ATF Raids Ares Armor for 80% lower sales. Changes to legal classification of 80% lowers coming?

ATF raid

Last Saturday, ATF agents raided Ares Armor in Oceanside, CA.. The ATF wanted information about the customers that purchased 80% AR-15 lower receivers. Even though Ares Armor had a restraining order against the ATF’s search and seizure, the ATF proceeded anyway. Might this signal a change in the BATFE legal opinion of 80% lower receivers?

Check it out here



Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • dannye

    Wasn’t this the same blog that posted an article singing praises for the ATF a couple months ago?

    Whoops.

    • Chief Homeslice

      Maybe, just maybe, the ATF does some good things and does some bad things and the world isn’t as black and white as you’d like it to be.

      • dannye

        Doing good things = enforcing government diktats of very dubious Constitutional legitimacy

        Nah, don’t think so.

        • Chief Homeslice

          The ATF trains the army in how to preserve forensic evidence in a bombing and the ATF helped catch the bombers in WTC ’93. Not that it makes up for the rest of their past (and current) issues. But its OK to give credit when credit is due even if you don’t agree with the political-bureaucratic landscape.

          • dannye

            Picking up the slack for the FBI (presumably because the FBI is also incompetent) does not make the ATF the “good guys”.

          • Patrick Mingle

            a broken clock is correct twice a day

      • The Hun

        BS – you won’t be saying this when Officer Friendly is kicking you door down and head in for “gun owner violations” when the grabbers finally get their way. Pick a side- it’s coming.

        • Chief Homeslice

          Of course not. I don’t think the ATF is a good organization at all and would like to see it completely restructured or removed entirely. However, not every single action of theirs is bad. Praise their good actions, condemn their bad ones.

          • DaveP.

            So they can use the praise you hand them to paper over the criticism for their disasters, right?
            “Gee, all that criticism is so overblown- here’s a quote of our enemies saying how wonderful we are…”
            Sorry, no. AAA is right that reform never comes while there’s any kind of lifeline that lets you avoid it; by casting a lifeline to the ATF you’re helping insure continuing abuses.

          • mytraintrax

            80% of the time I drive within the speed limit, 20% of the time I don’t, does that mean I am not breaking the law and should not be punished for the 20% that I may overlook it, what you imply basically says that the ATF is exonerated due to the fact that they do good most of the time.

            When a lawman gets killed we take extreme measures against the lawman’s killer due to the killers extreme lack of respect for the law, when a lawman breaks the law, the same extreme sanctions must be applicable to the lawman who showed even less respect for the law he was bound to uphold, and in the case of a lawman the lack of knowlage is even less of a defence for and should be dealt with very severely.

            There must also be no blanket cover against a lawman’s ilegal actions, it is imperative that all lawmen be held severally and personally accountable for the law to work correctly, it is the best method of creating an inherent system of checks and balance’s, a lawman will think long and hard before he will follow an order that will land him in hot water.

      • Drapetomanius

        After all, St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible….

  • Cymond

    ATF performed the raid using bad information. They persisted after given correct information.

    In short, the polymer 80% lowers from Ares Armor use a method where the fire control pocket is filled with a different material than the lower. The material is a different color to make it easy to cut away & complete the lower.

    If they created an empty FCG pocket and then filled it, then they would effectively be attempting to start with a “complete” receiver and then revert it back to 80% status. That’s not how they do it. They actually start with the FCG-plug and then mold the rest of the 80% around it.

    This “plug” method has another advantage besides making it easier to comlete the lower. If you’ve ever melted wax in a sauce pan, you know that it shrinks when it cools & hardens, which deforms the wax in uneven ways. Creating an 80% lower as a solid block of plastic would have problems with shrinking, deforming, and internal stresses. Polymer80 discussed the problems they had during development on Facebook. Go look at any polymer lower on the market, they all have molded FCG pockets and magwells, none of them are machined out from a solid block.

    The really scary part of this is that all 80% lower manufacturers that I know of (Ares, EP Lowers, James Madison Tactical, and Polymer80) all use the same manufacturing technique of molding the lower around a pre-formed FCG pocket plug.

    • heone

      Where Ares seems to have fubar’d (IMO) is using a different color for the FCP, JMT and Poly80 have black on black. The photo of the Ares has a yellow FCP, can’t see if the pins locations are yellow as well.

      Playing devils advocate (Im sure VERY unpopular), it could be argued that the yellow material is different than the black material surrounding it. Regardless of manufacturing sequence, the result is a 100% lower with the FCP filled in. I would love to see a Al lower w/ dents in the pin locations and an outline etched for the pocket, but I doubt that would pass muster as a 80%, more like 81%.

      What I would like to see is, what did Ares submit for approval, single color or yellow on black.

      • Mark N.

        Ares does not manufacture lowers. It sells EP Armory lowers. There are no dents in the pin or selector hole positions; rather there are raised “pimples” of the same material as the receiver. The holes are not drilled, the trigger slot is not drilled, and the “insert” cannot be removed without drilling/milling it as there are ribs created when the receiver is injected that lock the plug in place. EP contends that the receiver is not created and then the pocket filled in, but instead that the receiver is molded around the pocket insert.

