I had originally written in The Hill about this major victory for 26-year-old Steffon Josey-Davis, but they chose a different title unrelated to the article to generate more clicks. So I chose to publish an article about Steffon desiring to serve this country in law enforcement.
Josey-Davis is a former private security guard from North Brunswick, NJ who will now serve as a police officer in Baltimore, Maryland. His case first garnered attention after he was arrested for possession of a firearm–a legally-owned Smith & Wesson M&P Shield–on September 20, 2013. His crime? Leaving it in his glove compartment.
Following that ordeal, Josey-Davis was treated like a criminal since New Jersey boasts some of the country’s most Draconian gun laws in the books. Steffon couldn’t apply for most jobs and was viewed in the same vein as a harsh criminal because of the felony charge placed on him. It wasn’t until June 2015 when he was pardoned by Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ).
“To my knowledge, right after I was pardoned by Governor Christie, I didn’t attempt to purchase any firearms since my arrest. I went to purchase a Savage Axis 30-06 on January 28th. I was delayed for a day or two and I was then approved after I made a few phone calls to my lawyer’s office as well as the governor’s office,” said Josey-Davis in an email.
“This is a victory for our Second Amendment community,” he said. “Someone who legally possessed a firearm, losing his Second Amendment rights, becoming a felon, being pardoned and getting his rights to purchase firearms again in the state of New Jersey is very rare.”
Steffon was kind enough to allow me to ask him some questions about him becoming a police officer with the Baltimore Police Department. Below are his responses:
RST: Do you believe many innocent people are criminalized by gun control policies just as you were?
SJD: Yes, this isn’t a rare situation that takes place. Thousands of people fall victim to draconian gun laws every day. This victory story just shines light on a perfect case that resulted in a victorious outcome.RST: What does being a police officer mean to you? SJD: Being in law enforcement is a lifestyle. You have to want to help people. You have to have the patience and most importantly, the integrity. Police officers are trusted to keep the public safe. Having that opportunity is an honor.RST: What do you look forward to most about becoming a police officer?
SJD: I want my story to inspire our younger generation to prosper. It’s the perfect example of strength. It shows them with hard work and dedication anything is possible. Just being a role model to the public. I’m also writing a book called “The Pardon” that explains being prosecuted, to being pardoned, then entering law enforcement which has always been a lifelong dream. I’m happy to have this opportunity.
Steffon is in the process of writing a book about the legal ordeals he faced called, “The Pardon” due out in Summer 2017. You can support his writing efforts here.