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BATFE Raids Ares Armor

At around 1015 AM PDT, Saturday, March 15th, the BATFE executed a search warrant on SoCal-based Ares Armor. Several websites have reported that this raid was illegal because Ares Armor had been granted a Temporary Restraining Order earlier in the week by a federal judge of the US District Court, Southern District of California. This TRO prevented BATFE from executing a warrant based on what Ares Armor considered incorrect information regarding the 80% AR-15 lowers from EP Armory they had been selling.

Unfortunately, for Ares Armor, District Judge Janis L. Sammartino of the United States District Court, modified the TRO Friday afternoon. His order prevents Ares Armor from divesting itself of inventory and records. This prevents them from destroying or removing any evidence BATFE may be after. Also, the modification To the TRO clarifies that it does “not restrain lawful criminal proceedings.”

link to TRO modification

Ares Armor claims they were willing to give BATFE any unsold 80% lowers but that they would not provide BATFE with a list of their customers. This was the primary reason Ares Armor sought out the TRO in the first place.

BATFE asserts that Ares Armor has had in its possession thousands of firearms in the form of 80% lowers and, as they do not possess an FFL, this is a serious issue.

Ares Armor on the other hand, sold what they thought were perfectly legal, non-firearms in the form of 80% lower receivers for the AR-15. This means that they are only 80% complete and cannot function. Heretofore, it has been perfectly legal for individuals to purchase these non-firearms, which are simply machined aluminum or polymer and complete them on their own, for their own use, without serial number. BATFE has long held 80% receivers are non-firearms. We await to see what rule changes will be announced by BATFE that may affect the status of all 80% completed firearm blanks.

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42 Responses to “BATFE Raids Ares Armor”

  1. Bman says:

    Had a feeling that restraining order wasn’t going to do much.

  2. TM says:

    What a joke of an agency. If you work for ATF there’s a 1000% chance you saved your virginity for marriage.

  3. Vince says:

    Total and utter bullshit. Demitrios and the guys from Ares are stand up guys. Even if they are just a bunch of Devil Dogs, they have made a name for themselves as making good gear and standing up for our rights. This may bump me up to the top of some watch list but everyone should realize the country never needed the ATF. Alcohol=Legal, Tobacco=Legal, Firearms=Legal. What part of “shall not be infringed” does this regime not understand?
    Back to the top of the list I go…

    • Helmets says:

      Alcohol = illegal moonshine
      Tobacco = illegal trafficking of cigarettes to avoid taxes
      Firearms = it may surprise you, but illegal firearms do exist

      Bro, do you even knowledge?

      • Ted says:

        Actually I think the issue is more that none of it should be illegal, at least at a federal level, until it is interstate transfer. Here is where we come to the real problem our country suffers. Overstep by a government that was never intended to become what it is today. This is a union of independent states. It comes as no surprise to see a fascist agency behaving like the jackbooted thugs of a tyrannical criminal government spun out of the people’s control. Eventually their day of reckoning will come. Revolutions are called such because they keep coming back around, over and over again. Such behavior by the ATF only speeds us to the next iteration.

        To some the ATF is an agency. To me it is a serving suggestion. ;)

  4. Bman says:

    What some may be missing is that the ATF may be looking at a customer of theirs and not the company itself which is probably why they didn’t have a problem giving them the option first telling them they would be back if the records weren’t released. Not defending the ATF because they have had their share of serious screw UPS lately but one needs to remember before they jump to a conclusion that something is personal to the company leadership that ATF is could be investigating any number of individuals not even working there. Proof that suspect A buys so many lowers from them could show its not for personal ownership or some other reason. Without being inside the investigation, we won’t know.

    • TM says:

      Last I checked Ares Armor was under no obligation to keep customer sales records for non-firearm purchases.

      • Mike says:

        They were not, but many of those were bought with credit cards and shipped to people.

        I wonder how many were bought with gift cards and shipped to empty building…

    • Brian says:

      No they are going after Ares on the grounds that the “EP 80%” lowers were 100% complete firearms then REVERTED back into 80% lowers by filling in the trigger pocket, and as such would have to comply with current Firearms Regulation to include conducting Background investigations on Persons buying, possessing an FFL and serializing the Lowers, Maintaining sale Records. Sadly they did not investigate the manufacturing process, the trigger pocket is molded first then the lower is molded around that, thus at no time is a firearm being made. If the process was reversed like they are claiming then yes a Firearm is being made.

    • Mike says:

      Even if a single person bought 1000 of them and re-sold them no law is being broken. In fact, that’s what Aries did. They bought 1000+ NONFIREARMS and sold them to other people. You can have a fifty person chain and it doesn’t matter until someone mills it out.

    • Blehtastic says:

      No way. I highly doubt Ares would care about turning over records for a specific customer if the ATF had a legitimate, non-abuse of power, specific warrant. This is a general warrant based on illegal policies pushed by some bureaucrat that is too foolish and prideful to just admit their mistake and move on with life. The news should really start reporting when the BATFE does anything it was actually created to legally accomplish with judges that aren’t just signature mills complicit in illegal tyranny. It would probably be a first, if it were ever to happen.

  5. Desert Lizard says:

    If the owners of the store had put up a physical defense, I wonder how many people would have joined them. Sooner or later it’s going to have to come down to that or liberty will be gone.

    • Colin says:

      Definitely man, he should have defended himself from a lawful federal agency conducting a lawful and constitutional raid. Because the Constitution, in its pursuit of liberty does not allow search warrant or raids to be legal.

  6. GW says:

    I wonder if other shops that sold the lowers are being raided and hassled?

  7. Swat3Four says:

    Firearms, because restraining orders are just pieces of paper. And let’s not forget another great quote: Our forefathers would have been shooting by now.