      • Phil Hsueh

        The problem with that is that, as I understand it, there’s no clear definition what an 80% lower is, the ATF has not gone on record stating exactly where the dividing line between 80% and 81% is. For that matter, I think that it’s been mentioned elsewhere that, strictly speaking, 80% lower actually holds no legal meaning and it’s more of a marketing term to define a lower that is incomplete enough to not be considered a firearm.

        I think that until the ATF finally fully defines what legally constitutes an 80% lower this type of situation like what’s happening to Ares is going to continue to happen. Sadly, until forced to do so (like by court order via a lawsuit) I doubt that the ATF will be in any hurry to legally define an 80% lower, by not doing so it gives the antis in the upper ranks of the ATF a lot to conduct crackdowns on 80% lowers as they please since there’s no strict definitions they can change their minds constantly about what’s a paperweight and what’s a firearm.

      • erictank

        That’s the thing – Ares *DIDN’T* fill in a completed lower, as has been stated, for a couple of reasons. It’s not their lower – they’re selling someone else’s product – and it’s created in such a way, apparently, that there is NEVER anything close to a legal firearm. It either is or is not a completed firearm (which is what a receiver is counted as, legally); the way these are made, it never is. When you injection-mold one color of polymer around another colored block of poly in the shape of the FCG cavity, in such a way that the two parts must be milled extensively to be separated, that’s a non-complete receiver which is not a firearm. Or even a receiver. It’s a PAPERWEIGHT. Unless we’re going to call every appropriately-sized hunk of steel or aluminum a firearm now, the whole basis for the raid is, charitably speaking, total BS.

        And ATF raided them anyways, on the basis of something they knew to be false, in order to get their hands on those customer records over the weekend. Regardless of what they were ordered to do at open-of-business Monday, who wants to bet on whether they made sure to get in-house copies made of all that customer data over the weekend?

      • Cymond

        ATF has already made it clear at some point that dents in the pin locations are a no-go. I’m not sure if they’d accept surface markings such as a painted-on guide, but I doubt it. At some point, it becomes clear that a hunk of metal is obviously intended to be made into a firearm receiver.

        Also, Ares didn’t produce anything, they sold products made by EP Lowers. Apparently, EP didn’t submit anything to the ATF for approval, regardless of color.

    • mytraintrax

      The ATF neither cared nor were interested in anything else but the list of buyers, everything else was smoke and mirrors to get that list.

  • The Hun

    The rule of law no longer applies to us tax-donkey serfs- agencies like the ATF and DHS and even local LE wipe their a**es with the US Constitution.

    • bfmusashi

      I think you’re referring to the Bill of Rights, but neither document has ever been held as sacrosanct.

      • Santa Claws

        Actually he is correct to refer to it as the Constitution. You however are incorrect, see a bill is only a bill until it becomes a law. A bill has no real power or authority under the law so its not really under “the rule of law” until such time as it becomes a … LAW.

        Considering the bill of rights became amendments to the constitution…. his statement is correct and yours is just wrong.

        And something being sacrosanct is really an emotional concept thus has no place in a legal system. If the ATF is violating the law, then we are required to hold them to the law… if those that we have chosen to uphold said laws refuse to do their duty.

        Well then we have to consider other means….

        • bfmusashi

          You got me. I used the informal name for the first ten amendments while correcting someone else for, what is, a correct name. I hold my use of sacrosanct is applicable, as the original comment referenced an undefined time where the United States operated under the Rule of Law. I don’t think this time ever occurred and have difficulty locating proof it existed. As to private citizens holding law enforcement to the laws, well, that’s what lawyers are for isn’t it.

          • Santa Claws

            Yes that is a step, but when the court system begins to fail you, it is in fact that very “sacrosanct” document that provides your legitimate method of civil defense.

          • bfmusashi

            That is the interpretation at the pleasure of the legislature and the courts. The militia acts are all interesting reads as were the opinions in District of Columbia v. Heller. On a more practical note, I can think of no domestic group that has matched or surpassed the coercive power of the United States. In the face of such futility all that is left is persuasion.

          • Santa Claws

            You can not think of a domestic group that has matched or surpassed the coercive power of the US for a good reason.

            Its neither been necessary or reasonable to assemble or use such a force. One of the things that make this country so great is that our system has at least up to the present been of such a nature that the appropriate amount of “good fear” has been firmly instilled in our officiate. Good fear is the fear of having ones public carrier halted and placed into a retirement position with haste.

            Bad fear is coercion via arms, (see Russian army in Crimea).

            That being said, there is a bad assumption that the might of the USA would befall those that would choose to resort to violence to force change. Our country is still of the people by the people, and while it SEEMS that at times this concept is slipping away, I believe it’s still a country that can be changed with politics and lawyers.

            But don’t think for a moment that if this country were to ever diverge from its founding principals, you would find that these countrymen would indeed fight and I believe succeed over the will of an oppressive government.

            Ultimately its like this, a revolt would not succeed because as of yet there have been no righteous reason to begin such revolts. As long as our governments respect this country and its countrymen they deserve our respect, even if they don’t always get our vote.

