian penalties on people if, like Allen, they make an honest, harmless mistake. Allen is just the latest to be victimized by New Jersey officials. Travelers Brian Aitken and Greg Revell, suffered the same fate as Allen.
Under the Constitution, Congress has the power to protect civil rights via legislation, and this seems like a good subject for action. I would suggest a law providing that when people who may legally own guns under federal law are charged with possessing or carrying them in violation of state law, the maximum penalty should be a fine of no more than $500. This would allow states a reasonable degree of regulation, without subjecting individuals to life-ruining consequences just because some politico wants to make a point.
How about it, Congress? Isn’t one Shaneen Allen case enough?
This Congress isn’t interested in guaranteeing constitutional civil rights. It’s more into destroying them.