Featured Alex Kincaid – The Lawyer and the Teacher Mike Landers March 7, 2017 Join the Conversation You Can Defend Yourself, But Who Will Defend Your Right to Defend Yourself? Enter Former Trial Lawyer and Private Practice Owner Alex Kincaid, a Second Amendment Proponent and the Author of a New Book Designed to Help Firearms Owners Educate Themselves to Become the Answer to that Question. Photos by Q Concepts Whoever said “experience is the best teacher” clearly hasn't met Alex Kincaid. She is a trial lawyer, with nearly two decades of experience. She is a frequently requested public speaker, and legal analyst for radio and television having appeared on Fox News. She is a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, primarily because first and foremost, she's a firearms owner. The combination of the last two give way to Alex's latest title, published author, as she has recently completed an incredible book called Infringed. Billed as “the gun owner's guide to gun rights,” the 317-page bible is the culmination of Alex's law career as a Second Amendment specialist, written as an easy-to-digest guide in succinct chapters aimed at owner education. “I want to reach as many gun owners as I can,” says the daughter of a law enforcement officer. “Stop and think. I hope they will remember reading things and say maybe I can't do this, I should look it up, or I better ask what the laws are in my home state.” Alex believes the inconsistencies of gun laws from state to state have a lot to do with why she has seen and defended so many owners who did not understand that they were in violation of law within their actions. “When I teach the legal classes, the joke is not whether or not you break a law, it's how many laws you've broken? That's the level of confusion that's out there,” explains Kincaid. At home on the ranch in Idaho with husband, Eric, and dogs Spot and Stuka. As a trial lawyer, she shares a certain kinship with owners who may not understand everything they should regarding the laws within their particular state. “When I was prosecuting, I had threats made against me. I would have to walk from the courthouse, which was a gun-free zone. I remember feeling so vulnerable because I couldn't carry a gun inside the courthouse.” Channeling that vulnerability made Alex understand some owners don't know exactly where and when they are permitted to carry by law, or what level of extent the law will protect them in a situation of crisis. With so many laws simply based on things like transportation of firearms, and sales and possession, Kincaid seeks to educate owners about laws that seem more destined to impact common citizens than criminals. “We shouldn't be making criminals out of gun owners,” says Kincaid, with a taut emphasis betraying her years in front of a jury. Due to her strong conviction in the Second Amendment and her commitment to the firearms community, Alex has dedicated her life to education, offering specialized legal advice for owners through her private practice, Alex Kincaid Law. She has affiliated herself with grassroots organizations like the law enforcement-oriented CCW-Safe and has a partnership with Orchid Advisors, which helps gun owners and gun-based businesses to become aware of laws and regulations they must follow. She spends countless hours networking online and getting feedback from Infringed, and she has a YouTube channel with a new show called “The AK Show,” which will keep her followers up to date on the gun control news, and will also feature interesting topics beyond the law. “I hope this will be a way that Infringed can live on — the book gives the basics, but the show will help people stay current,” says an enthusiastic Kincaid. The Idaho-based lawyer took some time to sit down with RECOIL to explain why she is so committed to defending those who are just trying to defend themselves. In her home office, where Infringed was written; FN FS 2000 with white Cerakote. RECOIL: Why did you want to write Infringed? Alex Kincaid: After I went into private practice, most of my clients tended to have the same issues, concerns and questions about what their rights were as a gun owner and what they could and couldn't do with a firearm. I wanted to reach beyond the states where I can practice law and try to help educate as many gun owners as possible. The book is an attempt to try to help people understand this super complex area so that they don't end up losing their gun rights, which I have seen. Given the complexity of varying laws, how did you choose what went into the book and what didn't? AK: I think my clients and my students gave me the roadmap for that because as I paid attention to their questions, I figured out that their questions would actually be parallel to what most people would ask. Most gun owners seem to have similar concerns and questions. You did a great job of taking some very high-level information and making it a concise read. How did you approach the language of the book? AK: I think lawyers have a tendency to try and sound intelligent and spew case law and statutes, so while I was writing, I had to break it down a bit; I actually started writing it one way and ended up throwing it out the door and starting over. My goal was to make it digestible. It's so complex, I tried to give it some interesting titles, put it in words that people use when they ask me the questions, and make the chapters very short, but at the same time, help people spot the issues. I've been a trial attorney almost my whole life and with the book I realized, I am talking to the jury; I'm not talking to the judge, I'm talking to the jury. I wanted to be able to explain it to the perspective of someone who did not having any formal legal education. How long did it take and when did you first get the idea to write the book? AK: It took years of listening to people, to gun owners to finally get the idea that, hey, I can reduce this to something I can send around the country; then probably about a year of outlining