Federal Judge Janis L. Sammartino revised her previous decision, which allowed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to raid Ares Armor, a firearms parts seller in San Diego.
The ATF raided the company in order to gain access to a list containing more than 5,000 names of customers who had purchased an EP Armory plastic or polymer lower receiver, a part that is used to build rifles at home.
The ATF raid of Ares Armor was caught and posted on YouTube. ATF officers entered the business heavily armed and then cracked a safe inside.
EP Armory, the part maker, was raided by the ATF on March 7.
Jeremy Tuma, Ares Armor COO, made this statement on Facebook:
“It is times such as these, when not just one business is in the cross hairs of the overreaching power of a federal agency run unchecked, but when an entirety of freedom and privacy is being targeted. As an industry we need stand united. No infighting, no hear say, and certainly no siding with those who wish to use us against each other. Long established industry business’s such as Tactical Machining, new comers to the industry such as DIY Weapons and those such as ourselves stand together. Staying united means certain victory not just for the industry, but for the rights of our customers that were established by the founding fathers of our country. Those rights are being targeted by a federal agency that uses intimidation methods to obtain or silence information. This is the same agency that brought us Ruby Ridge, Waco Texas, Fast and Furious, and many other travesties that they are never held accountable for. An agency that simply makes determinations on the fly in order to enforce laws anyway they feel. Many cases before this have come and gone, if we don’t stand together many more will happen.”
Ares Armor made thousands of 80 percent receivers in plastic with indicators that show customers exactly where to drill. See example here.
The ATF claims that the lower receivers were classified as “firearms,” but the Ares Arms only sells 80% lower receivers which are classified as “parts.” It is legal to build a rifle from scratch without serial numbers if the base is manufactured to specifications outlined by the ATF which Ares Arms followed.
Case in point: Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) introduced a bill last August that would define 80 percent lower receivers as “firearms,” but the legislation has not passed.
So how can federal agents raid a private business and confiscate legal products and private information? Joshua Cook asked constitutional Sheriff Brad Rogers, “Can a constitutional sheriff protect a citizen’s right against these types of raids?”
“A lot of times sheriffs don’t know about these raids because they are not notified,” said Rogers.
“I really have a concern with the federal agents and state agents not notifying the local Sheriff and I think they should be checking with the sheriff before they do these raids. I supported Sheriff First legislation where a federal agent doesn’t have any authority to do anything until they get express approval from the local Sheriff.”
Rogers told Cook that he couldn’t make a comment on the raid because he did not see the language in the warrant, but he said warrants are very specific and are not designed to give agents the ability to conduct witch hunts.
Rogers told Cook that it would be difficult to block a judge’s order to search the premise, but a sheriff could oversee the search to make sure they didn’t violate any rights outside the limits of the warrant.
“I totally empathize. With all the suspicion of the government and the agendas that are out there, there is no wonder there are uproars over this,” said Rogers.
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