            If it were to be any other way, then it would be the duty of our countrymen to strive towards its correction, if by pen than so be it, if by sword then we should pray that they be drawn with righteous spirit. May all peoples possess the wisdom to act appropriately but never unbind any persons ability to draw said sword.

          • mytraintrax

            You are completely an utterly dilusional, the amount of law suits brought to bear on the current legislature have had absolutely no effect, all that happens is replacement dictatorial laws by decree, get enacted to replace the ones the court struck down, civil liberties in the USA have never faced such grave threat and this will not stop in the now tainted legal system.

          • Santa Claws

            I am delusional am I?

            So the Heller ruling was an illusion?
            Its an illusion that in fact no real gun legislation survived congress?
            The 9th court in fact DID NOT overrule open carry bans?

            While I get that we have much to still fight for, and that nothing is perfect, you suggesting what? We revolt?

            Do you understand why your revolt would fail?

            Then get a passport and use it… trust me you go to a country that has seen recent civil war and your going to understand why we don’t revolt. Sure out current political leaders are…. not to my liking, but its not at a point where the intelligent individual would think that its time to stand with you. This country is not without its flaws but to think that I am delusional because I don’t think its at a point that we must storm the government buildings with guns in hand…..

            …..well buddy you need seek some assistance with those issues, because nobody wants a lone gunman.

          • mytraintrax

            You have completely missed the point, no where have I advocated violence either, but what I am saying is that the way the country has degenerated, it has reached the point where neither the legislators nor the White-house even care about the courts unless it suits their narrative, the simply ignore it or make another oval office directive circumventing any and all rulings that defeat them.

            What it will take is extreme mass action by the citizenry, ten million people marching on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, millions of people camping outside of their state capitols and the homes of their legislative reps, unfortunately this will not happen, the only collective wisdom people currently share is the one in which they are too afraid of becoming the next victim of the IRS and their goon squads.

            Unfortunately the citizenry of the USA has too much personal”stuff” to lose or give up to stand against the tyranny that is coming their way and until they have nothing left to lose and take a page out of MLK’s book they will not stop the free-fall to the bottom of the socialist pit.

          • Santa Claws

            I’m exhausted by this thread so apogees for keeping it short.

            I got your point, I just think your wrong. In fact I think you just didn’t like my point and wanted to counter it with a baseless assertions. Frankly, one of the most common failures with discussions today are terms like “you missed my point” when really you mean “I had something to say, you didn’t agree fully or thought my point was wrong, so I will say it a different way so that way I don’t have to actually defend it with valuable counter-point.”

            Its just exasperating to try to climb down that rat-hole. SO i won’t

            Simply put, don’t make assumptions about the citizenry… you show your age.

            Only really stupid people fear the IRS, as someone who just recently went through an 4th audit, literally the postman scares me more.

            The USA is not perfect, but again, get passport and use it… this world outside the US is far more unjust, and much farther down that “socialist pit” than anything I have seen in the US.

          • mytraintrax

            That’s interesting, you find me a single lawyer that is not a money grabbing coward, and you have either uncovered the next messiah or the general of the forces that will restore the USA and rid the US of it incredibly corrupt government, a government that does not obey its own laws or constitution is not a government but a corrupt dictatorial malevolent force, the USA is finished, free elections are a thing of the past, rule by extreme force is here to stay and no accountability will ever be brought to book.

    • supergun

      above the law.

  • MICHAEL

    it’s outrageous no matter how you look at it

  • ColaBox

    Im gonna go out on a limb here and say, while I can see why this may be important, I came to this great site to see posts about firearms and gear, not whether or not the ATF is being a bunch of pricks. Id hate to see this site start to resemble TTAG.

    • Yellow Devil

      Well, sometimes it’s good to pull your head out of the sand in order to see what is about to kick you in the rear.

    • Michel_T

      Well, while this story might not be has entertaining as a gun article… it is none the less important.

      If the ATF and NSA have their ways, soon enough guns might only be that… a story.

    • Santa Claws

      Admit it, you come here to pretend for a moment that your personal politics does not actually place your civil rights at risk.

      • Cymond

        I can’t speak for ColaBox, but I come here to get a break from the hysterics of the entire issue. I find the Anti’s tactics to be so infuriating that I cannot cope with it.

  • MIKE

    WAIT…THE FIREARM BLOG DOES NOT DO POLITICS.

    • AAAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….AAAHAHA

      AND WE DON’T ACCEPT CASH/SWAG IN EXCHANGE FOR GOOD REVIEWS!

      (Seriously, we are just really big fans of the quality engineering found in Masterpiece Arms and Caracal. And have you guys seen that awesome new Hi-Point?)

    • gunslinger

      this isn’t.

      • MIKE

        IF IT INVOLVES THE COURTS, IT’S A POLITICAL ISSUE.

        • Santa Claws

          Well then a blog is a form of free speech so EVERYTHING IS POLITICAL

          Get over it

          • MIKE

            OH, I’M JUST POINTING IT OUT BECAUSE THIS BLOG’S EDITOR IS AGAINST REPORTING FIREARMS RELATED POLITICS. I DON’T SEE HOW YOU CAN AVOID IT.

