Full Faith and Credit Clause doesn’t Equal Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Up until around ten years ago, I simply did not use social media. I did not use it if for any other reason than I did not know that it existed. My first introduction to online forums was at #CalGuns.nuts. You don’t have to imagine how that went.

I have to admit that ten years ago I was shocked by the depth and breadth of so much stupidity and depravity in one place. One would think that many buckets of pus could only be found in the darkest, evilest, most remote corner of the dark web. Unfortunately, these diseased creatures are everywhere.

I guess the Devil ran out of room in Hell and is using the Earth for excess storage, again.

One of the truly bizarre legal theories to come out of the diseased minds of these concealed carriers is that California must recognize concealed carry permits issued by other states because of the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution.

I had a vague recollection of a couple of NRA hacks making that same argument in the mid or late 1990s. But it never went anywhere for the obvious reason that the Full Faith and Credit Clause does not require states to recognize licenses from other states, it never has. If it did then a license to practice medicine in one state would be valid in every state. And if that were the case, every quack on the planet would head to the state with the lowest standards for getting a medical license.

Indeed, the quacks would have an incentive to lobby the legislature to make the standards even lower. The legislative incentive to lower the standards is the same in every government setting, bribes.

Instead, the reverse is true. Whether you want to call them bribes or campaign contributions or donations to their favorite charity, license holders lobby legislatures to make it more difficult to obtain a license, thereby reducing the number of people licensed to practice in a certain field, such as medicine, which in turn allows those with a license to charge more for their service than they would be able to charge if there were more people licensed to practice in the profession.

It’s basic supply and demand.

Why else do you think the government employee unions dominate states like California?

I have three degrees including an M.B.A. along with nearly two years of post-graduate courses in Computer Science and Engineering. I can teach graduate-level courses in Computer Science and Engineering in Oregon, and I can teach graduate-level courses in Business Administration in California (the state where I earned my M.B.A.).

Despite all of my degrees and all of my years of work experience, I am not allowed to teach any subject in a public high school in California without going through the credentialing process.

Don’t misunderstand me, I have no desire to teach at a K-12 school or at any school. As a graduate student back in the 1980s, I lectured a course in Operations Research for one Semester. Never again will I put myself through that torture again. I will be living out of a cardboard box beneath a freeway overpass before I ever again step in front of a classroom of students, even if those students are all adults, many of them middle-aged, as mine were.

The K-12 public school employee unions are very powerful unions in California. That is why someone like me can teach an aspiring Ph.D., in graduate school but I am not allowed to teach a high school student basic bookkeeping, or even how to balance a checkbook.

I live in California now but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I can teach graduate-level courses in Computer Science and Engineering in California because I am qualified to do so in Oregon. And if I were to move back to Oregon, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I can teach graduate courses in Business Administration in Oregon because I am qualified to do so in California.

The Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Federal Constitution does not require Oregon to recognize the M.B.A. I earned from a California State University.

The Full Faith and Credit Clause does not require California to make it easy or make it hard to obtain a license to do anything. If California wanted to, it could require one to be a California resident in order to obtain a concealed carry permit.

If California wanted to, it could eliminate concealed carry licenses altogether. California could stop issuing concealed carry permits and California could continue to refuse to recognize a carry permit from every state.

In January of this year, a New Jersey lawyer found someone foolish enough to buy into the crap that the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution means he has a right to carry his handgun into states that don’t recognize his carry permit. Or was it his client who was peddling the crap? I don’t know who brought the shovel but it is the lawyer who is the one who shovels the shit, even if it is his own shit. But it is the client who is obligated to pay the other side’s costs and attorney fees if the judge doesn’t like the shit being shoveled at him.

In any event, the Joisey lawyer filed a Federal lawsuit in January and he filed an Amended Complaint in April. In May, the State of New Jersey filed its motion to dismiss.

I suspect that rather than risk getting the lawsuit dismissed with prejudice and in order to avoid getting hit with paying court costs and attorney fees, the lawyer voluntarily dismissed his lawsuit.

Whatever the reason, the lawyer dismissed his own lawsuit. He took his shovel and went home.

If you are one of those people, or you know one of those people who think the Full Faith and Credit Clause means a state has to recognize the concealed carry permits from other states, I want you to read docket #28, the motion to dismiss, at the link below.

A common refrain from the concealed carriers is, “States have to recognize my driver’s license and so they have to recognize my concealed carry permit!” Often, they will give the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Federal Constitution as the reason why. Far more often than not, they don’t know why their driver’s license is valid in another state. As with most simple-minded folks, they believe that if they yell for something loud enough and for long enough then they will get what they want. I blame their parents.

Surprise, surprise! Other states do not have to recognize your driver’s license.

States generally recognize the driver’s license from other states by mutual agreement but even then states can place limitations on the licenses, and even refuse to recognize the license if, for example, State A gives licenses to drivers at an earlier age than State B then the license will be valid in State A but not State B, unless State B wants to recognize the license from State A,

I don’t know of any state that does under that circumstance.

Regardless, there is nothing the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution can do to compel other states to recognize another state’s concealed carry permit or driver’s license, or University degree, or law degree or license to practice law.

Of course, a lawyer should know that his law license issued by one state is not valid in every other state. A law license issued in one state isn’t even valid in every Federal court.

There was a lawsuit filed last year that sought to overturn California’s handgun Open Carry bans. The lead plaintiff tried and tried to find a California lawyer to take his case but couldn’t. In the end, he hired a lawyer from New York. She had to get permission from the Federal district court judge and she had to associate with a lawyer licensed to practice law in California who is familiar with the Federal court rules for that district.

The Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Federal Constitution does not require any court, state or Federal, to recognize a license from outside its jurisdiction.

When I heard that the Jersey lawyer filed his lawsuit (he had been talking up this Full Faith and Credit bullshit before he filed), I was not shocked. I was not surprised. I was not angry. After reading the briefs filed in one frivolous gun case after another and reading more orders dismissing cases and reading more judgments against people challenging gun laws than I can remember, nonsense like that Full Faith and Credit lawsuit has as much emotional impact on me as my watching paint dry or my watching a boring rerun of something I have seen 100 times before.

Docket #28 – Motion to dismiss

MCDOWELL v. GREWAL (3:20-cv-00433) District Court, D. New Jersey