Six years ago, active duty Marine policeman brought his licensed, legal sidearm into New Jersey. That action led to him being sentenced to three years in prison. However, Governor Chris Christie finally felt enough heat and commuted his sentence on Friday.
Marine Sergeant Hisashi Pompey’s decorated and honorable military police career was ended when he was convicted for simply having his legally purchased and licensed gun with him the State of New Jersey. In full violation of the protections of the God-given rights of the people to keep and bear arms, New Jersey was ready to throw this veteran in prison for something he allegedly served to protect, a right.
According to WUSA, in 2011, Pompey left Quantico, Virginia and went to New Jersey to visit family. While attending a night club with friends, then-active duty sergeant, who was still in uniform, went to grab his bag from a friend’s car. At that time, another friend emerged from a fight with blood on his face, grabbed the gun from Pompey’s holster and carried it into a confrontation with police, according to ABC11.
No shots were fired, but Pompey and his friend were arrested.
“We’re all humans,” Pompey said. “Humans make mistakes.”
“I’m not a troublemaker,” he said. “I don’t cause trouble. I don’t do anything bad. It was just a common mistake that I made.”
Indeed, if government recognized the rights of its citizens rather than infringing on them, the fact that he carried a gun from one state to another would not even be an issue.
Pompey served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was decorated with medals of bravery.
Mr. Pompey also has a wife and young children.
His wife, Stacey Pompey, said, “It’s hard to process that a man who served our country, who’s almost given his life for the country, is now having to possibly go to jail for a country that he fought for. You’re supposed to look out for your veterans and take care of them, but this same country that he fought for is sending him to jail, and it’s hard to sleep at night thinking this is the country I live in.”
Pompey is also pursuing his engineering degree at the University of Maryland.
Pompey was to report for his prison sentence on Monday, but Christie commuted his sentence on Friday. However, Governor Christie left his conviction intact.
Mr. Pompey’s friend took a plea deal.
This is another example of a stupid law being written that alleges to cut down on crime, but ends up harming law-abiding citizens like Sergeant Pompey. According to ABC7:
To combat gang violence, New Jersey lawmakers several years ago tacked on mandatory sentences for gun-related offenses.
No longer do you have to be in the process of committing a crime with a gun to end up behind bars, simply possessing an un-permitted gun in the state can make you a felon and a prisoner, even if you’re like decorated Marine Sergeant Pompey.
The judge had no discretion in the sentencing because his weapons charge fell under the state’s Graves Act.
While Pompey and his family are grateful for the commute, as they should be, there is a serious problem when you write pretended laws that infringe on the rights of good upstanding people and turn them into criminals in the sight of the state.
A full pardon remains under review.