  • patrickiv

    “Firearms not politics.”

    • Patrick Mingle

      They are reporting on issues related to a manufacturer and something that might impact the sales of 80% lowers. They provided no political commentary whatsoever. Still in the clear!

    • ThomasD

      Facts are either apolitical, or they are not.

      That they are not is an inherently political outlook. Because at that point nothing is not political.

    • gggplaya

      While there may be some politics involved here, discussion of what constitutes an 80% lower or not is strictly firearms.

    • Santa Claws

      If you choose to hide from your politics, you shall have no firearms to discuss.

      • patrickiv

        You are completely ignoring the point.

        • Santa Claws

          no your completely ignoring the reality. I get the idea of “firearms not politics”

          Just like I get the idea of fairies, unicorns, and pretending to play cowboys and Indians.

          But I prefer to live in a reality, and just like a blog about the technologies of “whites only” water fountains and bar stools, its equally silly to attempt to separate the two when it involves your civil rights.

          • Cymond

            Every once in a while, I become politically aware again. For example, when Sandy Hook happened, I started reading … a lot. It’s overwhelming to read a constant stream of attempted oppression from the likes of Bloomberg, Feinstein, and Deleon. It’s worse actually living in California. I eventually reached burnout.

            Your activism to protect our rights is commendable, but there is a time and place for everything, and this is not the place. There are hundreds or thousands of blogs & news articles on the politics of firearms, so let’s keep the politics “isolated” to those near-infinite places. In short, please stop tracking their mud into our clean home.

          • Santa Claws

            Here I made some changes to help you understand your position.

            “Your activism to protect our {equal} rights is commendable, but there is a time and place for everything, and this is not the place. There are hundreds or thousands of blogs & news articles on the politics of racial equality, so let’s keep the politics “isolated” to those near-infinite places. In short, please stop tracking their mud into our clean home.”

            Until you see the equivalency of your right to arms in all of your other right and thus the failure of your conjecture; you will continue to be treated as a second class citizen. You won’t find me jumping up and down screaming sucks or whatever. But when people start crying “guns not politics” over an article that is frankly only political if you don’t like news that harms liberals, well I will ALWAYS make an effort to remind those that attempt to separate themselves from the politics of what is a civil right, that in fact your civil rights are sadly just as political today as when equal rights were being filibustered by democrats in the 60’s. Using terms such as “time and place” is how we got “free speech zones” and even before that “whites only” water fountains.

            As for you emotional state, while I empathize with your situation (actually I don’t to be honest it just sounded nice to say) , your emotional state is yours and yours alone, no amount of blogging should be held accountable for it.

            While I respect TFB’s wish to have articles that focus on the equipment, asking that your pristine floors not be spoiled is a bit obtuse. After all, anyone who chooses to ignore the civil rights politics need not worry about the mud that may linger on their blood stained floors

  • DPinTX

    I think it is related to this
    http://www.ice.gov/news/releases/1402/140227sacramento.htm
    My understanding is they setup an assembly line and we’re make these by the hundreds. I guess if you have a customer ordering these 25 at a time over and over, that should raise some questions.

    • gunslinger

      why? it’s not a gun. it’s a paperweight. sure it can be turned into a gun. but i don’t see the ATF rading steel mills or forges because OMG that metal can be turned into a gun.

  • Giolli Joker

    “Even though Ares Armor had a restraining order
    against the ATF’s search and seizure, the ATF proceeded anyway.”

    Wow, I thought only Saul Goodman could obtain a restraining order against a government agency…

  • Eric Haulenbeek

    I no longer recognize this country. We have a president (kind of) who behaves in a lawless manor every day of the week, an EPA who claims they’re above our system of justice, a DOJ which will not prosecute criminal activity… the list goes on and on.

    • brokenlol

      What style of Manor is our president? Jacobean or Elizabethan?

      • Santa Claws

        these days it seems to be a Berghof styled manor that our leaders live in….

        ….guess ya didn’t see that one coming did ya

        • brokenlol

          Berghof is a place, not a style of architecture. Berghof followed after Swiss Chalet Architecture.

          You might have sounded intelligent if you had maybe said “Fascist” or even “Modernist”.

          But you didn’t and now you just sound like an ass. Thank you for furthering the perception that gun owners are morons.

          • Santa Claws

            Actually Berghof was a structure, if you want to get technical about it. And I used it to refer to a specific structure, for the purposes of humor. But sure you can go with Fascist, or National Socialist if you wish… though they really aren’t a plausible “style” of manor now are they, but hey I preferred the my version, deal with it.

            You could have excepted it as a lighthearted jab, but instead you got all butt-hurt over the counter punch.

            Thankyou for furthering the perception that Warhammer fans are basement dwelling, socially broken(lol) internet trolling meat hooks with a sever lack of humor.

  • gunslinger

    would love more info

    • raz-0

      Well here is some more.

      Ares didn’t get a 100% restraining order. They got one against them for activities outside of a lawful investigation. So the BATFE dudes coming around in plain clothes saying give it to us or else couldn’t do that anymore. And they didn’t. They got a warrant as part of their investigation of ares, and executed said warrant. In compliance with the restraining order.

