NJ Armed Guards Subject to Criminal Weapons Laws
New Jersey has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and no one knows that better than Steffon Josey-Davis, who was pulled over by police for an expired registration in September, 2013. What should have ended with a traffic ticket ultimately resulted in a felony conviction for the 24 year old New Jersey man.
Josey-Davis was an armed guard for the Loomis Armored Corporation and had purchased a 9mm Smith and Wesson gun as required by his job. Earlier in the day, he was unloading the gun in his vehicle, which was parked in his garage, when his six year old sister suddenly appeared. So as not to alarm her, Josey-Davis immediately put the loaded pistol in his glove box and gave his attention to the little girl. While out in his car later that evening, he was pulled over by the police for a routine traffic stop.
When Josey-Davis opened his glove compartment to retrieve his registration, he saw the gun and immediately handed it over to the officer. He was given a ticket for his expired registration and was instructed to reclaim the firearm the following Monday at the Police Station. When he got there with proof of his employment and the receipts for the purchase of his gun, he was handcuffed, put under arrest, and charged with a second degree felony of illegal possession of a firearm.
While Josey-Davis definitely broke New Jersey law by having a loaded firearm concealed inside his vehicle, he was charged with illegal possession because he did not yet have a permit to carry the gun. The penalty for this felony carried a sentence of up to ten years in the state penitentiary. He pleaded guilty to the charge to avoid a potential jail sentence, and was placed on a year’s probation. His felony conviction makes him ineligible to keep his job with Loomis Armored, and prevents him from pursuing his goal of becoming a police officer.
Convicted Felon Petitions for a Full Pardon
As bad as the situation turned out for Josey-Davis, he’s not going down without a fight. After getting 85,000 signatures on a petition posted on change.org and hiring a high profile gun rights attorney, Josey-Davis petitioned New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for a full pardon. His attorney claims that his client should have never been charged with illegal possession since during the time of his arrest there was a little-known amnesty program in place. The program was aimed at encouraging New Jersey residents to turn in their firearms, whether they were legal or illegal, without fear of gun possession charges.
Prosecutors on the case deny the existence of the amnesty program, and support the actions of the police in confiscating the firearm and arresting Josey-Davis. New Jersey law prohibits anyone from carrying a concealed weapon inside their vehicle. A driver can only carry a firearm that is unloaded and secured in the trunk of their car. They argue that the law applies to this case and the conviction should not be pardoned because Josey-Davis pleaded guilty and accepted his probation.
Governor Christie has acknowledged receipt of the petition to pardon Josey-Davis, but could not comment on the status of the case at this time.
Cherry Hill Criminal Lawyer, Jill R. Cohen, offers Legal Counsel and Representation to Those Charged with Criminal Offenses
Cherry Hill criminal lawyer, Jill R. Cohen, has been representing individuals charged with criminal offenses for over 30 years. If you or someone you know is facing a criminal charge in New Jersey call the Westmont criminal law firm of Jill R. Cohen or complete an online contact form to schedule a consultation today. We serve clients in Camden City and throughout New Jersey, including Westmont, Haddonfield, Cherry Hill, Camden County, Burlington County, Gloucester County, Mercer County, Cumberland County, Salem County, and Atlantic County.