Don Kates

Don Kates is a retired American lawyer and research fellow with The Independent Institute in Oakland, California who has focused on promoting gun rights. His books include Armed: New Perspectives On Gun Control, Restricting Handguns: The Liberal Skeptics Speak Out, Firearms and Violence: Issues of Public Policy, and The Great American Gun Debate: Essays on Firearms and Violence. As a civil liberties lawyer he has been retained by the National Rifle Association to represent gun owners attacking the constitutionality of certain firearms laws. The Washington Post described Kates as the "Johnnie Cochran" of the pro-gun lobby, noting his polemical attacks on public-health research on firearms injuries and writing that Kates "has muddied the waters of truth so thoroughly that wading into them is a daunting task." Kates attended Reed College and Yale Law School. During the Civil rights movement, he worked in the South for civil rights lawyers including William Kunstler. Thereafter, he specialized in civil rights and police misconduct litigation for the federal War on Poverty program.