Gun store owner refuses to give feds customer list
By deacon303 on March 15, 2014
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.
Karras 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.
via Gun store owner refuses to give feds customer list | FOX5 San Diego – San Diego news, weather, traffic, sports from KSWB.
It is legal to sell a lower receiver – either stripped or with parts installed – if it is built to ATF specifications… and has a serial number. A lower receiver is considered a firearm under Federal law and is treated as such. It is serialized and a form 4473 plus background check or permit are required to purchase one legally. When you are building an AR-15, the upper receiver is not considered a firearm and does not require a serial number or 4473. The lower receiver does, because it holds or can hold the trigger mechanism and therefore is considered a gun even without the barrel.
Now if you have a lot of time and money, you can legally create your own lower receiver. You would need to mill your own receiver, which requires a lot of equipment and technical expertise. You could do this legally if it meets ATF standards, and it would not require a serial number. But you can’t sell it. You would then be in violation of the law. I don’t know anyone with this kind of time, money, or expertise. I don’t, and on top of it, I don’t have the attention span to do it, either.
He is selling 80% lowers, which also require you to mill out and drill the area where the trigger housing would go, or the final 20% of the receiver. This is also not a firearm because when sold it is considered impossible to make function and will not even accept an upper receiver. So the article is correct, and now you know why.
As for the parts being plastic, I don’t get why that would be illegal. Gun manufacturers make them all the time. You don’t see a whole lot of rifles with plastic lower receivers, but they do exist. The Bushmaster Carbon 15 is a good example. And it has been in mass production for years. I assume the reason this would be illegal is because it would be “easier” to mill out an 80% receiver in this material than it would be out of aluminum or other metals. I cannot attest to this as I have never tried. Still makes little sense since the receiver is just a case for the parts which are metal. There is always metal on any finished, functional gun. The barrel alone has to be metal, otherwise it won’t work (which is what makes the lie about Glocks not setting of metal detectors so hysterical). I assume the reasoning is because it makes it easier for those who shouldn’t have guns to get them, and I’ll be honest with you, that does make sense to me.
So, basically, what is happening here is the receiver is deemed to be too easy to mill out because of the plastic, making it easier for felons and such to create their own gun, and therefore illegal to sell without a serial number and background check. The ATF wants the names of the people who bought them so they can retrieve them. The gun store is saying this creates a privacy issue, and no one likes to hear about gun confiscations, etc. I’m torn on this one. I don’t want to see the ATF start taking more and more liberties, but this does create an issue with arming people who shouldn’t be. If a bad guy is intent on doing harm, this does create another way for them to do so that doesn’t risk their lives breaking into homes to steal guns. This man really could have solved this entire issue by serializing these things and we wouldn’t be having this debate.
So you can disagree with me here if you want to, but I believe there is a standing for the illegality of these things. Not sure where to go from there. Was this made clear in the law? Does it specify the type of material an 80% receiver has to be made out of? Because if it doesn’t, then they aren’t illegal yet and the ATF should eat it and get the law changed to specify if they want to. I’ve come up dry trying to find the official wording to see if it specifies. If you can find it, please share it so we can continue the debate on where it should go from here.http://tangofoxtrot.net/2014/03/15/gun-store-owner-refuses-to-give-feds-customer-list/