Federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives have raided a marine veteran’s gun store in California. The store owner had recently been asked to hand over information about the sale of some of his items. He handed over the items to authorities but refused to hand over the information for those who had purchased them. After this, he applied for and was granted a restraining order against the ATF, which they violated with their raid on his business.
Federal agents on Saturday executed a search warrant on a gun parts store in California, despite the store owner filing a temporary restraining order against their agency.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had demanded that Dimitri Karras, the CEO of Ares Armor in National City, Calif., turn over the names of nearly 5,000 customers who had purchased an 80 percent lower receiver that reportedly failed to meet ATF specifications.
Karras, a former U.S. Marine, agreed to turn over the receivers, but refused to reveal the names of his customers. He then filed the restraining order.
Here’s what a regular lower receiver used for building an AR-15 looks like. The ones Karras and other stores sold are made from plastic, meaning they aren’t up to the ATF’s exact specifications.
Federal agents responded by obtaining an ex parte order, meaning they did it without Ares being present, giving them permission to execute a “lawful search.”
The ATF “is conducting a lawful criminal investigation of the illegal manufacture, distribution, sale, and possession of AR-15 variant lower receivers, which are considered firearms under the Firearms Control Act,” the federal agency said in its ex parte application, dated Friday.
Here’s some amateur video of the search:
It’s worth noting that the ATF application refers to the receivers in question as “firearms,” which would seem to be an incorrect application of the term. Outgoing 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.