UPDATE (3/15): A video titled "ATF breaks into Ares Armor in National City" has just been posted today to YouTube. This column has now embedded the new video above. Further details will be made known when they become available.
UPDATE 2 (3/15): From Moderno.com:
ATF Executes Search Warrants at Ares Armor
According to Jeremy Tuma, the Chief Operating Officer of Ares Armor, the ATF is currently executing search warrants at all Ares Armor locations.
This is from Jeremy’s Instagram page just a few minutes ago.
UPDATE 3 (3/15) from the Instagram page:
Even though they have executed a search warrant, don't have a computer to look up prices, and are gonna be operating form a calculator, we aren't going to let this shut us down. THE OCEANSIDE STORE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS!
UPDATE 4 (3/16): Get the details the mainstream media has neither the capability nor any intention of bringing you. See Warrant application shows Ares Armor referenced in wider investigation.
District Judge Janis L. Sammartino of the United States District Court, Southern District of California issued an order Friday to prevent Oceanside's gun parts supplier Ares Armor from divesting itself of inventory and records subject to a temporary restraining order the court issued Tuesday. Also included in the order was notice that the TRO did “not restrain lawful criminal proceedings,” as well as a modification of the briefing schedule ordering “the parties [to] fully address all of the facts and circumstances as alleged by one another."
The TRO, as reported in this column on Thursday, was requested by Ares Armor to forestall a raid by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in which inventory and customer records were targeted for seizure. That ATF action was in response to the company selling so-called “80 percent lower receivers” manufactured by EP Armory, itself the subject of a raid and seizures over parts which have previously been determined by ATF not to be a firearm, as further machining operations must be taken by customers to turn them into functional components.
As explained by St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner Kurt Hofmann, “EP Armory's polymer 80% lower receivers have a unique feature in that the material to be removed by milling and/or drilling is a different color from the material that is to be left untouched -- thus making it easy to do the machining, even without a jig.”
The court’s order was in response to a Friday Department of Justice “ex parte application for order (1)) extending injunction to prevent divestment of subject matter of temporary restraining order, and (2) clarifying that temporary restraining order does not restrain lawful criminal proceedings.” In it, U.S. Attorneys maintain ATF “is conducting a lawful criminal investigation of the illegal manufacture, distribution, sale, and possession of AR-15 variant lower receivers” and allege Ares Armor “is in possession of approximately 6,000 ... unserialized AR-15 lower receivers. Further, Ares Armor is not a federal firearms licensee, so it cannot legally engage in the business of dealing firearms, let alone ones that do not bear the required manufacturer’s mark and serial number.”
“I look for ATF Firearms Technology Branch ‘hocus-pocus’ to come to the forefront ... because they will claim the ‘marking’ of these critical holes will ‘make’ this plastic chunk a firearm,” an industry source told Gun Rights Examiner. “It's FTB's nature to do so.
“Now that this has gone viral, the ATF and U.S. Attorney have no choice but to go forward with a criminal case come hell or high water,” the source continued, also predicting “other manufacturers will get a spontaneous revision letter effectively changing the rules.
“I look for the warrant to be served soon,” he concluded. “Plain stupid! Still not a receiver, but I forecast the above anyway, though I wish I were wrong.”
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