Thanks to CaliforniarighttoCarry.Org, we now know that Federal Judge Janis L. Sammartino reversed herself and allowed the ATF to conduct raids on Ares Armor locations.
The excuse for the raids was that Ares Armor sold EP Armory polymer lower receivers, which the ATF claims are made by making a firearm (completed lower receiver) and then filling it in. EP Armory claims that they make the cores, and then build the lower around the cores, which is completely legal. EP Armory was raided March 7. They maintain that they have done nothing wrong.
No charges are known to have been filed as the result of either raid.
YouTuber Xxbanshee13xx was at the National City Ares Armor location as the ATF raided the store with the help of a local locksmith and what appears to be the National City Police.
Notice that the ATF entry team is heavily armed and armored as they break into the store with their version of the M4 carbine, taciti-cool thigh holsters and plate body armor.
Once inside, they cracked a safe in the rear of the store, which was partially captured on video.
In addition to shooting video of the entry and safe-cracking, Xxbanshee13xx snapped still photos and posted them in a Youtube slideshow.
Here are a few select photos from the slideshow.
The first two show ATF muscle carrying away “evidence.” This “evidence” is likely EP Armory polymer lower receivers (which were the pretense for the raid), and the much more important customer data that was the ATF’s real target.
Note that F-Troop does not like being filmed, and made sure to get a record of the citizens that dared stand outside to protest.
If you have purchased an 80% lower receiver from a storefront location or over the Internet from any vendor, I think it is safe to assume that the federal government either has your customer data, or is in the process of trying to obtain your customer data. If you want a truly anonymous 80% lower, pay cash via a private sale, the same as you would with a serialized firearm.
We have to wonder if this raid wasn’t as much an attempt to send a message to 80% lower customers as it was a raid for user data. Perhaps they’re attempting to scare people away from buying from these companies, so that they go out of business.
Frankly, I don’t care if the federal government knows if I am armed, and I refuse to be intimidated from celebrating my constitutional rights. I might buy an EP Armory polymer lower receiver via Ares Armor (once they are back in stock) in support of both companies.