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We’ve already talked with Dimitrios Karras, owner of Ares Armor, but it’s always good to hear the story straight from the horse’s mouth. In this interview with Reason TV, Dimitrios calmly and clearly discusses exactly what happened with the ATF raid, and exactly how dumb the ATF’s actions were. “To think that this is over a piece of plastic is ludicrous,” Dimitri says, “this was a nice way for them to get their arm inside of our business and grab the information that they’re actually looking for.” There is a new piece of information that we didn’t have before, though, and it makes the ATF look even more like a bunch of jack-booted thugs . . .

“I had literally had a meeting with two of the ATF agents,” Dimitri says, “after we had had the temporary restraining order granted to us. I took them into the building where the polymer lowers were being housed, where we had separated them from the rest of our inventory and we placed them in a separate room under lock and key. I offered to hand the key to this room — the only keys in existence to this room — to the ATF agents that were there so that they would be 100% assured that we did want this handled in the court system and we weren’t trying to pull anything underhanded and weren’t trying to divest ourselves of the product or do anything like that. There was also a camera pointed directly at this door, and I offered the ATF if they’d like to have access so that they can view this camera remotely. They turned me down on that as well.”

It sounds like Dimitri and Ares Armor went above and beyond to try and accommodate the ATF, proving that they weren’t going to dump the lowers and the records while the legality of the lowers were being hammered out in court. Instead, the ATF decided to break down the shop’s doors and take everything by force.

“The only difference in this case is we said ‘no’ and we stood up.” That’s why Dimitri says the ATF is trying their hardest to ruin their business. The ATF could have had the full cooperation of Ares Armor if they had just asked nicely and worked through the court system. But instead they wanted to point loaded firearms at law abiding citizens, using lethal force over a paperwork issue. People could have been killed, and all because of a misunderstanding about a manufacturing process that the ATF could have cleared up with a simple visit to the workshop and reading some records.

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  1. It was a matter of time before they kicked down the wrong door. This should be good. As hanging excessive force and a search on illegitimate grounds on the agency may hamper the warrant process of jackbootery and put this in the spotlight.

    • nothing is going to change until the agents responsible for the incidents can be held, personally, legaly and fiscally responsible. It doesnt matter if Ares Arms wins a billion dollar lawsuit against the ATF, that settlement money is going to come out of the pockets of the american taxpayers, not ATF agents. the worst any of them will get is a negative comment buried in the margins of their yearly review that will be forgotten in the rush to give them their garenteed minimum 7.5% yearly raise.

      • This is a step in the right direction. If this gets plastered across the media and Ares wins a settlement you can bet two things.

        Bad, bad press for the ATF which can mean agents facing repercussions depending on severity of the settlement.

        Ares will expand their operations and blast their message across the airwaves. If they make enough waves and net enough cash that’s only going to snowball against the ATF.

        This is not going under the rug and it is simply illegal to use some sort of basis that is blatantly false to obtain a warrant and execute it this way. The videos do not help the ATF. This fallout does not help the ATF. And frankly, even for a government agency with federal funding, they are not in a position of advantage in this. Not with their track record. It’ll be good fireworks I think.

        • ATF has been consistenly getting bad press for years. It’s not as if one more instance will rally make a difference. Congress is a bunch of impotent cowards who won’t even enforce their own subpoenas. DOJ just hides behind the emperor’s robes flipping the bird.

          • No but given Ares has set a good example for how to hang up the jack boots. Any dealer of polymer lowers can take example from how Ares has them pretty much on the ropes. If every one of them has them hung up like this when they come door kicking then, in this age of multimedia communication, it’s going to bring home the reality of government overreaching to the lower info public.

            Getting some kind of check or balance on these people is paramount even if Ares and the like have to demonstrate step by step overreach. Doing this will create a plain display of government badness.

            Think of the laymen who are barely tuned in. Machine guns to heads of folks on camera with no felony and a restraining order? We are only just starting.