and thinking about it and a year and a half where I forced myself to find the time to spend nights and weekends to write it, because that was the hardest part. I started it with big long chapters, lumping a lot of stuff together, and I got about a third of the way done with it and threw it out the window and started over. I realized it was too much information, and I had to break it up so that people could actually pull the right information from the chapters. WWII collection includes a 1939 Mauser K98k with original Reichsadler insignia; American and German helmets, including a German helmet found near Bastogne with a hole in it, and a Panzer IV shell. Initially, you were a prosecuting attorney and now in many ways, you are on the defense side of things in terms of giving people the knowledge to protect themselves. How did that psychology change or when did that psychology change in your life? AK: I grew up in a law enforcement household, and my dad was in law enforcement for about 30 years, which is why I grew up with guns. When I decided to go to law school, which was in high school, I wanted to do the prosecution side of things because I believe in law enforcement and saw a lot of the stories he went through. I am affiliated with the Fraternal Order of Police, and that is contrary in the minds of some gun owners, especially in the minds of the hardcore Constitutionalists — they don't respect that. I don't go down that path; I am a heavy Second Amendment advocate, but I also have a huge respect for law enforcement and part of my practice is helping them. When I went into private practice, it was with the idea that I was going to help people avoid the courtroom, because I saw so much in the criminal justice system that I thought could be avoided if people just paid attention and did things a different way. My community was primarily seniors; we had a lot of retirees moving to the Oregon Coast from California. I saw a ton of elder abuse, some of the people who came through my door were law enforcement officers I worked with and gun owners who knew I was a Second Amendment advocate, and they wanted legal advice now that I wasn't in a government office anymore on gun-related issues and self-defense issues. So yeah its defense work in a way; it's gun related and it's Second Amendment related, and in my eyes, it's the side of justice and protection of people who are in the right and not the other way around. I had a number of people asking me how they could put me on retainer if they needed me. It started me down the whole path of wanting to help people prepare and not wind up in the government-controlled court system after a crisis happened. My practice has always had this element of education to it, but the cases that are criminal defense cases are cases where I am defending gun owners or representing law enforcement officers. With so much in the media about law enforcement and private citizens and gun rights, how do you prepare yourself when you're working on cases mentally in terms of not getting attached to a side, but really sticking to the Second Amendment and believing in what you believe in? AK: Sometimes I do get attached to my side, which helps me be a little more passionate [laughs] I can't say that I'm always neutral because I have gotten to the point where I enjoy the luxury of picking and choosing my cases, which you can do in private practice and not as a prosecutor. I do take on cases that I feel passionately about and that I know I should win for the client. There's one person I can discuss; he had come back from Iraq years ago, he was a soldier who was blown apart, with a broken back, had walked around the desert for 100 days with his equipment on, which actually kept his back together. When he needed multiple surgeries, the V.A. decided, “We are gonna revoke his gun rights because he needs a fiduciary.” I still battle on the Internet with people who think the statistics that have actually been founded by Congress in their investigations that our veterans are being treated poorly, being discriminated against, and losing their gun rights — there are people out there who think these scenarios are all made up and aren't true and they are 100-percent true! I lived this story with my client who came to me after trying to fix this on his own for a year, and it took up two years to get it straightened out, so I can't say that I am neutral in any way with the cases that I take on [laughs]. I hope that most people will try to get educated on the gun laws so that they never need me, but I can't say that I am always neutral. Shooting an MCM Firearms custom full-auto 5.56 with Leupold LCO optic and Gemtech suppressor on a hillside at her Idaho home. What about other aspects of the Second Amendment in the courtroom? How important is the full understanding of it to a trial for a defense attorney? AK: When I'm making recommendations for a self-defense attorney, I've gotten into arguments with other lawyers who have tried to scold me for suggesting that a good self-defense lawyer is going to also be an advocate for the Second Amendment. If you're anti-gun, you're not going to fight as hard for your client, if you are passionate about the right to self defense, you will fight that much harder. We live in a time where there are lawyers and judges who don't even understand the gun laws because they're so complex, I've seen them over and over again give the wrong advice, make the wrong decisions, and if you have someone who doesn't even believe in that kind of protection, why would you want that person on your side when there are other options? Do you have a percentage or a guess of how many trials you've seen that a person could have avoided serious penalties, had they just known a small detail? AK: The percentage is heavily weighted in favor of people who could've avoided issues with just a little more knowledge about the laws. I think back to when I was a college student with a firearm, I didn't know anything about