We were contacted yesterday by Ares Armor front man Dimiti Karras regarding an issue that has begun to come to the forefront of 2A rights. Although drawn in by ATF actions against one of Ares’ suppliers, they are now at the center of it. Not only is the story swirling the blogosphere, it’s also made its way to the evening news.
The story revolves around polymer 80% lower receivers for AR15-style rifles. These are considered non-guns are and consequently do not have serial numbers. They are purchased by those who wish to finish the work at home and so long as they do the work themselves for their own use, it is perfectly legal and the resulting firearm will not have a serial number. In some people’s eyes, this makes them even more evil than the standard evil that is a black rifle.
Reportedly, the BATFE raided California-based EP Armory last week due to a determination letter that had deemed EP’s 80% Polymer lower to be a firearm – the determination letter was quickly found to be factually incorrect, and the BATFE was alerted to this. Despite this, the BATFE still obtained warrants against EP Armory, and earlier this week also threatened to raid Ares Armor, who sells these 80% lowers, based on incorrect information. It must be mentioned the ATF has allowed EP Armory to go back to business.
Ares Armor’s lawyers contacted the ATF and they requested a list of every customer that had purchased an EP Armory polymer lower from Ares Armor and for them to turn over the remaining polymer lower inventory that they have in lieu of the threatened raid. Ares is willing to turn over the 80% lower receivers but they draw the line at giving up the information on customers they maintain have done nothing wrong. In response, Ares Armor has managed to obtain a Temporary Restraining Order against the BATFE issued by the United States district court of Southern California. That’s a new one on me. I can’t of anyone who’s ever done that before. The ATF has yet to respond to the order and both parties may end up in front of a federal judge later this month in order to determine if the restraining order has merit.
Update: Here is a scan of the official order issued by the United States District Court of the Southern District of California, separated into two parts.