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Ares Armor dispute with the ATF

Ares Armor dispute with the ATF

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA  - Declaration of CEO at Ares Armor.


12.23.14 NOTICE: U.S. Department of Justice BATFE

SAN DIEGO — Document dated December 23, 2014 to Ares Armor from the U.S. Department of Justice BATFE. Please note this notice is in reference to ONLY the EP80 polymers that were taken from us in the ATF Raid on March 15, 2014. We have the items back in our possession now; however we cannot do anything with them until we get the issue of them not being firearms clarified by a judge.

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Call to Action - Share and help to spread the word.


3.11.14 Court Orders - Temporary Restraining

Order: (1) Granting Temporary Restraining
Order: (2) Setting Briefing Schedule; and
Order: (3) Ordering Preliminary Injunction Hearing
Ares Armor seeks to restrain the ATF from seizing the Ares Armor Customer List and Approximately 300,000 in inventory at 11AM on Wednesday, March 12, 2014.

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View Page 2  >>

3.12.14 Declaration of CEO at Ares Armor

In regards to the events surrounding Ares Armor’s interaction with EP Armory’s products and the threats made towards Ares Armor by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE.) The following declarations are true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

View Declaration >>

3.12.14 FOX 5: Gun Store Owner Refuses To Give Feds Customer List

OCEANSIDE, Calif. – The owner of an Oceanside store that sells various gun parts to build a rifle from scratch refused to turn over his customer list to federal agents. Dimitrios Karras, owner of Ares Armor, said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents were investigating their business, not for what they sell, but for the people who purchase their products. 80 percent lower receiverKarras said the ATF threatened to shutter their business if they didn’t hand over the names of 5,000 customers who have purchased an 80 percent lower receiver (the base) for building an AR-15. It is legal to build a rifle from scratch without serial numbers only if the base is manufactured to ATF specifications. The base is not considered a firearm if it’s sold separately. A manufacturer made an 80 percent receiver in plastic with a different material and colors which show exactly where the customer can drill making it easier and cheaper to build. The ATF said it is illegal. The ATF sent stores, including Ares Armor, letters demanding they turn over the products and names of customers who purchased them. “They said either give us these 5000 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,” said Karras. Karras’s attorney informed the ATF to pick up the receivers Wednesday morning at their Oceanside location, but the inventory was not the issue. The store owner said he will not comply with turning over their private client list. “They were going to search all of our facilities and confiscate our computer and pretty much shut our business down,” said Karras. “The government invades our privacy on a daily basis and everyone thinks its ok. This is one of those situations where hopefully the governmental institutions will come in say this is protected and no you’re not taking it from them.” In anticipation of a raid, they filed a temporary restraining order against the ATF, stopping them from confiscating their property, Karras said. The ATF has a certain amount of time to respond. If the two parties do not reach a compromise, they will be in court for a preliminary hearing March 20.

View FOX 5 Broadcast >>

3.13.14 FOX 5: Gun Store Owner Files Injunction Halting Federal Raid

A possible federal raid on a gun store in San Diego was stalled after a lawsuit was filed, a lawyer said Wednesday.

View FOX 5 Broadcast >>

3.14.14 NUTNFANCY: ATF Raids Store for Gun Owner Names, Overrides Court Order

View NutNFancy Video >>

3.15.14 BATFE Raids

The ATF did execute a search warrant against all of our buildings today. None of our employees have been detained or arrested. We will be open for business tomorrow. We will be back up and shipping out orders on Monday. We wholeheartedly believe that they are WRONG in their actions and we will be relentlessly pursuing remedy through the courts. Quote from an ATF Agent during the raid "searching is fun! paper work sucks." Maybe the ATF thinks the Constitution is part of that paper work that sucks... Despicable behavior on their part. This is just the beginning! Thank you all for the support! -Dimitrios Karras, CEO

3.16.14 You Can Help

Thank you all for the support. Our new friends are probably not pleased that we are not down on our knees begging for mercy. We have been contacted by several politicians already but we need all the help we can get! Please do more than offer kind words. Contact your representative or congressmen and make sure they know about our plight. What they have done is wrong!

Riddle me this?

Why would they execute a raid on a matter that is already in the courts hands before the hearing for preliminary injunction? Are they afraid of the facts? Criminals do not run to the courts for protection, criminals do not go to the media. They are wrong and they know it! Thank you in advance for your help. Semper Fi! Dimitrios Karras, CEO Ares Armor

All Senators: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Senators who support the Second Amendment http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/bloggers/3009593/posts

3.17.14 FOX 5: Feds Raid Gun Store Despite Injunction

KSWB: Despite an injunction approved by a judge, federal agents searched and seized items from several gun store locations in San Diego County.

