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The ATF simultaneously is and is not the most idiotic and useless appendage of the federal government. There are some good people within the ATF that genuinely understand the law and are working towards making things better, and then there’s B. Todd Jones. The ATF recently released a circular attempting to make it more difficult to produce firearms from 80% lower receivers (expertly analyzed here), but Ares Armor sees things differently. The shop that was famously raided by the ATF for producing illegal receivers sees the letter as vindication that they are in the clear, and sent a note to the ATF illustrated with crayon pictures in the hopes that they will be able to understand if presented in that medium . . .

From the Ares Armor letter:

PART 3. The Common Sense Conclusion Based On Your Statements.

) A “frame or receiver” and a “weapon”, are separately and uniquely defined in the GCA of 1968.
) The “may readily be converted” phrase only applies to “weapon” and not to “receiver”.
) The meaning of the word “manufacture” is “to make into a product suitable for use.”
) An object that is NOT suitable for use as a “receiver” is NOT classified as a “receiver”.
) Indexing marks DO NOT make a random object into a “receiver”.

I conclude, based off of your statements, that one cannot be charged with a crime of “manufacturing” (make into a product suitable for use) an AR “receiver” ( “[t]hat part of a firearm which provides housing for the hammer, bolt or breechblock, and firing mechanism, and which is usually threaded at its forward portion to receive the barrel.”) if that “receiver” does not provide housing for any of the intended mechanisms.

I would like to thank you for your clarification that NOT drilling the through holes for the fire-control group (safety selector, trigger pin, and hammer pin) would be sufficient to have NOT manufactured a “receiver”.

Just to sink your own words in one more time, I will provide you with your quote from page 3 again,

“ATF Ruling 2010-10 assumes that a licensed dealer-gunsmiths would perform certain activities on articles ALREADY classified as frames or receivers (i.e., no machining or other processes required to allow it to be used to assemble a weapon)… *emphasis added

I expect that you will issue a letter in response to this stating that one can manufacture a 99% receiver (missing only the 3 holes for the fire control group) and not be charged with “manufacturing a ‘firearm’”.

I salute you on your efforts of making the hobby of building firearms at home easier!

To make things easier for you and your agents to understand, I have commissioned these concepts to be drawn in crayon. I have attached this drawing to this letter. You are welcome.

The ATF has a bad track record of making things worse for themselves when trying to change definitions to crack down on gun ownership. They most recently may have re-opened the machine gun registry when trying to get people to stop using trusts with NFA items, and this most recent exercise may have dug them yet further into another hole. I can’t wait for the lawsuits to start, and finally get some clarification on this whole business.

If you want to see the rest of the illustrations, click here.

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  1. Dmitri has gone off the deep end. I’ve been following his rantings since the beginning of this whole disaster. I fully expect him to be shut down completely and imprisoned for violations of his FFL. They WILL find something, count on it.

    • I do not have an FFL for them to take. I like being off the deep end. Come swim around with me out here. It is a breath of fresh air to act on conscience without fear or care of reprisal

      • Courage is demanding freedom when everyone else sits back and takes tyranny. The ATF is allowed to make, break, alter, and interpret laws with no check or balance. Off the deep end? Brother if that’s the deep end and Dimitri is off it then I’ve been living in Atlantis for some time now. Jump on in friend the freedom is fine… If you dare.

        • Man that is so true….the liberal left, Islamists and PC thugs of this country are the tyrants and Nazis of our age…..great quote, cudos!

          • The corporate right are just as much fascists as the liberal left. The problem isn’t either wing — it’s the statist branch of those wings. The statists on the right only support our right to keep and bear arms because they expect those of us who exercise that right to stand and protect their wealth if it comes to that. If they didn’t, if they thought we’d fight for actual liberty and justice for all, the statists on the right would be striving diligently to disarm us.

      • You sir are a commendable and deserve the gun community their respect. Keep up the good work !

      • If this is the “real Dimitri” then you Sir need stand up and take a bow. You are doing God’s work out there. Keep it up!

      • If this really is Dimitri from Ares, my roommate recently got one of your BCGs and the staking was pretty poor.