    • No, Jack Booted Thug describes perfectly the emotion behind the actions of this agency. The quote attributed to George Washington describes what they and government truly are based upon; “government is not reason, it is not eloquent, it is force. Like fire, a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

      Government; and the BATFE are showing their true colors; that is an entity not ruled by law; but by ego, corruption, lawlessness and a contempt toward the people and the constitution.

      • And power. Always, it’s about a display of power and authority. What the Unfree State is powered by.

        • True.; power and control; from what I understand; more addictive than heroin, sex, gambling; actually; with the kind of power we are speaking of; many of these addicts can and do indulge in all of that as well.

  2. That’s all fine and dandy, but it had to be done…..for the children. If it saves even one life…..

    • It would be nice if he had a recording of his meeting with the ATF agents. The problem for the BATFE is that they would be giving up some of their “authority” if they made a “compromise” like this.

    • Except that “Everyone with a 3D printer at home”…really?

      Good interview except for that.

  3. Thats law enforcement for ya…I think they wanted to make am example of u…..You embarrassed them so badly in front of the whole nation and it pi##ed them off…So my opinion is that they tryed to destroy your business….But again they stuck their own feet in their own mouths again….Iv heard of this before…..They thought by forcibly hitting your business that it would show the world/nation not to mess with the ATF… Are they will come take you down…but instead of making them selves look all big and bad..they just made them selves look even more worse in the public eye… Great going…Somebody needs to embarrass them in front of the whole nation…May be…Just maybe now that their actions have been seen by the whole nation maybe they will realize they just cant get away with just anything..The nations eyes are now upon them… Youv done a great job showing the government they just cant get away with anything

  4. Rumor has it that the ATF raid was a direct result of Dimitri going to the press–he embarrassed them, so they decided do things the hard way. Kind of like: “So, you want to play hard ball, so you. Well we know how to do hard ball too.” There was never any risk that any “evidence” would be lost or destroyed.

  5. Why do they keep showing aluminum 80% lowers, when the issue was the plastic ones? Way to muddy the waters there.

    • ALSO, why does everyone keep pushing this tinfoil hat nonsense about ATF orchestrating this raid to get a list of people who built crappy plastic AR-15s? Does anyone really think the federal government is afraid of guys making plastic homebuilt ARs? You guys do realize how absurd that is, right?

      • Uh yes they are. You just trolling?

        Easy to make, fairly functional (Certainly much better than no AR) and totally unknown to the feds/untraceable. Wet their pants. Unlike the RP “print a gun” BS this is real.

        What fool orders one with CCard? This is a cash/MO item – face to face.

      • The same federal government who pitched a fit about the Liberator pistol concept? Which is verifiable trash compared to a polymer lower receiver based AR? I am sure fear is in the government regarding this.

        It’s the signal and the idea. And if they lose this PR battle and people start building functioning model firearms, making it a crafts job with the son on the dremel…you end up with a ton in circulation and normalization of rifles and hand building them.

        You get this in the spotlight, then people start thinking. Then you end up with more shooters and people calling for more government cut backs. It’s a long game but this is a pivotal thing.

        • Again, why did they go after flimsy plastic lowers now, instead of going after sturdy metal ones years ago? Surely it may have something to do with the questionable manufacturing/design, and that this shop was allegedly steering customers to illegal alien felons who could illegally manufacture said flimsy plastic lowers into firearms – and NOT because the ATF couldn’t come up with a better way to get a list of people who buy flimsy plastic AR 80% lowers.

          I love conspiracies as much as the next guy, but it’s just too much of a stretch to believe that ATF chose this very low hanging fruit for anything other the actual violations they allege have occurred.

          • Which “violations”? Anyone been charged yet?

            Talk about “jumping the shark”. You allege violations, yet none have been alleged to date. Seems you would like to see some, right? Ares Armor “gives you a bad name”, is that it? How?

        • And the ATF did the raid why? To get more good press? Because it was a slow day and they had donuts?

      • It doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with the government being afraid of them at all. The ATF discovered long ago that it can justify its existence and its budget more easily and far more safely by prosecuting law-abiding citizens on tortured technicalities than by going after heavily armed organized crime gangs.