the laws. I knew I had a gun for self-protection, but did I understand when I could actually pull the trigger? Absolutely not. Unfortunately this is pretty common, in the sense that there are many owners who think, “Well, if someone breaks in my house and tries to kill me, I'll shoot back,” but they really don't understand when they can actually take human life and defend themselves. The state line issue is one of the biggest issues I see, whether you're transferring or just travelling with your gun, that's when people get in big trouble. The inconsistency of gun laws seems to be a primary cause for confusion in this country. AK: The bottom line problem is that the gun laws are not inherently immoral or criminal conduct; they are restrictions on things we would do every day with our gun. If you pull the trigger into a crowd of people and shoot somebody, you know that's wrong; you violate the speed limit; you know that's wrong, you steal you know that's wrong, but driving with your legal AR from your home state into another state, or driving with certain ammunition from one state to another state; you're not hurting anybody, you're not intending to hurt anybody, you don't even stop to think about it and that's the problem. Courtesy Fox News Explain what you mean by “backdoor gun control?” AK: We have “out of control” gun control and that is the struggle. Laws that are punishing behavior that is not intended in any way to cause anybody any harm and doesn't all by itself cause anyone harm — if someone is not a criminal, but they let a license expire, why not just let them renew the license? If they take a gun into the airport and are a law abiding citizen and not a criminal, and obviously didn't mean to do it, why isn't the $3,000 fine enough? Isn't that a deterrent? If I'm prosecuting a case, and it's costing taxpayer money, is there a benefit to doing this? If there isn't then why are we going after somebody? To me, it's backdoor gun control. The field is full of anti-gun prosecutors who hate guns, and they don't think people should have guns, and they use this opportunity to take guns away from people, because the minute it's a crime … it's backdoor gun control and people are losing gun rights. What do you think is the biggest obstacle to gun ownership rights education? AK: People are scared; I think that's the problem. They don't know where to get the answers and that feeds the fear, they know there are a lot of rules out there, but they want to have a firearm for protection and they don't know where to get the answers and the education. So much of the training available revolves around how your gun works, how to use it, and how to hit the target, but there isn't an equal amount of training about what the rules are that will help you be a law-abiding gun owner and avoid winding up in jail or on probation, That's what I see missing, and we are trying to bring that through the book and speaking and classes. I'm getting asked more and more to come to different places and teach or talk. Cover of Infringed. Can be purchased at www.alexkincaid.com. How can we help change society? AK: One thing is to turn the attention toward the criminals and the terrorists, and away from law-abiding gun owners because they aren't the problem. If you focus on the true problem, then those people will be eliminated or locked up and kept away. Unfortunately, we know that the criminal justice system is nothing short of a revolving door, people go in and they come out, then go back in, so we have a problem that is not related to gun owners or gun laws. If you start in your home state and get involved in grassroots Second Amendment-type organizations or organize one, now we're going to start making some progress! What about firearms education? AK: We can bring firearms education into the youth of our country. We are seeing more and more youth shooter camps, shooting ranges popping up for school-age children, competitions popping up for young kids, college students embarking on that path, I think we always have to look to the next generation to make the change. If you're going to have a gun or you know someone who wants a gun, you have to understand what the rules are nowadays or you can wind up in trouble. You could potentially face a misdemeanor or a felony and you could end up losing your rights to ownership. If you don't know what your state laws are, you better learn them and if you want to change them then you'd better get involved and change them because you can! We've seen that in the states where people are organized and the gun owners come together — you can still make the difference and you can help other people. Alex Kincaid Occupation: Private Practice Law Hometown: Moved quite a bit, but identify most with my current hometown of Emmett, Idaho Husband: Eric E. Kincaid Education: J.D. University of Idaho, College of Law Alma Mater: U.C. Davis (B.A. German, B.A. Psychology, minor in music) Dogs: Stuka the German Shepherd, Spot the Border Collie Favorite Quote: “Trust everybody, but cut the cards.” — Ronald Reagan Favorite Movie or TV Series: Band of Brothers Favorite Firearm: Tikka T3 Favorite Food: Street tacos URL: www.alexkincaid.com Collections: Mauser K98, Tikka T3, a collection of ARs including Ambush Tactical (AMTAC) SBR suppressor and MCM Firearms Brock's Liberty Bell cerakote pattern, FN PS90, FN F2000, M1 Garand, Kimber America Solo Carry Alex's EDC Kimber Pro Carry II 1911 with custom wood grips depicting Lady Justice Kimber Solo 9mm (her EDC) Spyderco locking folding knife (Delica 4) Can Can Concealment thigh holster Miss Concealed Hidden Heat waistband holster Explore RECOILweb:Magpul's New 5.56 AICS Mag is a Boon for .223/5.56 Long Range TrainersGrey Ghost Gear Back to School Pack SaleGadget Fu: the CO.ALITION ColfaxGet RECOIL on Your Smartphone or Tablet NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOILFor years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. 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