      The motivation for the investigation is that ares was holding 80% build parties making a machine shop accessible. In theory. where I checked in to this being on my radar, I have no idea if any such build party was thrown, but they were advertising them. BATFE’s reasoning is that they are selling you that 80% lower, then facilitating the completion of such for many individuals on premises, and thus you are engaged in the manufacture of firearms, they need to be serialized, and you need to have an 07 FFL or 10 FFL depending on what they are making.

      I still don’t think we have a complete story, but we currently have more of the story, and both BATFE and Ares have not been telling the whole story to date, so…

      From my cheap seats on the interwebs, it looks like Ares has deliberately treat the razor’s edge of legality, or at least intended to do such. BATFE, because there has been a relatively honest investigation into deeds by other parties who tried to appear they were staying just this side of legal, but were going WAY over the line into clearly illegal behavior, decided to use that to go fishing at Ares.
      Is ares in the right? That depends on what they helped customers make, how much they helped them, and other details of their behavior we do not know. Is BATFE just going fishing and abusing the system? That depend on if they have someone providing credible evidence against ares or other evidence to suggest they are actually engaged in manufacturing without a license, or manufacturing illegal items and distributing them.

      Unless the BATFE comes along and says otherwise, as far as I can tell, the status of 80% polymer lowers being 80% or not has nothing to do with it. Or we would be hearing about something happenign to the manufacturer, which we haven’t. I think they are just a common inventory item to both Califorinia investigations at this point.

      At least that’s how I read the more fact based news on the interwebs as of this morning.

      • gunslinger

        thanks

      • Good comment–thanks!

      • John

        Didn’t something happen to the manufacturer? EP Lowers was raided days before Ares.

        There’s a lot of speculation at this point, but Tactical Machining (on their facebook page) has thrown it out there that it might be because their lowers have raised pimples to indicate where to drill the pin holes, NOT because of the manufacturing process (the outside in vs inside out theory).

        When Tactical Machining was getting approval for their own 80% lowers, they wanted to ink their receivers with the location of the pin holes and the ATF told them it would be going past 80%.

        Tactical Machining also said that when the ATF suddenly decided that drilling out the selector switch was considered going past 80%, a letter was sent to them to sell their remaining stock but transition to an un-drilled selector switch blank, which they did without incident.

        Just my 2 cents but it sounds to me that the ATF was nothing but patient with TM’s case, and if they’re not the bullies we make them out to be.

        I feel as though they were also patient in EP’s case, but there was extenuating circumstances to warrant the raid (build parties, unapproved modifications to their 80%, or otherwise).

        • noguncontrol

          no, there is no moral justification for this raid, period, this raid immoral, the batf is immoral, and its existence should have ended years ago. please stop defending these immoral govt agencies like the batf. gunowners should be united against these evil groups.

  • Eric S

    I think they were playing a little too close to the edge on the edge of legality and the ATF decided to make a show of it. It IS Cali after all.

    But with that, there was an H.R. that tried to make 80% receivers illegal to transfer sans FFL, and attached it to a mental health bill too. I don’t it got a lot of traction as it would force the ATF into defining what 80% really is, and that would be very bad for them.

  • Renegade

    Ares just isn’t doing that well. With their sales and supply debacles from the end of 2012 to the middle of last year, and now an ATF raid, I’m wondering how much longer they last.

    I’ve heard their arsenal bag is quite nice, even if overpriced.

  • Juice

    “Even though Ares had a restraining order against the ATF’s search and seizure, the ATF proceeded anyway.”

    I’m not even American and this pisses me off.

    • The Forty ‘Twa

      It is poor writing from TFB staff and should really be changed. It is highly misleading.

      From what I can gather from better sources the restraining order basically meant the ATF had to acquire a warrant to search the premises and couldn’t keep sniffing around without one. Once the restraining order was granted, the ATF stopped doing what they were prohibited from doing and obtained a warrant to proceed which is what was required by the restraining order should they wish to search the premises.

    • Jim jones

      If they do it all over the world why do people think they can’t or wouldn’t do it back home ??? This is how the us govt wants things. They want to know every thing about every one. When the theory came out about putting tracking devices on her we all cried bloody murder. Guess what all you smart phone user you did it for them.
      None the least since they are more organized then the rest of general population they do what ever they want.

  • Sam McAllister

    The problems in the gun community abound concerning the law. The first problem is: 80% is a fictional number which means absolutely nothing. What means something is the governing law. The issue is whether the thing is a firearm or not. When there is no pocket or holes in which to put a hammer/trigger, the thing is obviously not a firearm. Going closer to the edge and debating whether it is a firearm if there are no production parts which could fit in a significantly narrower space would be an issue for a court to decide.

    This brings us to point two of misunderstanding within the gun community: the effect of an BATFE determination. The BATFE can interpret the law all it wants, but none of it has any actual legal effect. Running to court with a BATFE determination that your gun or whatever is “legal” has no effect whatsoever. This is why they can change their mind so frequently and are not bound by earlier determinations. A BATFE letter only states their interpretation of the law and current intent (because it can change at will) not to prosecute. The only real determination comes at court. This rarely happens because gun community people are unwilling to risk felony charges.