        That’s why we have that guy being prosecuted as a straw buyer for selling a gun (through a FFL, to an eligible individual) too soon after he bought it. That’s why we have the ATF setting up “stings” where they befriend the local “slow” kid and entice him into participating in various illegal acts. It isn’t because they’re afraid of simple-minded kids and FFL-enabled transfers.

    • Well after the raid, they probably don’t have any of the bad ones left. While the government may not be afraid of a hobbyist completing an 80% lower with his own milling machine, I can certainly see them being afraid of the “build your own gun” thing becoming mainstream.

      • So the lowers they go after are the laughable plastic ones with a questionable design/manufacture, and not the sturdy metal ones that have been around for years and years? That does not compute with the theory that they’re primarily after customer lists, spin or no spin.

        • neiowa, you’ve called me a troll twice now merely because you disagree with me. I’m not sure that’ll change many minds – certainly not mine.

        • Look, if you start with the theory that the government does not want building your own gun to become widely accepted among the general public, then you will be more concerned with the growing popularity of a material which does not require serious machining tools and experience to use, when compared with the aluminum versions that your average guy with a dremel will find too intimidating.

          The rise of the plastic 80% AR lower may not be as big of an issue as the 3D printer, or it may be more of one. It all depends on how easily the public comes to accept it. To that end, it may not be necessary to actually do anything with the customer list. If the fear of the ATF having your name is enough of a deterrent to start killing sales, then they achieve their goal without having to lift a finger.

          • Yes sir, that’s the name of the game. And good people get hurt in this game. The bad ones? Time will surely tell. I’m confident that, in the end, the hurting of good people comes back on the bad ones, and many times over.

            How does this help the good ones? Hard for me to say, harder still to see. But it seems true to me.

        • @Hasdrubal

          “Look, if you start with the theory that the government does not want building your own gun to become widely accepted among the general public”

          I think this is where you’re off base. Kids aren’t giving up their Xboxes to build ARs in their basements. 80% lowers appeal to a very small subset of the gun-owning population. First, folks need to be into guns, and THEN also into black helicopter conspiracy theories, and THEN be into building one in their basement from a flimsy chunk of plastic. Again, I don’t think that tiny portion of the gun-owning public is ATF’s biggest concern. However, actual or perceived code and law violations are – since it’s ATF’s mandate to enforce them. I think even a disinterested 3rd party can conceive that ATF might have a legitimate interest in determining that these lowers are legal, and that they might reasonably believe they aren’t. Throw the alleged illegal alien backroom gun builders into the mix, and it becomes all the more absurd to suggest that this is a fishing expedition to get the names of people foolish enough to build a flimsy plastic AR lower. Seriously. Fast forward a few months and laugh with the rest of us at how silly it was to think that, way back when. ‘Cause some of us are laughing right now.

          I get TTAG pushing this nonsense for pageviews, and Ares is pushing it to drum up support from the Derp! Derp! crowd, but wow. I’m trying to put this in perspective and hope that TTAG isn’t representative of all gun owners, because that would be hugely disappointing. I only hope that when all is said and done, that the folks buying into this nonsense will at least A) admit it to themselves and B) be willing to look into themselves and fix whatever is broken that made them so reactionary and gullible. Because those aren’t good qualities. To their credit, at least nobody is proposing an OC rally at Starbucks to protest this travesty of justice. Yet.

          Oh, and riddle me this:
          Why aren’t ATF asking for the list of customers who bought the aluminum 80% lowers too, if they’re so interested in 80% lower builders? Hint: because the issue is with those plastic lowers only, tinfoil hat conspiracy theories be damned.

