ATF Tells Ares Armor to Hand Over Customer List or Lose Everything: Owner Dimitrios Karras Fights Back

Ares Armor sells gun parts to build rifles from scratch, along with other gun parts and apparel. The ATF says their business is illegal and is demanding that their customer lists be turned over or — lose everything. So they won’t lose everything if they hand over the list of customers? Huh-uh. I don’t think that’s the way it works. First question, what political party does Dimitrios Karras and others in his company donate to? 

See an Update here 3/19/14: BATF won and has the customer lists — despite a court order, the agency came in in a very uncool manner and got what they wanted.


The ATF “executed a search warrant” against all of Ares Armor buildings on Saturday, March 15th, 2014 although the owner, Dimitrios Karras, allegedly had a temporary restraining order. In this story from The Daily Mail, Karras said no one has been arrested, and he apparently has not turned-over his customer list.

The problem started with at least one anti-gun member of the San Diego local government took offense at Ares Armor’s new billboard sign, seen above.

Ares Armor is a gun store in San Diego, California. They sell gun parts, holsters, cases, apparel, backpacks and something called  a “80% lower”.  These are blocks of metal or plastic that are shaped into the rough form of a lower receiver.  These receivers are 80% completed and you can use a drill press at home to finish the remaining 20% and build your own gun. Ares Armor is not unique in selling these. There are hundreds of companies in the U.S. who make and sell “80% lowers”. You can have them mailed right to your front door with no FFL transfer or fees.

This is perfectly legal under the Gun Control Act of 1968 [check out the ATF’s website]. You still have to follow all Federal, State and Local Laws related to firearms. But, as a private individual who is making a firearm for personal use (and not for sale or distribution), you have no agreement with the government to put serial numbers on your firearm. As long as your aren’t selling or giving it away to someone else, it’s 100% legal.

So, why is Ares Armor in the news? Because the local government thinks it is acceptable to re-interpret their own city code to suit a political agenda. City officials have abused their elected positions to try to silence people who display messages they don’t like.  This all started in November of 2013 when Ares Armor refaced the billboard sign above their new location at 416 National City Boulevard in National City, CA….Source: Liberty Crier

The above was followed by a letter from owner, Dimitrios Karras:

We have so far been welcomed into your city by the most insidious of evil. You have chosen to selectively enforce your cities codes against us in a clear attempt to subvert our First Amendment Rights. You have hidden behind paper and failed to identify any individual who is responsible for your actions. You have sent police officers in secret to surveil us based on the political message that we have publicly displayed in accordance with our rights. You have denied us the right to due process by making unreasonable “appeal” deadlines that are in direct violation of your own ordinance. You seem to believe that the position you were elected into is a throne; that you may enact laws onto your “subjects.” You seem to believe that if an ideological or political message appears that is not in accordance with your own views that you may tyrannically threaten us with unjust fines and imprisonment.

We are not your subjects but are citizens of the United States of America; a country governed not by men but by law! Follow the link to Liberty Crier above for the remainder of the letter

Mr. Karras states in bold letters: “WE DO NOT FEAR YOU. YOU WILL NOT selectively enforce laws or subvert your own ordinance because you disagree with” what a citizen has to say.

So apparently, the BATF showed up.

Dimitrios Karras, owner of Ares Armor in Oceanside, told that Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents are investigating his business because it sells AR-15 lower receivers, which contain the gun’s operating parts.

The company sold thousands of 80 percent receivers in with colors showing where the customer can drill, making it easier and cheaper to build. The ATF said the sales are illegal and demanded the company turn over the products and names of customers who purchased them, according to the report.

“They said either give us these 5,000 names or we are coming in and taking pretty much anything – which is a huge privacy concern and something we are not willing to do,” Karras told the station.

Karras’s attorney arranged for ATF agents to pick up the receivers on Wednesday, but Karras said he will not comply with turning over the customer list.

“They were going to search all of our facilities and confiscate our computer and pretty much shut our business down,” Karras said. “The government invades our privacy on a daily basis and everyone thinks its ok.”

H/T Knuckledraggin

Linked at Grumpy Opinions – read Cynthia’s article on Michelle Obama’s China trip and the fight for the Air Force One (tell me you don’t love the pic).

Linked at Watcher of Weasels Council – thank you!

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