- Associated Press - Monday, January 12, 2015

NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) - A man who took a plea deal after he left his legally owned gun in his car’s glove compartment is hoping that Gov. Chris Christie will pardon him so he can resume his dream of becoming a police officer.

NJ.com (http://bit.ly/1xhavvD) reports that 24-year-old Steffon Josey-Davis made the request in paperwork he filed last week.

Josey-Davis was charged in September 2013 after a traffic stop. When he reached into his glove compartment to get his vehicle documents, he realized his 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun was also there.

He told the officers about the gun and they seized it without charging him. But when he went to pick it up a couple days later, he learned he was being charged.

Fearing as much as 10 years in state prison for violating New Jersey’s strict gun control laws, Josey-Davis pleaded guilty to a weapons possession charge and received a year of probation. But the guilty plea bars him from most jobs and has derailed his bid to become a cop.

“It’s like I’m living in a dream,” he said. “My whole life was about doing the right thing. Now I’m a convicted felon. A simple mistake can just ruin your life.”

New Jersey requires that guns be carried unloaded and contained in a closed and fastened case, gun box or securely tied package or locked in the trunk. The state also imposes strict limits on how and where weapons can be transported, and it doesn’t recognize carry permits issued by other states.

Josey-Davis, who was working as an armored car driver at the time, said he had the gun with him because he planned to go to a gun range with co-workers. He was checking his gun in the family garage when his younger sister entered, and he put it in the glove compartment so she wouldn’t see it.

But instead of going to the range, he went to meet his fiance to celebrate their anniversary. The traffic stop occurred as he was headed home to North Brunswick.

Prosecutors and a Christie spokesman would not comment on the matter or Josey-Davis’ bid for a pardon.

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Information from: NJ.com, http://www.nj.com

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