          • Sure sounds like quite a few people on here backing the ATF and their raid. I’m amazed at how many think this is ok, and that they aren’t trying to get customer lists. Why else raid Ares? Here’s the thing, IF they were questioning the lowers, why did they refuse Ares offer to let them have the lower? IF and it’s a big if, because I have one of the lowers from EP, and I have an Aluminum one, they are exactly the same with the exception of materials, but let’s say the ATF has an issue with the lower, how about they say it, prove it, come up with the reasons, THEN go after Ares and the list if that’s even legal. But nope, they didn’t do that, they went in to an otherwise law abiding business and raided them. I could be totally wrong, and Ares could be serious criminals here, but I don’t think so. GIven what happened at EP Lowers first, then Ares, I think it’s nothing more than a fishing expedition. As far as Polymer being a viable AR lower, I know someone that has built several, including a 300 AAC and shot it more times than I can count with zero failures. I haven’t finished either of mine as of yet, but I have no hesitation about using them. I use mine to plink, I’m not in Iraq shooting thousands of rounds daily, so they will work just fine for me. I didn’t buy it because I wanted an AR with no serial number, I could care less about that, I bought it so I could built an AR from as much of scratch as is possible. One will go onto my 22 upper, the other undetermined as of yet. I can say without a doubt you can NOT separate the material any other way than you would with an aluminum version. Smart way to do both is a drill press or router with a template.

        • @Doug Rowan

          “Sure sounds like quite a few people on here backing the ATF and their raid.”

          I’m surprised how many people think that understanding ATF’s motivations is the same as condoning them.

          Listen, if the polymer lowers aren’t the reason for the raid, and it’s just to get customer lists, then why aren’t they asking for lists of people who bought the aluminum lowers as well? Try to answer that without violating the law of parsimony. I should warn you – that’ll be be tough to do if you insist ATF is just after customer lists, and not following up on concerns about a specific lower and retailer.

          As for why they didn’t accept Ares’ offer of keys and video feed? Probably because people under criminal investigation don’t get to dictate the terms of said criminal investigation. C’mon, people. The mental gymnastics required to keep contorting this into a grand ATF conspiracy are mindblowing.

          Some perspective might be in order:
          “But then Bob told the cops they could just go back to his apartment and ask his girlfriend if he stole that car – and the cops said no. It’s like totally unfair how they’re just going after Bob even though he offered to help them!”

          Yeah, also ATF agents probably want to keep their jobs, just like everyone else. The ATF guy who goes off-script and takes advice from the suspect probably won’t last very long. But hey, that doesn’t make nearly as juicy a conspiracy theory as all that other jazz. So, you know, believe the tinfoil version.

          Meanwhile, perhaps their biggest mistake was living in a commie state and antagonizing the locals with their sign. Let me sum this whole thing up:
          “Gun shop begs for attention. Gets it. Complains vigorously.”

          There’s a lesson in there somewhere.

          • Yup, you are right, ATF is always right and Ares should go to an undisclosed location never to be heard from again. Wow. Where do I pick up some of that kool-aid so I won’t care about what is happening in our world? lol Seriously there are right ways and wrong ways to do investigations and this one doesn’t seem right. Hopefully more information will come out about it, and prove one of us wrong, or it might end up like many other of the ATF investigations and just get swept under the rug. Personally I think it needs to remain public, and if Ares was in the wrong, well, guess we’ll know who was right.

        • Can you cite any specific facts? The assertion that the atf is looking for customer lists is plausible. The idea that the atf is engaged in a “fishing expedition” for customer lists to knock on every customer door to troll for someone, anyone they can bag for some crime and use that to justify the original behavior of a raiding a business is not farfetched with so many current examples of government overreach. NSA spying being just one example.

        • NNJJ – this has been explained before. Aluminum lowers are made by subtractive processes – ie, machining. As a result, you can do 80% of the machining and the part is considered unfinished. You ar not allowed to make a complete lower and then fill in the cavities – it is illegal to do so. It’s a subtle, but important point.

          The ATF was after the plastic lowers because they could argue that the lower was made first and that the “filler material” was injected into the cavities after. You can’t make a complete lower and fill it with plastic – you have to make the plastic plug and then build the lower around it. The ATF claimed that the plastic lowers we illegal to justify their raid. Never mind that this was explained to them numerous times – they still decided to go forward with the raid. That’s why everyone around here feels that they were operating under false pretenses.

          • There is, at present, no evidence that Ares was doing that. If you have information that they were, I am guessing you would have provided a reference for it.

            Since you didn’t, you are accusing Ares of breaking the law, while providing ZERO evidence for it.

            Where I come from, this process is known as bullshitting.