      • I love what you’re doing, Dmitri. Its time to shut BATFE down or turn it over to the industry for self-regulation like we’ve done with the FCC and FDA. They started this adversarial and abusive relationship and are deserving of our distrust and spite.

        Of course, they could always admit that they’ve been targeting the wrong people and issues all along, and try a complete reset with new leaders and a policy of “positive engagement” to work *with* us, but I don’t see them having the courage to do that.

        • Shut down the ATF and send them all over to the Border Patrol, to start at the bottom: patrolling the border, on foot, in the desert, at night.

      • crayons are spot on with the laughable overreach of this farcical agency trying to tell people HOW they can make something, WHAT tools they can use, WHERE, WHEN, from WHO…much like the admin. they serve ~ candy ass sassafras: it’s as if we’ve elected/installed really bad B movie actors posing as {_____} “I play one on TV” (Obama, b. todd jones, biden, etc.)

    • Everyone knows the only thing they can ever find for sure to put someone in jail is tax fraud. Good job Dimitri.

    • Was this the jackass that bragged how his 80% were the best, ATF wouldn’t dare go after him. On and on? If so, KARMA…..KARMA. Keep your mouth shut next time. Lawyer fees have to be through the roof win or loose. Lesson learned here I hope.

      • Yup, I’m that jackass… Btw the ATF has returned my property and I have not been charged with anything… I am winning. So no, I did not learn my lesson 😉

        • Dimitri I want to start by saying thank you for your service both in the Armed Forces (Marines I believe it was) and in standing up for what is right against the BATFE. This organization should have been shut down after Waco for their gross over reach and this is just another example. Keep up the good work and stay strong. I just bought an AR and I plan on decking it out with a lot of equipment from your shop and Magpul. Support the companies that support the community!

        • Or that he didn’t protest is a properly-marked ‘first amendment zone’… 😉 (I wish I was making that up)

      • I don’t think an organization that burns women and children alive is likely to give a damn about the First Amendment.

        • Yeah, if Dimitri has trouble with ATF, wait until the Feral Bureau of Incinerations (& criminal Instigation) goes after him with a Confidential Instigator (known criminal they can blackmail into saying anything they want him to say).

        • Heh, just noticed that you said the same thing (before I did). ‘Free Speach’ zones. What a joke (and I wish I was joking).

  2. Hahahahahaha!!!!!! Love it. You do know the IRS has already kicked their doors in? Right? Still, funny as hell.

    • Lol… when and where did this rumor start… I can assure you that it is not true. The ATF did kick in our doors last year… However, they have just handed me back the “products” that they took in the raid…

      • The EP Armory ones? Now THAT’S news. I think these lowers represent a huge problem the ATF has been facing–which is that there is no bright line as to when something is a receiver/firearm and when it is not. It has been this vague and undefined “you can go this far but that is too far” with no conceptual basis of what was sought to be accomplished and no real statutory basis for their decisions. If the blank has no “indexing” marks it is not a firearm, but if you mark the spot to put the holes it is–but it is not a firearm when I wrap it up in a jig that tells me exactly where–and how much–to drill, but it is if I “index” the firing pocket either by marking them on the blank or using a different color plastic like the EP (mostly) did, but it isn’t if I supply stickers to put on the blank that do exactly the same thing.

        With all of this, it is not unfair to argue that what the ATF is really trying to do is to make it as difficult as possible for a hobbyist to make his own receiver, and/or to make one that actually functions. One could even argue that, when read in conjunction with the new rules outlawing the use of someone else’s tools, that the ATF is trying to close down home building of firearms.

        This becomes even more clear when the ATF is more than willing to confiscate property and make arrests for the illegal manufacture of firearms even when the blank has not reached anywhere near the stage that it constitutes a functional firearm. If the firing control pocket is drilled out, it will consider it a firearm whether it actually functions or not. Which is the case with Ares and the EP lowers–lowers that clearly do not and cannot function as a lower at all without machining because they have no fire control pockets nor the holes needed to install the hammer and trigger. Yet the ATF was more than happy to charge these companies with illegally selling “firearms” without an FFL license.

