Ares Armor CEO Tries to Reason with ATF over Customer Privacy; Raid Ensues


"This isn't just a second amendment issue, it's not just a firearms issue. It's an issue of an overreaching government that wants to come into your kitchen, that wants to come into your living room, and just see what you're doing," says Dimitrios Karras, CEO of Ares Armor in Oceanside, Calif.

Last week, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) raided Ares Armor to confiscate 80 percent polymer receivers for AR-15s. These receivers are the lower part of the gun that con

tain the trigger operations when fully completed. The polymer version that the ATF is contesting is not completed and requires the purchasers to finish machining it. The ATF claimed that these are unlicensed firearms, but Karras says otherwise.

"It's an object that's in the shape of a receiver, but it hasn't been completed to a point that it would be considered a firearm," says Karras. "This was a nice way for them to get their arm inside of the business and grab the information that they are actually looking for. To think that this is over a piece of plastic is ludicrous."

Karras says the true reason for the ATF's piqued interest in his shop was his refusal to relinquish the list of customers who had purchased the polymer product. He sat down with Reason TV's Tracy Oppenheimer to discuss why he plans to continue fighting the ATF to maintain his customers' privacy and other Constitutional issues at stake.

"They have trampled on the entire Bill of Rights," Karras says.

About six minutes.

Produced by Tracy Oppenheimer. Camera by Alex Manning and Zach Weissmueller.

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  1. This guy Karras seems pretty cool. He isn't wrong to want to make a stand in Cali, but hooo boy that's a tall order.

    1. Yeah, the first time I read about this and saw that it was in CA I had to re-read it to be sure I got that right.

      If he was doing this one state to the east some number of his neighbors would either be sympathetic or even on his side. In the PRK just about everybody will clutch at pearls thinking what monster he is.

      1. I didn't even realize they still had ammo shops open in Cali anymore.

  2. "An Armed society is a civil society"

    Straight from the mouth of a weapon salesman.

    We are un-armed in NYC and have one of the lowest murder rates in the USA. We're pretty civil.

    How's Florida and Texas doing?

    1. The people living in NYC are, by and large, cowardly, statist sheep.

      (apologies to the few who aren't)

      1. baaah


          Baaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh. This reminded me you.

    2. Uh, no. NYC's violent crime rate is 53% higher than the rest of the state, and 5% higher than the national average. While NYC is certainly safer than it was during the 70's (and Times Square nowhere nearly as fun), it is far from being one of the safest cities in America. Indeed, by that metric, Texas is doing pretty good.

      1. U left out all of the other stats.

          1. Lying liars lie. See MY stats below. Not only did I count murders, I even restricted it to GUN Murders to try to give Alice a fighting chance.

            She lost. Lost lost lost. But I suspect she knew it going in and thought we'd fall for her venal lies.

    3. Shut up sockpuppet

    4. Guys =

      "Alice Bowie" is older than Tulpa. Or, IS tupla.

      if anything, I give credit for AB for being a Veteran sock. But as a veteran, no one takes it seriously anymore.

      1. Really? I mean, got the quote wrong--it's a "polite" society, not a "civil" society--flubbed the trolling with a blatantly obvious apples-and-oranges comparison, and, worst of all, the comparison is wrong in a way that's actually unfavorable to his/her/its point.

        Amateurish at best. AB should hang up the spurs if she's just gonna phone it in like this.

    5. How has Chicago been? See, I can do that to.

      1. Maryland reporting in. We've got some of the strictest gun regulations in the country thanks to O'Malley. Ever heard of "The Wire"? Yep. Baltimore city has 4 times the violent crime rate of NYC.

        1. That was wwhorton in Maryland reporting. And now for your local weather.

          If I remember right D.C had/has some of the worse violent crimes/murder rates in the U.S. anda long history of very strict gun control. But since guns and crime dont correlate, meh.

    6. Quit pretending New York is un-armed. You are surrounded by thousands of neighbors who are armed by the state.

    7. "How's Florida and Texas doing?"

      I've lived in both places, and to the best of my recollection... I've never been shot/murdered...

    8. We are un-armed in NYC and have one of the lowest murder rates in the USA.

      Where the fuck do you get this shit? NYC isn't even above average in terms of safety?

      Every time you post, you say something retarded.

    9. We are un-armed in NYC and have one of the lowest murder rates in the USA. We're pretty civil.

      By what metric?

      Gun murders by states per 100,000 population year 2010: (some random picks)

      New York 2.7 (unarmed)
      Washington 1.4 (armed)
      District of Columbia 16.5 (unarmed)
      Utah 0.8 (armed as fuck)
      West Virginia 1.5 (presumably more armed than NY)
      Kentucky 2.7 (same as New York-- presumably armed)
      Kansas 2.2 (what's the matter with Kansas)
      Idaho .8 (presumably armed as fuck)
      New Jersey 2.8 (unarmed)

      Why do you gun control people lie. Is it in your DNA?

      1. They lie for the children.

      2. They emote their way to their conclusion.

      3. Idaho .8 (presumably armed as fuck)

        Idaho reporting in. Armed as fuck.