    • KLP says:

      I disagree. They had met with 100% failure within the houses and the courts and experiences several of the intolerable acts before the Boston Massacre. The revolution began several years after THAT. There are currently signs of progress in the judiciary and we have plenty of support for freedom in both Congress and the Senate. Our president will change in 2016 and we have to really in order to get a pro-from president in office. Friend, I have no illusion that we live in a free society as our founding fathers envisioned, but we are far off from resorting to the ammo box.

  8. Brian says:

    Here is Why the BATFE went after Ares Armor, Their claim is that the 80% polymer AR-15 Lowers were 100% completed receivers, then were injected with the white plastic to “Fill in” the trigger pocket in order to Revert the Receiver back to an 80%. What the TRO modification claims is that the original TRO does not Enjoin (enjoin verb for a court to order that someone either do a specific act, cease a course of conduct, or be prohibited from committing a certain act. To obtain such an order, called an injunction, a private party or public agency has to file a petition for a writ of injunction, serve it on the party he/she/it hopes to be enjoined, allowing time for a written response. Then a court hearing is held in which the judge will consider evidence,) Ares should have provided their Attorney a copy of the client list, shipping manifest, CC receipts, banking history, computer Hard drives, as so to Prevent the ATF from Attaining the information till the court date of the TRO, while it would not protect the inventory it would safeguard the client information till the hearing.

  9. Matt says:

    Regardless of warrents or restraining orders the fact of the matter is that they WERE NOT selling firearms. If the ATF granted said company a letter stating their 80% lowers were not deemed a firearm then how has all of this come to be? If said company making a 80% lower non firearm in their opinion did not get a letter from the ATF stating that then shame on them. So where does this leave things? I totally agree with not turning over records, as they are NOT a firearm. Ares Armor did the stand up thing which was that they were willing to give up inventory of which they had paid for and knew that they would never see a dime of back once they were siezed. It’s my vote that they start a kick starter or crowd funding campaign for their legal defense. I’d be the first one to kick in $50.

  10. hobbit says:

    So were the customer records seized?

  11. TCL says:

    Lots of speculation going on here. No doubt the Ares guys will get a gag order placed on them to protect the Jack Booted Thugs from the truth. We may never know exactly. If it is true that someone filled a complete lower back in with something after being made whole then I hope the courts have mercy. If not, then it looks like the administration and the crooked thugs at the BATFE are at their old games again.

  12. Colin says:

    Definitely man, he should have defended himself from a lawful federal agency conducting a lawful and constitutional raid. Because the Constitution, in its pursuit of liberty does not allow search warrant or raids to be legal.

    • Jeremy says:

      Keep posting the same tired argument. Lawful does not equal right. See slavery, the Holocaust, etc. ..

  13. subchasr says:

    Is Ares getting picked on because of the 100% turning back t 80% or is it because it’s California or is something bigger going on?

  14. Will says:

    I don’t necessarily blame the BATFE for this as has been shown with the IRS targeting and all else, this admin is ready and willing to target anyone.

    Poly80.com may have lit the fuse with the Obama video of completing an AR lower, as we know most Communist retards have no concept of reality when it comes to firearms, but throwing Obama into a video with how to finish one, all it would take is one dope smoking homo libtard in politics to make this an issue, true or not.

  15. Tomaso says:

    BATFE is like a 4 yr old playing monopoly …and making up thier own rules as the go.

  16. MIKE CARPENTER says:

    why would there even be customer ists

  17. JohnC says:

    I admit, I have seen ill-advised (federal) cases and investigations — most often re regulatory violations, public corruption/honest services, the FCPA, etc. — that seem primarily to derive from political pressure and/or cognitive bias and/or mind-boggling incompetence. A few were so flimsy that the substantive part of the dismissal order took up less space than the caption and signature line, or had the conviction reversed on appeal less than 5 minutes after oral argument (when the appellate panel tells the U.S. attorney to “wait here,” it’s not a good day).

    On the other hand, I have seen many, many, many more cases in which the public outcry re political or otherwise impertinent prosecution was 180 degree wrong. (Nothing quite like the face of a character witness who’s just learned the guy she pleaded could never steal from the church did in fact steal from the church … to buy child porn.)

    I have no idea if AA’s alleged shenanigans are imagined or real, or even accurately described. I have no idea if it was the ATF, or someone else in the DoJ who brought the heat. Argue about the law all you want. Argue about whatever gun-related dumbassery the government puts out (my sentimental favorite: the Treasury’s dubious study mentioning semi-auto “spray fire” from the hip).

    But enough with the “jackboot” comments and muted (hypothetical) threats.
    By and large, the ATF guys I know are gun friendly, albeit less so when they’re arresting someone. They take their job and its ethics seriously. Some can even be taken into polite company. The guys serving the warrants are doing their jobs (and, yes, in most cases, following orders is a good and reasonable idea). The reality is that if you are in Fed. LE, there (a) will almost certainly be cases that give people qualms; (b) very few people will ever share the same qualms about the same cases (it happens, but not often); (c) about half the time you have qualms, you’ll realize they were misplaced.

  18. Qball says:

    FTF

  19. Casey says:

    http://www.justice.gov/usao/cae/news/docs/2014/2014_02/02-27-2014Cortez%20SW%20Package.pdf

    Heres the warrant application, in case anyone actually cares about the ATF’s side of the story.

    short version: Guys are going to gun shops and purchasing 80% lowers. Gun store brings the guy into the back and he pulls the handle on a machine to drill out some holes in the lower blank. A machinist “cleans it up” and the purchaser walks out the door with an AR15. ARES is a PART of an investigation which targets real-deal criminal activity. If ARES had cooperated with the investigators, this raid could have been avoided.