        • Eventually they’ll want to ban fires — after all, young teens in Afghanistan and Pakistan turn out perfectly functional AKs using what are little more than campfires and primitive blacksmithing tools.

          Then they’ll have to outlaw railroads — a friend turned a piece of an old rail into an anvil suitable for making certain parts for a variety of small mechanical mechanisms.

      • Interesting…they took the ep armory indexed 80% lowers because they declared them “firearms” and were therefore being sold without an ffl, but then just have then back?

      • I hope this includes your computers with any list(s) of customers (though I seem to remember a message sent out that your harddrives were encrypted). I’ve been very satisfied with your products and will continue to visit for future purchases. Also following your actions against Sheriff Gore. Godspeed and Semper Fidelis.

      • Dimitri
        Did the ATF also return your customer database (Names/Address/CC info) that you handed over to them

        • If I had handed it over to them… You would have never known anything happened… I was offered that deal. I chose to get a restraining order against them instead.

  3. While this is hilarious governments tend to not have the same sense of humor as an individual would.

    • The fact that there are so many comments to this post talking about how the ATF or other agency(ies) will/may retaliate and how he should perhaps have been more circumspect tells just how from from the true meaning of “We the People…” and the spirit of the Bill of Rights this nation has come in 230 years.

      No citizen of our particular constitutional republic should EVER fear bureaucratic reprisal, especially for drawing a cartoon, which is, after all, a form of speech protest.

      • I meant it literally, not a joke. IRS has already kicked their doors in, not sure how many employees they have gone after, though.

        • May I ask where you got this information? Dimitri says that isn’t true at all. (He is on this string of comments)

    • Yeah… But B. Todd Jones and the rest of them can get over it. The ATF wouldn’t have a job if they weren’t self funding themselves with raids and tax stamps. What else do they do? Other than shooting at women and babies and burning down churches with people still inside?

  4. Hilarious but petulant. Dmitri should expect the many, many bureaucratic arms of the federal government gleefully assisted by California State government to violate him, his extended family, his business, and all of his employees and their extended families. In every sense of the word.

  5. That is awesome! Plain and simple… awesome! It clearly puts their point across and pokes fun at the ATF at the same time.

  6. The Second Amendment, like all twelve amendments proposed as the Bill of Rights by the 1st Congress (two were never ratified), came about at the behest of the States. The States feared, and rightly so, that the newly created federal government would grow too powerful and endeavor to disarm the People. The remedy? The Second Amendment, the most powerful prohibition against the federal government involving itself in any way with the armaments of the People that the Founders had language to muster. The federal government is prohibited from making gun laws AT ALL, it was set to be the sole purview of the States themselves. Since the federal government isn’t allowed to regulate arms, it isn’t allowed to have an agency dedicated to doing that which it isn’t allowed to do. The ATF is illegal, a criminal organization in and of themselves, and it’s “agents” should be arrested on sight.

  7. Ridicule is a powerful tool, and the letter and it’s accompanying drawings make the ATF look ridiculous. Bravo.

    • Oh, I think ATF managed to do that all by themselves…

      That said, this is a wonderful Crayola highlighter. 🙂

  8. You can’t really clarify double speak. The whole point is to try and close loopholes, but that’s kind of impossible. It is or is not a firearm. Period. Trying to make this weird, not a firearm, unless it sort of is because you maybe did a thing is stupid.

  9. There are some good people within the ATF that genuinely understand the law and are working towards making things better

    The only thing they could do to make things better would be for them to release all their documents detailing all their illegal activities “snowden” style and then all of them abruptly submit their resignations and get off the gun owner’s and the public’s teat. They can get a real job doing something actually meaningful and/or productive.

    • Snowden’s actions against the NSA undermined America on the world stage – where we are at varying levels of conflict/war. His actions are in no way honorable and only benefit our enemies.

      BATFE is in conflict with it’s own citizens (and rightful masters), making the actions you suggest very ethical, honorable, and in compliance with any Constitutional oath BATFE employees may have taken.

      While I’m not calling on any BATFE employees to violate the law, if any were compelled by conscience to “come clean”, I’m certain they’d find millions of supportive new friends.

