Mark Barnes - Principal

A respected lawyer with 30 years of government and private sector experience, Mark Barnes founded Mark Barnes & Associates 20 years ago in Washington, D.C., building the firm into a successful boutique practice dedicated to firearms, weapons and explosives law.


Under Mr. Barnes' leadership, the firm has an excellent track record of providing regulatory-compliance legal services on matters related to import and export control, firearms business, registration and licensing, as well as audit, training and issue-advocacy services.


His team of seasoned attorneys has the experience – as well as knowledge of and passion for shooting, firearms competition, firearms technology and the law – to vigorously represent a broad range of clients and secure fair resolution of complex legal matters. Prior to starting the practice in 1993, Mr. Barnes worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he served for several years as the counsel to the secretary for drug abuse policy, appointed by Secretary Louis W. Sullivan in 1989.


As counsel, Mr. Barnes was the top legal advisor to the secretary on program and policy matters related to the U.S. government's fight against illegal drug use. In this role, he shaped policy and regulatory action on issues including drug-free-workplace programs, drug testing, state and local prevention efforts, drug-abuse research, drug treatment and the development of four national drug control strategies. During his tenure, he worked successfully with senior government officials, members of Congress and key interest groups to resolve a range of program and policy disputes.


In addition to his work at HHS, Mr. Barnes served as associate director for administration at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management from January 1988 to July 1989. In this role, he oversaw OPM's information management, personnel, fiscal, budgetary, facilities, real estate and acquisition programs, directing 500 employees and a $32 million budget. He also coordinated OPM's policy responsibilities under the president's drug-free federal workplace program. Previously, he served as OPM's deputy general counsel, overseeing labor, civil rights, pay and performance legal issues.


In the private sector, Mr. Barnes worked as an associate at Davis Wright and Jones – a top Pacific Northwest law firm based in Anchorage, Alaska – where he practiced commercial litigation and admiralty law.


In addition, Mr. Barnes served in the U.S. Senate as chief counsel to Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), handling a wide range of tax, small business, banking, and justice and ethics issues.


Mr. Barnes received his Juris Doctor degree from the UCLA School of Law in 1981 and his bachelor's degree in political science from Arizona State University in 1978, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He is admitted to practice before several state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.