This comes to Hot Air via e-mail from Gov. Chris Christie’s office. Marine Sgt. Joshua Velez received a pre-emptive pardon today after an arrest this past Labor Day weekend. Velez, who works as a military recruiter, had a permit to carry a weapon in Massachusetts but not in New Jersey. The following bullet points come from the governor’s office:
· Joshua Velez is a 26 year old Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, who currently resides in Davers, Massachusetts. Velez serves as a Recruiter out of offices in Boston, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
· During the 2015 Labor Day Weekend, Joshua Velez and his cousin visited his brother, who resides in North Bergen. That Saturday evening Velez drove the group to a restaurant for dinner and was stopped for failing to use a turn signal during the ride back to his brother’s residence. During the traffic stop, the police officer discovered Velez’s unloaded Ruger 9MM handgun, which he inadvertently brought to New Jersey in the locked glove compartment of his truck.
· Velez, who lawfully purchased and is licensed to carry the handgun in Massachusetts, cooperated with the police and identified the location of his carry license and the ammunition, which he had stored separately in the vehicle. Velez was arrested and charged with Unlawful Possession of a Handgun and Possession of Hollow Point Bullets in the State of New Jersey.
Christie has had issues with gun owners and gun-rights groups during his time as governor. This pardon and an earlier one certainly seem aimed at making amends to some extent. Regardless of motive, it appears that Christie has used his authority wisely to correct an injustice before it takes up more of this young man’s life. Good for him.
The pardon itself can be read here.