SAN DIEGO – With a search warrant in hand, federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confiscated computers, customer lists and the questionable polymer 80 percent lower receivers from four Ares Armor store locations throughout San Diego County over the weekend.

“There were women and children inside our retail establishment when the (ATF) agents came in with guns drawn,” said Ares Armor Executive Officer Dimitrios Karras. “They came into our manufacturing facility with their guns up like they were invading Iraq.”

The raid happened three days after Ares owner was granted a temporary restraining by a judge to stop ATF agents from searching their stores.

The ATF confirmed they were investigating the stores for federal firearm violations.

The case stems from the sale of what is called an 80% lower receiver, which gun enthusiast use to build their own rifles and guns.

Building a rifle with specific versions of the 80 percent receivers is legal. The polymer lower receiver appears to be manufactured differently with two parts, making them a firearm and illegal sell, according to the ATF.

“We did ask the court to clarify if these things were firearms or not,” said Karras. “We did ask for protection as this gets resolved within the court system.”

Karras said they had their polymer lower receivers locked in a closet ready to turn over to the ATF since Wednesday. He was more concerned about the federal agents taking lists of his customers’ information.

“If anybody is a criminal organization that should be investigated, I think they should look in the mirror. We gave them a black eye publicly,” Karras said. “They tried to do an underhanded deal with us. They said, ‘Hey hush, hush. Keep it secret and nobody’s going to know that we took the customer list from you. Nobody’s going to know we took this from you.’”

The investigation has some customers nervous about their right to bear arms.

“I’m on that list, and I’m waiting for the knock on the door to tell me they are here to remove my second amendment rights,” one customer told Fox 5.

View Broadcast >>

3.17.14 Video: Why Ares vs ATF Should Outrage America

Every American should be outraged over the events transpiring between Ares Armor and the BATFE; even the anti-gun folks! NO LEGAL ADVICE is intended in any way by the content of this video. Consult your local laws and local licensed attorney for any legal matters.

3.19.14 Feds Seize List from California Gun Parts Store in ATF Raid

The owner of a California gun parts store says he plans to take legal action after federal agents raided his business, confiscating computers, customer lists and 80 percent lower receivers as part of an investigation into alleged federal firearms violations.

Dimitrios Karras, owner of Ares Armor in National City, told Fox5SanDiego.com the raid by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents took place just days after the company obtained a temporary restraining order against the agency.

“There were women and children inside our retail establishment when the (ATF) agents came in with guns drawn,” Karras told the station. "They came into our firearms manufacturing facility saying, ‘Arms up!’ like they were invading Iraq.”

The ATF says their investigation into Ares Armor stems from the sale of a new plastic version of the 80 percent lower receiver, which can be used to build AR-15 rifles, according to the report.

Although certain receivers may be sold and purchased legally, the agency claims the company was selling receivers manufactured differently with two parts, making them illegal to sell.

View Full Article >>

3.19.14 REASON TV: Ares Armor CEO Tries to Reason with ATF over Customer Privacy; Raid Ensues

View Reason TV Broadcast >>

3.20.14 FOX 5: Gun Store Owner Takes ATF Battle To Congress

OCEANSIDE, Calif. – The battle between an Oceanside gun parts store and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives continued to escalate Wednesday, as the store owner told Fox5 he will be reaching out to a local congressman.

Dimitrios Karras, owner of Ares Armor, said he will ask Rep. Darrell Issa (R-San Diego) for help after his shop was raided by armed ATF agents over the weekend. They confiscated computers, customer lists and the questionable polymer 80 percent lower receivers.

Karras claims the ATF agents are acting illegally.

“These people are overstepping their boundaries. This is a rogue agency that has pretty much gone wild,” Karras said. “I’m going to be going over to local congressman’s office in an attempt to garner some support.”

Karras said the fight has nothing to do with firearms. The issue was the sale of a newly manufactured product called a polymer 80 percent lower receiver. The part has been approved for use by gun enthusiasts to build their own guns, without a serial number, for years, according to Karras.

“This is across party lines and more reaching,” said Karras. “It’s not about gun control – it’s about control.”

