His dreams of becoming a police officer were dashed when an arrest two years ago for carrying a legally-owned firearm made him a convicted felon, but now that he's been pardoned, Steffon Josey-Davis is fielding job offers from around the country.
Just one week after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pardoned him of all criminal charges, the 24-year-old told FoxNews.com he's received encouraging emails and even job offers from police departments as far away as Colorado. Many became aware of Josey-Davis' plight after several stories by FoxNews.com described how an honest mistake with a legally owned gun nearly made him ineligible to wear a badge. After having his record wiped clean,the North Brunswick man finds himself a wanted man - by police departments.
"I just feel he deserves a chance."
- Chief Michael Mier, Copley Police Department
"They saw that I was innocent and they saw my dedication to become something," Josey-Davis said of the offers. "I feel so blessed."
When Josey-Davis was pulled over by police along a New Jersey road in September 2013, the young security guard never imagined his legally owned gun would be confiscated.
Josey-Davis' nightmare began on the morning of Sept. 20, 2013, when he was preparing to leave his North Brunswick, N.J., home for a job as an armed security guard with Loomis Armored, a company responsible for transporting money to banks.
While unloading his 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun inside his car, his 6-year-old sister wandered into the family's garage, startling Josey-Davis. He quickly tucked the firearm inside the glove compartment and out of the child's view, according to his account.
Hours later, while driving at night with his girlfriend in Highland Park, he was pulled over. Josey-Davis says he was going below the speed limit.
Because he did not yet have a permit to carry the gun -- which was stored, still loaded, in the glove compartment -- he was arrested.
"They handcuffed me and charged me with unlawful possession of a firearm -- a second-degree felony," he said.
As a result, Josey-Davis had a criminal record and was unable to secure a job -- and his dreams of becoming a police officer were crushed. Josey-Davis sought a pardon from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie after mounting a robust social media campaign, including a Change.org petition that has attracted more than 85,000 signatures to date.
He also hired Evan Nappen, a prominent gun rights attorney, to appeal his conviction.
"This is a case of a law-abiding citizen being turned into a criminal by New Jersey gun laws," Nappen told FoxNews.com in an interview last March.
After a careful review of the case, Christie announced last week he pardoned Josey-Davis of all criminal charges.
Over the next few days, Josey-Davis said he received messages from police departments touched by his story -- some offering him a job as a police officer.
One e-mail came the Aurora Police Department in Colorado, he said, and another from Chief Michael Mier of the Copley Police in Copley, Ohio.
"My message to him was very simple -- should you decide to relocate out of New Jersey and come to Ohio, feel free to apply for a position here," Mier told FoxNews.com.
"I would be more than happy to give him the opportunity to go through the application process," said Mier. "He handled himself very well. He's a nice young man and I just felt bad for him."
"I just feel he deserves a chance," he said.