            • +1 While I’m normally not exactly in line with William Burke, he’s right in this case.

              And, nnjj, if you are so positive that the ATF is in fact enforcing the law in good faith then perhaps displaying what good faith crimes they’ve stopped via kicking down doors and pointing machine guns that no other agency could have stopped?

              The entire Firearms branch of the agency manufacturers criminals daily by making law abiding people jump through increasingly smaller in diameter hoops with new rules and regulations constantly. While your assertion that they are checking to see that the markings on the plastic aren’t in fact plastic fill ins on 100% lowers facsimiled back to 80% fraudulently is in fact a good quotation of what violation they are checking on I fail to see how that has to do with confiscation of all of the computers on site. Or why the original request for the customer records was denied but they of course have taken this opportunity to copy any and all data from confiscated hardware instead of limit their search to the lowers and the manufacture process of them.

              My last question leaves them on very shaky legal terrain to say the least and it appears by circumventing the restraining order but obtaining the forbidden info that they have acted in bad faith on false pretenses in plain sight.

              Your own assertion of the majority of gun owners not being interested in making a rifle from scratch is fair. That being said, I can’t see them attacking this -possible- discrepancy of 100% vs 80% lowers as saving America from anything as they still require a tool to complete and most criminals find it vastly easier to STEAL complete rifles. So there’s about zero violent crime to prevent via this attack on rifle fabrications that are not of any real concern to anyone, if you are to be believed nnjj. Which begs the question why the overwhelming show of force and appropriation of property?

        • I never said the majority of American youth could be expected to start making their own ARs, I said that it could be a fear of the government that it become widely accepted. I would think this can be seen as a possible future trend, rather than an established one, and that if you want to stop it from getting big, you should start your suppression efforts sooner rather than later.

          I submit a different route to finding yourself assembling a plastic lower AR, instead of the ‘gun guy, black helicopter, basement workshop’ path. It goes, ‘PC first person shooter fan, build your own PC, massively overclock said homebrew PC, do significant case modifications for liquid cooling, extra fans, and just to make it look cool, and then get introduced to the real life guns from Modern Warfare.’

          No, I don’t think all powergamers will do this. Just pointing out that there’s more than one path to follow in life. I was a nerd, but not quite nerdcore back when the build your own thing was really taking off. Shortly afterwards I discovered guns, and one of the first things I got was a reloading press. Had the plastic lower existed back then, I bet I would own a dozen.

        • @William Burke

          See here:

          There were allegations that a shop was having illegals make [illegal] guns in the back room from 80% lowers. That shop was not Ares Armor, but as TTAG said at the time, “it gives some insight into what the ATF thinks was going down in Ares Armor’s back room.”

          Now that some time has passed, we know that ATF did in fact have concerns about the manufacturing process – something that could have easily been addressed when the manufacturer sent ATF a sample for a determination. Instead, they saved a few dollars in postage and put lots of people in a bind.

    • This is my point, exactly! The interview conveniently ignores the meat of the issue being the 2-colored polymer lowers. I understand they lost all of their examples in the raid, but to keep showing an aluminum lower misses the entire point of contention the ATF has with this particular product. I think Ares Armor is great and the ATF is 95% wrong on this issue. But the fact remains that the problem is NOT with 80% aluminum lowers, but with 2-colored polymer lowers and the exact method of manufacture for them.

  6. Karras is lucky that the ATF didn’t send Lon Horiuchi and a couple of Marshals to shoot up his family and any available puppies. Because that is what jack booted fascists do. And then Federal judges lick the very same boots.

        • Yeah, which is why I used the word “endanger”, although I’m really not willing to grant him the humanity to believe he wasn’t trying to kill them both. He’s the lowest of the lowest of the low… Manson territory.

  7. I noticed none of the two color polymer lowers were shown in this vid.

    Have the polymers gotten significantly better lately? I thought these things still had issues breaking around the buffer tube.

    EDIT: Just saw it above, any AR is better than NO AR at all, true that.

  8. Of course they said no. It’s clear they were far more interested in a PR-laden bust, than with the law, or truth in general.