A new version of the lower receiver is plastic and is somewhat like paint by numbers. According to the ATF, the part that the owner must drill into to make it a firearm appears to be a separate piece and would makes it illegal to sell.

Gun enthusiast Mark Halcon owns American Shooting Center and is considered a second amendment expert.

“Maybe they were just too readily convertible?” said Halcon, who explained it’s a chicken or the egg scenario with not a lot of guidance. “There is no process for approving an 80 percent lower. There’s no regulation.”

Halcon said he was not surprised to find out the agents took Karras’ customer list. It’s not uncommon for the feds to ask for the list since the controversial parts eventually become firearms without serial numbers and are not registered.

“If you’re doing everything right and its legal, you got nothing to worry about,” he said. “If you’re buying a dozen of them, building a dozen of them and selling 10 of them to your friends – you got a problem.”

The search warrant provides little information about the raid, and neither the ATF nor the U.S. Attorney’s Office will talk about the case.

However the ensuing battle turns out, Halcon said one thing is certain, “We are going to see changes in law regarding 80 precent receivers and the manufacturing of it. I think this is going to be a long and expensive litigation for both parties.”

View FOX 5 Broadcast >>

3.23.14 KSWB TV: Congressman Want Answers About ATF Raid on Gun Store

FOX 5: Congressman Darrell Issa is in town and speaks to a local gun store owner who's reached out for help with the recent raid by the ATF as well as his thoughts on the situation in Crimea.

SAN DIEGO — Two San Diego congressmen want to know why federal agents raided an Oceanside gun parts store last weekend and what the government plans to do with the computers and customer lists it confiscated.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) sent a letter to the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Friday asking for information about the raid on Ares Armor last Saturday. The store owner had been granted an injunction by a judge to prevent the raid, but BATFE agents served a search warrant on the business anyway.

View Congressman Darrell Issa's Statement >>

3.26.14 FOX NEWS: Lawmakers demand answers after ATF raid on gun parts store

Fox News interview with Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) House Armed Services CMTE.

View FOX NEWS Broadcast >>/font>

3.31.14 ANNOUNCEMENT: Hold Your Ground Peaceful Protest

GRAA, PTMC SoCal and Ares Armor. This is a PEACEFUL PROTEST. Promoting violence of ANY kind will NOT be tolerated.

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4.2.14 VIDEO: Massie Investigates ATF Raid on Ares Armor

Representative Thomas Massie, video taken from his YouTube Channel - APRIL 2, 2014.

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Dear Director, The situation that has occurred in California in regards to EP Armory's product has seemingly spiraled out of control. I write this letter to you myself, not with the help of an attorney, in hopes that we can work together to de-escalate this situation before it exacerbates into something much worse.

View Letter >>

4.10.14 VERIFIED CLAIM: Demand for Trial

Verified Claim - Ares Armor, hereby contests the forfeiture of the above designated property and requests the initiation of a judicial proceeding to challenge such forfeiture.

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4.12.14 PROTEST: BATFE Carlsbad, CA

San Diego Oathkeepers - On April 12, 2014, from 2pm to 5pm, approximately 100 people rallied in Carlsbad, CA, on the corner of El Camino Real and Faraday, to protest the BATFE raid which confiscated computer files and client lists from Ares Armor. Here are images from the peaceful rally.

View Protest Video >>

4.16.14 Gun Owners Info Seized in Raid "Safe:" ATF

Some San Diego Area-Gun shop customers are getting their first reassurances after claiming their personal information was taken in a raid by federal agents.

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4.25.14 Ares Armor Nightline Interview Before the ATF Raid

Two Weeks prior to the ATF Raid on Ares Armor's premises, Nightline conducted an interview with Dimitri Karras, CEO of Ares Armor. The headline and general focus was on being able to produce an unregistered firearm from parts they sell and a general theme of finishing 80% receivers at "home". Perhaps there is a bit of hyperbole interwoven, but what's entertainment news without that...

The most intriguing aspect from our point of view is when the interviewer, Mariana Van Zeller is talking with an ATF agent and he pointedly states that "If someone is making this (80% Receiver) into this (Rifle), my job is to try to stop that". Perhaps there was some fancy editing as there always are with this kind of "high speed" entertainment journalism, or perhaps this ATF agent is showing their hand when it comes to the future for 80% receivers. Clearly two weeks after this interview took place their opinion was shown in force regarding the 80% polymer receivers that Ares Armor was selling. Do note that they touch on a case of some folks in California that allegedly produced illegal firearms from 80% Receivers that was erroneously tied to Ares Armor by some within the firearms community.

