The Violent Past of the NRA's Top Lawyer

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Brett Nielsen fires an Glock handgun at the 'Get Some Guns & Ammo' shooting range on January 15, 2013 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (George Frey/Getty)

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." That saying has become something of a motto for the National Rifle Association. But according to a new report by Mother Jones magazine, a bad guy with a gun might be the NRA's top lawyer.

In a shocking discovery, Mother Jones found that the general counsel for the NRA, Robert Dowlut, was convicted in the 1960s of second degree murder, and spent years in prison for shooting and killing an acquaintance.

Eventually, his case was overturned by the Indiana Supreme Court due to the flawed police investigation.

Dave Gilson is a senior editor at Mother Jones and went through more than 2,000 pages of court documents and testimony to write this story. He says that unearthing Dowlut's past can help shed light on some of the decisions he's made in his current role with the NRA.

The Takeaway reached out to the NRA and Robert Dowlut for a comment, but have not yet heard back.


Dave Gilson

Hosted by:

Todd Zwillich

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja and Megan Quellhorst


T.J. Raphael

Comments [3]

L Smith

Actually, Indiana University has a number of regional campuses in addition to the main Bloomington Campus, including one in South Bend.

Jul. 30 2014 11:46 PM
R. Neese from Oregon

The interview noted that Indiana University is in South Bend. Actually, IU is in Bloomington and the University of Notre Dame is adjacent to South Bend.

Jul. 30 2014 01:02 PM
S Smith from Oregon

Your piece was a thinly-disguised personal attack on a man whose work has stymied anti-second amendment political forces.Shame on you.I expected better from APM/NPR.
Attacking the man instead of his message,and using this sort of political slander is more suited to Karl Rove and his type than those of us who expect a higher standard from our media sources.Once again,[with vigor]SHAME ON YOU.


Jul. 30 2014 12:55 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.