    This is the way they operate.

  9. I’ve done business with Ares, and will continue to do so. I hope to never do business with the ATF other than supporting any measure which will disband it.

    • I don’t care for their “business”, either. I don’t care for the type they give.

  10. He’s 100% right – this isn’t an ATF issue, this isn’t a firearms issue. This is a government issue. If you think otherwise, see the raid on Gibson in 2009 – here’s just the first link google returns on the matter:

    TL;DR: The government thought Gibson violated the export laws of a foreign country – the government of said foreign country disagreed, so our government decided to send a SWAT team in to raid a guitar manufacturer.


    • The foreign country was India.

      It was over Gibson importing finished goods that were not finished goods, using rare wood that wasn’t rare. Gibson recently got a settlement; Feds got a pie in their face and some crow to eat.

    • I think gun owners become acquainted with this side of government because our interest in firearms leads us into an area where most other Americans never have to go.

      But it is bigger than guns. It’s about the kind of government you want to live under. Do you want a government that can invade your personal business when you’re not breaking any laws just because it wants to, or do you want a government that is constrained to respect your rights?

      I’d prefer the latter, and the owner of Ares Armor makes that point very well. I hope he’s successful.

  11. Let me ask you, nnjj, are you familiar with the concept of “probable cause”? This concept provides that before the government can seize anything, it must have probable cause to believe a crime has been committed. Now let’s talk about 80% aluminum lowers. The BATFE has said on numerous occasions that an 80% aluminum lower is not a firearm; therefore, it is not illegal for a felon to posses one unless and until it is milled into a stripped lower, at which point in time it becomes a firearm.

    Now let’s add in a couple of facts. First there was the raid in the Sacramento area, where it appears from the affidavit released to the press that the ATF believes that felons are assisting people to mill out aluminum lowers, and it is inferable that both the assistants and their customers are or may be felons who are avoiding federal firearms laws. Now of course the ATF would love to know who these felons are that have bought aluminum lowers. Second, there is Dimitri’s statement that what the ATF really wanted–and asked for a year ago– was his customer list–and they wanted him to turn it over voluntarily without a subpoena. Since it is not a crime to sell one or possess one, there is no probable cause to require a seller to release his customer list–and therefore no probable cause to support the issuance of a subpoena. Hmmm. Houston, we have a problem.

    All of a sudden there are polymer lowers on the market, and the ATF, in its infinite wisdom, declares that these polymer lowers, simply because of the manner in which they are manufactured and not because of any feature of the finished lump of plastic, IS a firearm. Suddenly, Ares is in the business of selling firearms without an FFL–and now there is probable cause to support the issuance of a subpoena to seize its customer list, allowing the ATF–as it specifically has stated it intends to do–to cross check the customer list against the felons database.

    Does that put the pieces together for you?

    • So what you’re saying – and what I’ve been saying – is that ATF is not involved in a grand conspiracy to gather customer lists of 80% lowers because they suddenly decided that 80% lowers are a threat to them, but that they’re after specific lowers and this specific shop because of allegations (valid or not) about each of them.

      We are in agreement about this. It’s the tinfoil hat types thinking black helicopters are waiting to swoop down and raid their basements because they had the audacity to buy a flimsy plastic 80% lower – those people are the folks that disagree with both of us.

      • “Conspiracy”: two or more people agreeing to commit a criminal act.

        So, nnjj: when I say it like that – by the definition – does it sound like I’m donning a friggin’ tinfoil hat to you?

        • Yes, you do. If ATF believes – rightly or wrongly – that they’re just enforcing the law, then where does the criminal act come in? I believe that ATF thinks that these lowers are manufactured in such a way to make them firearms, which means they believe they avoid the FET tax and are bypassing the FFL licensing scheme. You may disagree, but I haven’t seen anyone show why that’s not the case without invoking tinfoil hat conspiracy theories about ATF trying to get lists of people who bought this one specific plastic 80% lower for the sake of keeping track of home gunbuilders (of only this specific lower). The burden of proof is for you guys to prove a tinfoil hat conspiracy theory – not for me to disprove it. Again, law of parsimony and all that.