    ARES has some serious balls putting up the fight they have to maintain the privacy of their customer list. They are potentially risking some serious criminal charges. My hat is off to them.

    • mytraintrax

      Semantics as you are only clouding the issue, the point is the overreach and feckless lawlessness of government and its representatives in its justification to deprive its legal citizens of its constitutional rights.

      • Sam McAllister

        While I hear your rant against what is obviously tyrannical and unconstitutional (and utterly lawless) behavior, I have found it is useful to correctly understand the nature and details of the tyrannical laws under which we suffer. This gives us more credibility when making arguments against. If we really don’t understand the laws and are incorrect understanding history or just generally ignorant concerning the above, we look like the idiots we are.

        It is utterly important to understand the two points I made in my original comment as it guides a proper attack on the lawless tyrants who claim to be enforcing the law (without even knowing it themselves). Undermining their credibility in this way is key to making a good argument for overreach and lawlessness.

        • mytraintrax

          Unfortunately when dealing with an occupier mentality, logic and credibility are lost in the wasteland left by tyrants, “for the good of all” is the single most damaging force against the rights of the individual, and is the key instrument used to deprive and strip the individual of his rights, the constitution was supposed to be the defender of the individual first and only after the rights of the individual were secured were the rights of the collective to be taken into account.

          It is through this negating of the individuals status that the current dictators are riding roughshod over the constitution and the people it was enacted to protect, the more this is allowed to progress, the less chance there will be to stop its ultimate objective or roll back the damage that it does.

          The 2nd amendment was enshrined for one purpose and one purpose only, and that was to maintain a very healthy fear in government of what the citizenry will do if they step out of line or violate the constitution, if the government has access to a machine gun, the citizens must by constitutional decree then have access to a cannon, it is that simple and is the sole purpose of its design, it is not a document empowering the government but a document that empowers the people to throw out the government should the government fail to abide by its rules and amendments.

          • Sam McAllister

            I stand by my original statement. We are never hurt by being able to clearly state our grievances in order to educate others to understand the tyranny under which those who hold the moral high ground suffer.

  • Michael B

    THIS is why I keep revolvers, bolt, lever & pump guns. The end of the road for the AR and AK are coming in this country. The catalyst for their demise is the attempt manufacturers at every level make trying to circumvent laws. The ‘80%’ lower is an example, the alleged buffer tube pistol grip forearm brace for AR & AK pistols are another. At some point in the not too distant future, a charismatic leader will garner enough support for a sweeping ban on ‘evil’ automatic weapons like the ‘AR’ and the ‘AK’ because of all the attempts at circumvention.
    Historically, revolvers, bolt, lever & pump guns and anything rim fire have been left alone in gun legislation. I do not feel ‘under’ or ‘out’ gunned with my pair of S&W R8, 8 shot .357 Magnum revolvers. Additionally my 7.62 Mossberg Patrol bolt rifle uses both DPMS and M1A magazines of any capacity interchangeably. My 5.56 Mossberg MVP, another bolt, uses any and all USGI/STANAG/Aftermarket AR mags on the planet. Where I live, if I choose to hunt with a semiauto firearm, my round capacity is limited to five rounds. My bolt rifles and revolvers aren’t. Go figure.
    We, as responsible weapon owners, peddlers, enthusiasts’, etc. are damning our very existence when we allow ‘paperweights’ to permeate the market. I lift up an ‘80%’ lower sold with a jig and step-by-step instructions as an example. I lift up the full auto ‘80%’ Glock switches on eBay as another.
    If we as gun owners don’t start policing our own, the government is going to police us. Just my opinion. Your mileage may vary.

    • Yellow Devil

      Right there is the wrong attitude. By having carpicious and abritrary Federal regulations, you allow the market to determine, develop and create legal alternatives to circumvent them. And this isn’t about leaving the Constitution, piecemeal or whole, up two just two choices: self policing or the Government. It’s our inherent civil rights that are on the line. I get that you have given up that fight and think that owning merely a shotgun or revolver will keep you safe from the political class. Fine, that’s good enough for you, but don’t assume the rest of us are going to be as yielding and compliant.

      • Michael B

        Please, YD, proceed cautiously when you unass that high horse you’re riding. I wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself on that very long fall.
        Given up the fight? Politics? Self-Policing and Government control? I get that you obviously enjoyed the ‘Big Gulp’ of ‘Kool-Aid’ at some point in your life and you enjoyed it.
        Because of the ‘Kool-Aid’ hangover, you missed the point, not surprisingly.
        If WE do not police ourselves, the government will. Period.
        This might be a stretch, but I am going to ask you to intelligently share with me why ‘80%’ lowers need to be sold without the purchaser doing a 4473? If you’ve lived your life in some fashion that precludes you from owning a firearm, then the fault lies with you and has nothing to with ‘yielding’ or ‘compliance’.
        Now I know why there was zero Reynolds Wrap on the shelf at the grocery store: you & the Tin Foil Hat Brigade needed new headwear.

        • noguncontrol

          to hell with any gun grabbing govt., nothing wrong with 80% lowers or aks or ars, you sound like a stooge of hugo chavez.

