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Ares Armor CEO: ATF sought secret deal for customer names

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According to Ares Armor owner Dimitrios Karras, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms sought to obtain the names of some 5,000 customers through a secret deal, The Blaze reported Wednesday.

Appearing on TheBlaze TV’s "Real News" earlier this week, Karras, a Marine veteran, claimed ATF agents “basically said, ‘Listen, we know you’re a legitimate business. We know you’re doing everything fine. Hand over the list of names, hand over this particular product that we have now deemed to be a firearm and everything’s going to be fine. Nobody will know about it. It will be swept under the rug,’”

“‘Nobody’s going to know that you handed over these names,’” he added.

The company was raided over the weekend by ATF agents seeking the 80 percent lower receivers used in the construction of AR-15 rifles.

The ATF claims the receivers are illegal and are seeking to confiscate the parts.

Karras, The Blaze said, agreed to hand over the parts, but refused to provide his customer list.

After Karras filed a restraining order, the ATF responded by obtaining an "ex parte" order -- meaning Karras wasn't present at the hearing -- giving agents permission to execute a lawful search.

The agency said in its application that it 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.”

Karras, however, disagrees, saying the 80 percent receivers are not firearms.

“The ATF knows the information that they put in their determination letter is false. It’s incorrect. It’s based on fiction. It’s a fantasy. They already know that," he said.

The Blaze noted that Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., introduced a bill last year that would define 80 percent lower receivers as “firearms,” but the legislation has not passed.

In a post on Facebook, Karras said he overheard one agent saying: "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," he warned.

In another post, he said that "an entirety of freedom and privacy is being targeted."

"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," he added.

Karras says he plans to seek the aid of Rep. Darrel Issa, R-Calif., saying the ATF is "overstepping their boundaries."

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