A video published yesterday showing the ATF police raiding an Ares Armor facility despite the fact that Ares Armor was granted a restraining order against the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.
Let’s back up to before the conflict between the ATF and Ares Armor came to a head with yesterday’s raid.
Ever heard of an 80% lower? These AR receivers essentially incomplete receivers, hence the “80%” nomenclature. According to the ATF, these receivers aren’t technically firearms. Rendering the 80% lower functional requires some skilled labor and tooling (namely drill pressing), but because of these steps, and its non-firearm designation, at no point does the buyer need to go through an FFL (so long as the buyer intends the lower for personal use only). They also do not need to be serialized, although, it is generally recommended to do so in case of theft. Also, all NFA restrictions still apply to firearms created from 80% lowers. In addition, firearms made from 80% lowers must go through a FFL to be sold to anyone.
So long as a manufacturer does not perform any of these five steps at any point during the manufacturing process, the resulting 80% lower is not, at any point, considered a firearm, and therefore is legal for non-FFL retail sale:
- Milling out of fire control cavity.
- Selecter-level hole drilled.
- Cutting of trigger slot.
- Drilling of trigger pin hole.
- Drilling of hammer pin hole.
How does this relate to Ares Armor? They have a deal with EP Armory to sell their polymer 80% lower recievers in their retail stores. According to a statement released by Ares Armor’s CEO, Dimitrios Karras, on Tuesday, March 11th, 2014, Karras received word earlier in the week from his legal council that the BATFE was planning to raid Ares Armor facilities unless Karras turned over all their stock of EP Armory polymer 80% lowers, and access to Ares Armor’s private customer information. To protect his customer’s private information—and about $300,000 worth of stock, Karras took the issue to court (check out the Fox 5 San Diego news broadcast here). The United States District Court of the Southern District of California granted Ares Armor a temporary restraining order against the San Diego Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and DOES 1-10. The warrant was granted starting Wednesday, March 12th, 2014. The text of the court statement states that the ATF was prohibited from seizing Ares Armor stock and information at least until after both parties had met in court (the date set for that hearing is Thursday, March 20th, 2014).
Fast forward to this weekend, and we have the above video (recorded and published Saturday, March 15th—five days before the scheduled preliminary hearing)… An Ares Armor facility with the locked door forced open and ATF Agents rummaging around inside.
Featured image still from Fox 5 San Diego News broadcast, courtesy of video.fox5sandiego.com.
H/T to Dan Zimmerman via thetruthaboutguns.com.