        • gunslinger

          why 80% w/o a 4473? it’s not a gun. by that token, shouldn’t aluminium, steel, plastics, etc. all be sold under a 4473, as they can be “milled” to a firearm? what about conduit, washers, tacks and rubber bands/springs? they can make guns too.

        • Santa Claws

          Answer me this, I have a pretty well appointed metal/plastics shop, its a hobby.

          Can I, in your eyes, manufacture my own bolt action?

          Revolver?
          Semi-auto?

          No? Really why not? What makes my right to manufacture my own gun any different to you manufacturing your own words or any device that may allow you to practice the freedom of speech?

          or is it yes? Ok then why the option to build my own guns limited to the people who have financial means.

          So what is it exactly? Do you believe that the rights to firearms are only provided to those that the government has deemed to be above reproach (see rich and politically connected but i repeat myself)

          Or do you just secretly hate poor people?

    • Santa Claws

      THIS is why I keep paper, a small tape recorder, and a newspaper around. The end of the road for fee speech on the internet and radio are coming in this country. The catalyst for their demise is the attempt speakers at every level make trying to circumvent laws. The “blog” is an example, the alleged unauthorized gathering for protest are another. At some point in the not too distant future, a charismatic leader will garner enough support for a sweeping ban on free speech without permit and the protesting outside of “protest zones” because of all the attempts at circumvention.
      Historically, whining to your friends and family have been left alone in speech legislation. I do not feel like i am not being listened too by my government with the use of mailing a letter. Additionally my bullhorn uses AA and C batteries of any capacity interchangeably. My stationary, another form of paper, uses any and all pens on the planet. Where I live, if I choose to speak with a permit, my permit is limited to five people. My letter writing limits aren’t. Go figure.
      We, as responsible subjects, peddlers, hipsters’, etc. are damning our very existence when we allow ‘flash mods’ to permeate the public. I lift up a Tea party protest as an example. I lift up the twitter feed that says mean things as another.
      If we as subjects don’t start policing our own, the government is going to police us. Just my opinion. Your mileage may vary.

      I hope this helps…..

    • John Smith

      When I was a kid before the age of the internet, I built my own slingshot with big rubber band and a stick that had a Y. Now some irresponsible German guy makes them full auto and post them on the internet. And can you believe that in some parts of the world it’s legal to fly kites. Vote Hillary with that big red reset button to the stone age.

  • sdelcegno

    80 percent is a false number. The law says it needs 5 process left to finish manufacture and its legal. That is the law. the 80 is just a false name. but there are guidlines

    • Sam McAllister

      sdelcegno:

      Can you cite for me the law to which you are referencing? I couldn’t find that one.

  • CF

    BATFE = criminal agency with a criminal beginning and past. And that isn’t just 2A rhetoric because they don’t let us have any weapons we want either.

  • Brix

    In related news Polymer80 (in Northern California) has also stopped taking orders on their lowers as well…….I would also think James Madison would be next on this list as well.

  • noguncontrol

    time to abolish the BATF and all firearms legislation.

  • Joe Blow

    Ironically the people worried about the company records with their names and purchases were multiple levels of stupid for tracking to begin with. So was the company for not destroying sales records for “scrap”/blocks to protect privacy but they wanted that database and the ability to cover their ass if someone used one and the media or court came after them. They had their legal defense of their disclaimer and customer declaration statement documents.

    Which any collection of information can be used for good or bad. In this case did the chance to send sale flyers to market outweigh the privacy of the people buying the product? Most people buying 80% receivers want the anonymous privacy which the companies failed to protect and/or provide. Odds are the companies didn’t even encrypt the identity data. So cloning those lists will be real easy for the BATF and then its shared by agency co-operation. Maybe you can find out about your sale/purchase by requesting to see your FBI file…

    These people don’t grasp that their name, and what they purchased are already in the data mining collection system from multiple sources.

    *If you used the internet to order by the very nature of communication and the unconstitutional but claimed legal by our corrupt government “monitoring of traffic” has you already identified. The “”super”” computer power is not that much especially when they have specific sources(url’s, ip addresses,ect ) they want to target & monitor. It sucks but if your online looking at 80% blocks of plastic or metal and watching youtube videos, then google , facebook and the government all know it. Most of us are on the “”lists”” already, even if we haven’t purchased stuff as likely candidates, which in a witch hunt is enough to condemn us all.

    The Government has been warrant-less spying on you and behavior targeted tracking for firearm interests . It is not a secret and it has been going on since Bush started it and was very blatant but everyone cheered because it was to catch the terrorists, which our founding fathers of this country all were.

    Remember Congress gave AT&T immunity for and from any prosecution for their actions in giving the entire data off the internet backbone. Word was out long before Bradley/Chelsey Manning , Edward Snowden, Aaron Swartz and many more of the “Anonymous” collective tried to expose and share the information. Yet people called them traitors for being whistle blowers about how extreme the spying on all of us really is.

    This sales and customer list is nothing in the big picture. Although it reenforces the lesson about cash sales in person….

    *If you paid with your debt or credit card you are track-able that way. Data mined and whored out…..