          This isn’t to say that ATF isn’t an overreaching, rogue organization that likes harassing the gun industry and stomping kittens. I believe it is, but I also believe they everything I’ve seen with regard to this story doesn’t rise to the level of anything other than an agency doing its job. Maybe they’re giving Ares a hard time to teach them a lesson or something. I have no problem buying that. What I have a problem with is the absurd notion that they’re going through all this trouble because they want to get a list of customers who bought those lowers because they’re concerned about people building supposedly untraceable ARs in their basement. That is what takes a fairly mundane story about a heavyhanded, bureaucratic government agency to tinfoil hat territory. ATF has enough to do without keeping track of people building 80% lowers in their basement.

  12. Some people keep asking why they didn’t take any customer information for those who purchased 80% aluminum lowers. But what they don’t seem to realize is that the ATF confiscated all of their computers. Does anyone really think they just went through the computer and carefully copied the records for the EP polymer lowers only? Of course not, they copied every lick of data including the info for 80% Aluminum lowers, EFFIN-A comps, upper receivers, bolt carrier groups, everything. Because if you have purchased any of these items, chances are you own an AR. It’s just more information for them to add to their list of owners of ‘undocumented firearms’

  13. Lots of intelligent discussion,very little hurling of insults;nice to see. I own one,my wife bought it for me for Christmas. The idea behind it was ONLY the fact that is was 55$ to my door,pretty cheap education. My intent was to determine if i thought I could do aluminum with the equipment that I have by first following the same procedure with plastic. I’m not in combat, having one AR that’s not structurally “mil spec” is of very little importance to me. I wanted the experience,if I failed,to be inexpensive. I didn’t and it was. No expensive jig needed!
    It is my opinion,nothing more, that the ATF is operating under the concept that the lower is at first a firearm,then filled in. That would mean Ares is buying/selling guns….illegal,case closed. At least with the one I was shipped,it’s pretty obvious the reciever is cast around/after the “plug” ther was a very thin skin of the FDE colored polymer over portions of the “plug” that I don’t believe would be possible if it were done the other way.
    That being said,there is no appeal to me in owning a weapon that is unserialized and unknown to the Feds. There is no sense of victory in manufacturing a gun not purchased by typical FFL transfer.
    The issue here is the strong arm tactics involved. Simply making an assessment of EP armory’s manufacturing process should have been the first and last step in this whole circus. Those that do own them,now have to wait and see. Did we buy an illegal firearm? Do we wind up having to destroy them,send them to the ATF? Will it simply be enough to serialize it and have it recorded?
    It would be my hope that EP Armory would not wittingly bring to market a product that doesn’t adhere to the law during the entire manufacturing process. The buyers of these items are purchasing an item that meets the conditions for being an 80% lower,but the process to getting there….kindA important.

  14. The ATF is populated by cowards. The only thing that makes them formidable is their numbers. One on one they are nothing.
    BATFE is an unConstitutional agency that should be disbanded. Made of of thugs and fools they need to be resisted.

  15. The concern here is just how far big brothers arm can reach ,how hard it can grip, and what are the repercussions from American citizens when it reaches to far. We pay these people’s checks (government),they are our employees,and there needs to be more control In the future wether or not there winds up being consequences for the past.

  16. doubt it’ll do anything positive for the culture but it couldn’t hurt to try either.
    we are talking about a federal government agency with federal leaders who act like kings and jesters my mind says they should be punished but my heart says this is going down like Fast and Furious or did we forget about that under the rug sweep

  17. I appreciate the discourse that TTAG has had, but I would also call on those of you with a few spare dollars to buy something from Ares. Perhaps I’m kicking the hornets nest by doing so, but I’ve bought aluminum 80% lowers (there, that should save the ATF the trouble of kicking in my door) from Ares and will continue to make purchases. One of the wonderful things about buying guns, ammo, and accessories is that it can usually be done in support of a company that will not cower before our government. Barrett and POF Armory also come to mind as some pretty hardcore pro-freedom businesses.