    10. We may be un-armed in NYC, however I'd not call things 'civil' here either.

      And quite frankly the only reason our murder rate is so low is because the NYPD has been wielded like a sledgehammer by the last two administrations.

      We of course wouldn't need policies like stop & frisk if the criminal element had a healthy degree of fear of their potential prey, but that simply isn't the case. One only needs to look at the city pre-Giuliani to see what we're capable of in the absence of a near-totalitarian paramilitary police force.

      Of course, the marxist DeBlasio is eager to dismantle the NYPD, but without counterbalancing that action by giving the citizens the ability to defend themselves, we're going to end up right back where we started, with skyrocketing murder, rape and robbery rates, just like we had twenty years ago.

    11. I live in Orange County, CA. One of the Safest counties in the U.S. But it's pretty gun friendly behidn the Orange Curtain.

    12. It only takes around 55,000 law enforcement officers for a population of 8.3 million.

  3. This has been covered by the Youtube gun-gear review guy 'Nutnfancy'; he interviewed the guy last week for about an hour.

    The thing (don't know if its mentioned here) that was most disturbing = the ATF demanded he quietly hand over all his customer info and they'd 'treat him nice'. he (Dimitri) considered this illegal to share, so he balked and they simply raided him and confiscated all his shit.

    So - to sum: they cooked up bullshit reasons to raid him, not to grab any of his products (unfinished receivers) so much as to grab his customer database. So they know who owns said unregistered products.

    1. Yes, I posted it a while back hoping Reason would pick it up, but I'm glad they're covering it. Hopefully they can do a longer treatment of it like NutnFancy has. The whole shebang about how they appealed to the city council, how the appeal process is weighed against the appellant.

      This is entirely fabricated by the city council and the ATF and these guys are facing prison for it.

      And people are shocked that someone couldn't get a gun because they received a government-issued ration card for marijana.

      Fuck things are so much worse than that.

    2. It makes you wonder how many other gun dealers who don't have the finances to fight the ATF are quietly giving up their client list to the ATF.
      People say there isn't a gun registry in California but every gun dealer has a list of clients that they deal with, that is just good business practice, plus I believe they are required to keep the sales info of gun buyers for a year anyway.

  4. Also - Dmitri is a marine and Iraq vet.

  5. The sad thing is that the judiciary sits and takes it. In theory the judge should be going ballistic over a violation of his injunction.

    In reality... they don't kick up a fuss. The incentives are clearly not where Madison thought they would be, where the judiciary, like all the various branches and fiefdoms within the government would jealously guard its territory from encroachment.

    1. I don't get that. My uncle-in-law is a circuit court judge. If he issued a ruling and a party to the ruling just ignored it, particularly if that party was a government agency, he'd go absolutely batshit. Is it because the big, bad ATF is part of the DOJ?

      And more to the point, let's assume that this won't be an isolated incident. Are we getting into Bad Elk v. US territory here? Because a raid in direct violation of an injunction sure sounds illegal to me.

    2. The judge modified his order the day before

      (2) the Court's March 11, 2014 TRO DOES NOT ENJOIN lawful criminal proceedings, including the application for or lawfully executed seizure of evidence and contraband pursuant to a search warrant

  6. Since an 80% lower is not a firearm, it is unnecessary to have a Form 4473 associated with it or a California Dealer's Record of Sale. It is, essentially, like a pack of gum, a cash-and-carry item that requires no identification to buy and necessitates no customer record of the purchase.

    1. And a $200 excise tax (ATF Form 2?) payable to the ATF upon completion of each receiver if I recall correctly...

      1. No. If you make your own firearm (which is basically what people are doing wtih these 80% receivers), you don't have to tell the ATF jack or fill out any form, so long as you

        1) never sell it, and
        2) It's not an NFA weapon of any kind.

        So as long as it's not an short barrel rifle/shotgun or full auto, you're good to go. Doesn't even need a serial number.

        1. You can sell it, just don't make a habit out of it unless you want to deal with an individual agent's interpretation of what being a "manufacturer" is.

  7. I applaud this man's tenacity in the face of the American Stasi aka ATF.

  8. The ATF... desperate to appear relevant.

    1. Fast and Furious what?

      1. Water under the bridge, like Waco/Ruby Ridge.. oh, and those other few...

        1. So they made a few "MINOR MISTAKES". Remember they're from the government, and they're here to "help", whether you want it or not.

          1. Nobody's perfeckt..

          2. We just have to hold them to the same standard that the left would hold corporations to.

            One mistake or disliked outcome? Failure of the free market, time for the government to take over.

  9. ATF, DEA, TSA = Axis of evil.

  10. One of these days, any one of the 3 or 4 industries that prop the entire state of California will fall, and the state government will realize that 30 million people (more than the population of Canada) will be royally screwed. Then they'll learn that even gun shops will have value in the community.

    It's either that or a terrible earthquake. We're like Tsunami central here, and half the state might be at the mercy of mobs and violent disorder after a terrible disaster.

  11. "They have trampled on the entire Bill of Rights," Karras says.

    They're the ATF. I'm pretty sure that's in the job description.

    1. It's not. It's just that Americans haven't figured out how to elect people who will create legislation that forces orgs like the ATF to respect constitutional law.

      1. Legislation doesn't do that. Putting people in jail might.

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