Is carrying a gun worse than beating your wife?

Allen lives in Philadelphia, right across the river from New Jersey. She has a Pennsylvania permit to carry a handgun. She thought it was recognized in New Jersey, just as it is recognized in over 30 other states. She was wrong. When she told the officer that she had the gun, she was arrested.

Now she faces a felony conviction and a mandatory 42 months in prison. Both Donio and McClain have been unwilling to dismiss the charges, or send Allen to a pretrial diversion program. They seem to want to make an example of her.

The problem is, she’s being punished for something the Constitution says — and the Supreme Court has agreed — is a constitutional right. And the super-stiff penalties and abusive prosecution she’s experiencing are pretty clearly intended to chill people from exercising that right. The Washington Post’s Radley Balko quotes anti-gun activist Bryan Miller gloating over this result: “Fortunately, the notoriety of this case will make it less likely Pennsylvanians will carry concealed and loaded handguns in New Jersey, thereby making them and the Garden State safer from gun violence,”