    If you used paypal(you suck and are traitor to the 2nd Amendment) you’re busted and you lack honor & integrity for agreeing to their terms of service /use and not following them. You have to wonder if a person’s word is good on gun forums when selling stuff but using paypal for payment. if they show a lack integrity just how crooked are they But I digress.. If paypal even was an option, you can kiss your money good bye. What claim for a violation of TOS purchase? Paypal will turn over your information just like Facebook will without a warrant.

    *The people buying large numbers are going to most likely get a visit , you’re making 20+ guns just for yourself? You must have some sort of mental issue. Hording, paranoia(even if your fear about the future is right for firearms)….. the DSM-5 aka Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is guaranteed to label you with signs of some sort of mental issue.

    In short the massive purchases have raised alarms about arsenals and redirection of firearms to the bad guys. Its common knowledge and everyone is all about “capitalism” when selling parts… Everyone flaunting shit just makes it worse. How many altering guides were there for making a third hole and/or setting a different shelf depth? Enough people think they are the slickest person and can build machine guns and they brag about being able to pawn the BATF about it in writing online…

    The Sig Brace is actually useful in its function for people who are physical disabled. The extra arm support transfer of the fulcrum point helps. But the invention to help people will be fucked by non disabled people using it for a shoulder stock because they can’t be bothered to do it legally for a SBR or even to adapt a stock on their own….

    Playing the “I’m not breaking the law Nana -nana- go stick your head in doo-doo” is why we have so many new laws created and stupid laws on the books. Seriously why do we need a law against shooting rabbits from a street car? Because a group of assholes couldn’t control their behavior. So we have an anti-firearm law. Victor? Anti-2A crowd.

    The fact EP Lowers and Ares Armor are in California just adds to the witch hunt and poking the bear stupidity. That is one of the most stupid places for this type of business. Lets push the edge of the law in a very strong anti-firearms state. Discretion is the better part of valor would seem to apply here.

    One thing that hasn’t been brought up that may be risk, with everyone making all the different firearms in scaled down .22 cal, the anti- gunners can say if you want “an evil assault weapon” you can have it in a .22 caliber. If it is about looks… The function and features are the same. Why do you need so powerful bullets for target shooting. Since they love to argue they aren’t hunting rifles. With Fudds backing them up with the high powered sniper rifles that will be next…..

    Which will be our own people shooting us in the foot over rights (yet again)and options. Just like the jack asses that made pistols/handguns with steel core penetrating rounds of body armor and then that action caused such ammo to be reclassified as “armor piercing”. If we don’t police ourselves from screwing with the line in the sand, they’ll make one solid, hard and stricter.. That has always gone badly for us each time they have.

  • guest

    Can you smell that? I can definitely smell it. The smell of crisp, fresh dollar bills that are about to change hands after a lawsuit.

  • Keith Melton

    This is a prime example that the Federal Govt considers itself above the law. I’m sure they chant to themselves “For the greater good”

  • Paul

    What’s so bad about what they did, their just carrying out orders given by a lawless /unrestrained/ government!

  • Mort Leith

    Could someone please tell me how the ATF can openly violate a Restraining Order?

  • Leigh Rich

    Bet they go after the aluminum ones too..

  • SNNNN

    ” I guess if you have a customer ordering these 25 at a time over and over, that should raise some questions. ” ….and NONE of it the govermnet goons business…or anyone
    elses. It not a firearm…and even if it was my copy of the 2nd Amendment has no such
    limitations. I respect that some folks here whould love to hide thier heads in the sand
    and thats fine, but you must understand there willl be consiquences. Folks in England
    and Australia will explain what seeing your guns sawed in half feels like…

  • Casey

    I read through the search warrant application, which is available online. Anyone who is interested in what is really going on should look at it. Everyone is jumping onto this alarmist bandwagon with incorrect information. The investigation, which ARES is a small part of, is about gun stores that are selling “80%” receivers to people, taking them into the back of the gun shop, where the person pulls the handle down on a pre set drill press lever, drilling out several holes, then a machinist “cleans it up” ie finishes the receiver. The person then walks out of the store with a fully functional AR15 without any documentation. THIS is the criminal behavior behind the investigation. Several gun stores are skirting the law and assisting anonymous people in constructing AR15 rifles and pistols with these 80% receivers. I don’t know exactly how ARES plays into the investigation, I didnt read the entire document, but c’mon people. Think for yourselves. Dont just be a bunch of Pavlov’s dogs and flip out over a raid.

  • Steve_7

    These lowers have always been a legally grey area, I’m not sure of any ATF ruling saying they ever were legal and even if there was one, ATF rulings are not worth the paper they are written on really, only a court can say for sure what the law means. So what happened is the shooter in the Santa Monica shootings made his own AR-15 using an 80% lower and the focus has obviously moved to charging someone for selling them so a court can rule on their legality. Federal law is quite vague on what “manufacturing” means, I think it would boil down in court to what the intent of the person was. IMO, partially manufacturing a receiver with the intention of it being completed is manufacturing a firearm and that is the court ruling ATF are seeking, no doubt.

  • Lloydl333

    The ATF is a lawless agency. I remember WACO.