The Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Josh Huff found himself in quite the predicament Tuesday morning. Some time after leaving the Eagles NovaCare training facility, Huff was pulled over for speeding on the Walt Whitman bridge.
The bridge connects Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where Huff lives with his new wife, who’s also pregnant. Huff explained to media today that he was in a hurry to get home to his family. That’s why he was speeding.
When Huff was pulled over DRPA officers smelled a marijuana odor being emitted from the vehicle. Huff produced a small container containing a small amount of “personal use” marijuana, only a misdemeanor offense. But the real problem was, Huff told officers he had a weapon, as any responsible gun owner is supposed to do when pulled over by law enforcement. The 9mm Smith and Wesson that Huff has a Texas permit for was on his door panel. Along with the gun was a magazine with six hollow point rounds. The ammunition is legal in Pennsylvania where the NovaCare facility is located, and Pennsylvania recognizes his Texas permit. Huff’s permit is also recognized is Deleware.
The problem is, he was on the New Jersey side of the bridge. New Jersey has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. NJ does not recognize any gun permits but those issued by New Jersey only. New Jersey also has a ban on hollow point ammunition.
New Jersey has a mandatory minimum three years prison term for illegal firearms possession. The hollow point ammunition doesn’t help his case either.
If Josh Huff were pulled over in Pennsylvania, he would have been ticketed for speeding, DUI and possession of personal use marijuana and most likely have to pay a small fine. But since Huff was pulled over in New Jersey jurisdiction, things are much much worse for him.
Josh Huff spent most of the day in Camden custody before posting $25,000 bail. Huff was served with two warrants and a summons to appear in court on November 15 at 1:30 pm EST.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Huff has not been punished and will play Sunday versus the New York Giant. Pederson said if all the gathered information warrants punishment against Josh Huff, they will take action, but he wants all the facts first. As of this morning, the NFL office had not contacted the Eagles.
Pederson had a press conference this morning and fielded questions about the incident. Pederson used words like disappointed and let down. He came off more like a father who’s child got in trouble rather than an employer who’s employee had committed a crime. I think it shows how much compassion Pederson has for his players.
Josh Huff told the media after practice Wednesday that he had to a firearm for protection, he wants to prevent any danger to himself, his new wife or his son. Huff said it is common for professional athletes to carry firearms for self-defense. Huff claims not to carry at the NovaCare practice facility or any other Eagles facilities.
Huff grew up in Houston and has been the victim of violence in the past and said he’s lost friends to gun violence and is firm in his beliefs in self-defense and protecting his family.
Taking in the whole situation, I think Huff should have been more responsible about his firearm. Yes, I know it’s almost impossible for normal citizens to get a firearms permit in New Jersey, But did he at least try?
If Josh Huff tried to obtain a permit for his firearm in New Jersey and was denied, what sort of predicament does that place him in? He wants to obey the law and protect his family at the same time. Something has to give.
Josh Huff is young, by all accounts he is trying to grow up fast and become a good husband to his wife and a good father to his son, but old habits die hard. The marijuana use is illegal. It will get him suspended from the NFL and Roger Goodell will surely deal with that aspect of this case soon enough. But did Josh Huff do something so horribly wrong that he should go to prison?
Tho firearm he had was perfectly legal on the other side of the bridge. You cannot fault a man with Josh Huff’s background for trying to defend his family. It is human nature.