5.13.14 Washington Post: National Security "Unfinished Receivers"

‘Unfinished receivers’ that can be used to build guns pose problems for law enforcement. Dimitri Karras, CEO of Ares Armor in Oceanside, California, is fighting back against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The ATF claims that Karras was selling receivers, also called "blanks," which may qualify as firearms and need to be regulated. (Casey Capachi / The Washington Post).

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5.29.14 FOX5 Broadcast: Gun Store Owner Faces Off with Feds Again

SAN DIEGO — A store that helps clients build their own guns is daring the federal agents to raid their stores for a second time. The controversial build-it-yourself gun store Ares Armor has once again started selling a questionable piece of equipment without the approval of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

View Broadcast>>

5.30.14 NBC7 San Diego Broadcast: Gun Store Owner Fights Back

SAN DIEGO — After serving his country for eight years, a now-retired U.S. Marine is fighting what he calls the government's assault on your personal liberties. NBC 7's Omari Fleming reports.

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6.7.14 Motion to to Unseal Search Warrant Documents

View Document 1 (93 pages) >>

View Document 2 (7 pages) >>

View Document 3 (2 pages) >>

View Document 4 (21 pages) >>

6.23.14 July Hearing Scheduled

SAN DIEGO — The court has scheduled a hearing in regards to the sealed affidavit for July 31, 2014. The legal battle is beginning.

6.23.14 The Battle Begins

OCEANSIDE — Defeating the ATF and regaining control over your private information.

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7.17.14 New Complaint Under CAFRA


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7.17.14 Memoradum Filed

SAN DIEGO — Petitioner's reply to United States' Opposition in support of Petitioner's motion to unseal Search Warrant documents.

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7.17.14 Declaration of Scott McMillan Filed

SAN DIEGO — Declaration of Scott A. Mcmillan support of reply to United States' Response in opposition to Petitioner's motion to "unseal search warrant documents".

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7.17.14 Declaration of Dimitri Karras Filed

SAN DIEGO — Declaration of Dimitrios Karras in support of reply to United States' Response in opposition to Petitioner's motion to "unseal search warrant documents".

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7.18.14 Unseal Search Warrant Documents

SAN DIEGO — Petitioner Lycurgan, Inc.'s request for Judicial Notice in support of reply re motion to unseal search warrant documents.

View Full Declaration (36 pages) >>

7.30.14 SAN DIEGO 6 NEWS: Gun Store Involved in Legal Dispute.

SAN DIEGO AND OCEANSIDE — Broadcast prior to court hearing regarding the motion to unseal search warrant documents.

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8.4.14 LETTER: First Day in Court.

OCEANSIDE — Letter from Dimitri Karras, CEO Ares Armor talking about the court hearing and where we are now. An update on the Ares Armor dispute with ATF.

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8.14.14 AFFIDAVIT : Used to grant the warrant.

OCEANSIDE — By court order, Ares Armor now has the previously sealed Affidavit used to get a warrant for the purpose of raiding all Ares Armor locations in March 2014. But the story does not end here. Ares Armor intends to see this through. More information to follow as the dispute continues to develop.

View Affidavit >>

View how the ATF deceives a Federal Magistrate Judge for Warrant >>

9.22.14 FIRST AMENDED: Complaint for Damages.

OCEANSIDE — Document filed on September 22, 2014. First amended complaint for damages; deprivation of Civil Rights (bivens action); injunctive and declaratory relief; jury trial demand.

  1. First Amendment
  2. Second Amendment
  3. Fourth Amendment
  4. Fifth Amendment

View Full Document Filed >>

10.27.14 DECLARATION of Daniel O'Kelly.

SAN DIEGO — Document filed on October 23, 2014. Declaration of Daniel G. O'Kelly stating that the polymer lowers are not receivers. Daniel O'Kelly is a Veteran, 30 years law enforcement and 20 years with the ATF. He essentially wrote the firearms training manual for ATF agents.

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12.23.14 NOTICE: U.S. Department of Justice BATFE

SAN DIEGO — Document dated December 23, 2014 to Ares Armor from the U.S. Department of Justice BATFE. Please note this notice is in reference to ONLY the EP80 polymers that were taken from us in the ATF Raid on March 15, 2014. We have the items back in our possession now; however we cannot do anything with them until we get the issue of them not being firearms clarified by a judge.

View Full Notice >>

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