Firm Overview

Founded two decades ago, Mark Barnes & Associates is an established Washington, D.C.-based boutique law firm handling all matters related to the firearms, weapons and explosives industry. The firm provides exceptional, personalized client service as it pursues practical, cost-effective solutions to complex legal issues.


The practice focuses on import and export control, federal, state and local firearms business, registration and licensing, and regulatory compliance. We also assist many businesses on legislative and policy matters related to the gun trade, and provide comprehensive audit and training assistance to clients. Services include review of clients' compliance procedures, regulatory counseling and opinions, and strategic advice. The firm represents clients internationally on trade, business and firearms matters, as well as on product liability and other consumer product matters related to the firearms trade.


With 30 years of experience in government and the private sector, Mark Barnes is committed to his clients every step of the way, taking a personal interest in each client and using his refined understanding of the law to protect clients' interests. The firm boasts a broad range of clients, including trade associations, individual federal firearms licensees, manufacturers, retailers, and importers and exporters. And it engages in issue advocacy, building coalitions of clients to press for sensible changes in public policy.


Mark Barnes & Associates attorneys have the legal experience – and knowledge of the shooting sports and industry, as well as firearms technology – to vigorously represent client interests before the federal government's executive, judicial and legislative branches and secure fair resolution of complex legal matters. The firm also assists many clients who are in the defense trade with their ATF and DDTC related transactions and problems. The firm's seasoned team of attorneys, along with a respected group of outside expert consultants, helps clients navigate regulatory hurdles so they can continue operating at peak performance.


The firm's attorneys have the respect of their government partners, having developed a good working relationship over decades of positive collaboration that includes many years of government service. Bringing a high level of knowledge, versatility and integrity to the practice, the attorneys attend to promptly working client matters with key federal government agencies including the U.S. State Department's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security, and U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


Mark Barnes & Associates works closely with ATF in representing clients with issues related to firearms and explosives compliance matters, import and export permits, and criminal or civil regulatory enforcement issues. The firm also works regularly with the State Department on a number of issues, including licensing for temporary import, temporary export and permanent export of firearms, military munitions, and other defense articles. The firm also regularly assists clients with complicated tax issues related to firearms and ammunition excise taxes administered by the U.S. Treasury Department's Tax and Trade Bureau.


In addition, the firm's attorneys advise clients on the application of the Commerce Department's Export Administration Regulations to their export transactions, while defending and advising clients on all aspects of Directorate of Defense Trade Controls and Department of Commerce compliance investigations. The firm also assists and counsels defendants when criminal matters arise under U.S. federal laws, including the Export Administration Regulations, the Arms Export Control Act, Gun Control Act and National Firearms Act.


In the international arena, the firm helps businesses achieve their international commerce goals. The firm's attorneys have an understanding of comparative legal systems and provide international services including import and export compliance evaluations, international issue advocacy, counseling, and assistance with implementing policies and regulations.


The firm's convenient location near Capitol Hill and key federal agencies expedites agency approvals and responses to new regulatory proposals. Through our Scottsdale, Arizona office, we also serve our clients in Western states effectively. Mark Barnes & Associates attorneys are on site tracking new legislative initiatives and providing the necessary liaison with members of Congress and government officials to address clients' concerns.