      • Your whole first paragraph is unmitigated bs.
        The rest is ok. Just apply the rest to the first and it’s all good.

  10. The ATF, does not have one single intelligent person working for them, why else would the swear an oath to the US Constitution, yet their primary mission is to infringe upon the 2nd Amendment?

    The US Constitution was written such that a person with a 4th grade education could understand it’s simple sentences.

    Ares does an awesome job showcasing what a bunch of idiots are in the BATF.

    The writer of this article, not so much with the claim in the first paragraph. ” There are some good people within the ATF that genuinely understand the law…” the BATF Agents couldn’t possible understand law, if it infringes upon the 2nd Amendment, which supercedes all federal laws and statutes

  11. I don’t think a person can be good and informed and still work for the unconstitutional ATF.

  12. Think I’ll head on over to Ares’ web site and find something to buy. Whilst I tip my hat to them.

  13. “So they lived as he wanted them to live and all the time there were a few who disappeared. The rabbits became strange in many ways, different from other rabbits. They knew well enough what was happening. But even to themselves they pretended that all was well, for the food was good, they were protected, they had nothing to fear but the one fear; and that struck here and there, never enough at a time to drive them away. They forgot the ways of wild rabbits. They forgot El-ahrairah, for what use had they for tricks and cunning, living in the enemy’s warren and paying his price? They found out other marvelous arts to take the place of tricks and old stories. They danced in ceremonious greetings. They sang songs like the birds and they made Shapes on the walls; and though these could help them not at all, yet they passed the time and enabled them to tell themselves that they were splendid fellows, the very flower of Rabbitry…”
    – Richard Adams, “Watership Down”

    I am a proud supporter/customer of Ares Armor. Well done, Dimitri.

  14. “The shop that was famously raided by the ATF for producing illegal receivers” really should be corrected.. “The shop that was famously raided by the ATF for refusing to give up their customer list.” is more accurate.

  15. I’ve held for years now that the BATFE should just be shut down and anyone worth anything at all transferred to the Border Patrol. They need more than a few good men — but a pile of warm bodies will help in the meantime.

  16. On the contrary to everyone else here, I think BATFE should also be given authority over counterfeiting, espionage, and surveillance. All hail BATFECES!

  17. “There are some good people within the ATF. . . ”

    No there are not. Some jobs by definition can only be held by bad people, such as working as a pervert at the TSA looking at naked bodies. The ATF has been in that category for decades. There is no moral code that can allow a good person to work there. Working there makes you a bad person.

  18. Total respect for Dmitri. I have been following his saga for some time and will be supporting Ares with my hard earned dollars now! Keep up the good work Sir!

  19. I know where I’m getting a new “random object” when I’m ready. I like the classification “paper weight” though. Sounds more white collar.

  20. Stopped at the Oceanside location the Saturday after Christmas, since we were in the area. Left with a new Ares “tree of liberty” T-shirt. Feels good man. Keep it up Dimitri!

  21. Dimitri is a true American patriot. The limited government envisioned by our Founders would have never allowed such a tyrannical govt, let alone govt agency, to ever exist. III%

    • Dr Ben Franklin told a woman in Philadelphia ” you have a Republic if you can keep it” Americans have let the Republican and Democrat machines replace our Republic with dictatorial bureaucracies. The BATF is not elected yet they make law or “policy”. That goes for the thousands of other 3 and 4 letter bureaucrats that rule our life like Kings. Congress lets them abuse you and take away your freedom at every level where we are not willing to push back. FREEDOM is completely relative which is why there are Minimum, Medium, and Maximum Security Prisons.

      The two party system is owned which is why they have never stopped it. Congress could defund the BATF if they really didn’t like them but what republican is going to do that?

      What you have in Washington D.C. is the biggest Multi-National, United Nation, Corporate Whorehouse, the world has ever seen……and we are responsible until we love the Constitution enough to fight for it and quit thinking the Republicans are good for America.

      • Yeah Democrats, the morally bankrupt nazis and hypocrites of our society stand up for gun rights…..idiot….

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