    As others have said before, this is a government issue. The ATF has damaged and destroyed businesses that have sold a beer without carding a 25 year old, closed the local gun shop for errors on 4473 forms, and shipped guns to Mexican drug cartels. We simply don’t need the ATF, and would be better off as free citizens without them. The ATF has been harassing and destroying legitimate businesses based upon technical violations – or perceived technical violations – of laws. Where is the victim in this? The ATF may well target any of us.

  18. Let’s not forget he hired an illegal Who took people in back and helped them make a gun, a Mexican illegal. Yea I’m sure the ATF were cool with allowing someone else get away their mess. The real issue here no one is bringing up; who we do business with. I’m sure these guys are great bunch, but it was stupid allowing people to go in the back and make one and hiring an illegal Mexican who is wanted with our private information. Choose your arms parts dealers wisely before your info ends up in the wrong hands.

    • Bob Sense, who are you accusing of having an illegal in the back making lowers? I hope you are NOT saying that was Ares, because you must have evidence that no one else does. There was a company up in the Bay area that was busted for what you are saying.

  19. I personally would not give 2 cents for a polymer 80% lower. I believe it is bogus tech. at best, but that is not the point. I usually take up for law enforcement in all areas, but this stupid raid sends out bad karma. It literally screams that the lunatic jackass running the justice department is foaming at the mouth to prove to his lame duck boss that they don’t mind another Waco or Ruby Ridge as long as they can tap into the ultra liberal cash veins that will feed the upcoming elections.
    In the mean time I still get up each day, run out side and jump up and down while stomping the ground and praying in some small way that this will cause the tiniest little tremor that will dump the sewer state into the ocean. I also pray that the few sane and rational Californians will be on the good and stable ground that they have always stood on and reshape the new west coast into the real America that the rest of us live on.

  20. I would like to start by saying that, like a lot of other people, I often question how ATF does many things. But anyone in, or around the firearms business should very well know that ATF is charged with enforcing the firearms laws in the United States, and they take this very seriously.

    Some facts as I know them. ARES did NOT make these 80% lower receivers. They were made by a company called EP Armory. Anybody that wants to make 80% lowers must first submit the design to ATF who will rule if it is indeed a legal 80% lower design, and issue a “letter of determination” to the manufacturer, in this case EP Armory. The 80% receivers being made cannot deviate from that “approved design” in any way, shape or manner. It is crystal clear that no 80% receiver can be made that is marked in any way for the location of the holes required for the FCG, nor is marked in any way to show the area that needs to be milled out for the FCG. Certainly having the area needing to be removed, cast in a contrasting color of plastic would seem to be to be an “obvious marking” of the area needing to be removed!

    In the case of any 80% receiver being marked in this manner, ATF will immediately consider that receiver to be a “firearm” and it is illegal to make firearms without a manufacturers license!

    As far as I know ARES never saw the “letter of determination” that EP Armory had from ATF, if they even had one. And nobody at ARES asked to see such a thing, which would have been a very smart thing to have done, before rubbing ATF’s noses in this mess. Anyone who has a firearms license, or license to build 80% receivers knows very well that if ATF calls and wants to talk to you, that you had better try to get along within the rules, as they see them, or you will have lots of problems on your head if you try to play games with them. Like it or not, they have the power to put you out of business, and in jail if the crime is serious enough.

    Everybody that I know of in the gun business, respects ATF for the power that they have, and do the best they can to follow the rules, in order to be able to keep making a living doing something they enjoy very much.

    No matter how you look at this mess ARES took the word of the EP Armory guys that this piece was legal. I think they made a very bad mistake by not asking to see “proof” that it was legal, before selling all kinds of them and bragging about what patriots they are, and blaming all their problems on the wrong guys. Many things could have happened. Maybe EP Armory did not have proper approval, maybe they changed the design, wrongfully, or who knows what really happened. But I think ARES is taking a very strong position, while standing on some very shaky ground maybe.

    There is a lot more to this than just the raid. What happened before that had a lot to do with the raid. If ATF considered these receivers to be “firearms” under the law, I am not the least bit surprised by what they did. ARES will get their chance in court someday and we will see what really happened here.

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