ATF raids plastic gun parts maker

Polymer AR-15 lower receivers
Polymer AR-15 lower receivers

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO/CNN) — Federal agents in California are cracking down on do-it-yourself guns.

Chris Cook regards himself as an expert on homemade guns.

Back in August we talked to him about his online business selling unfinished, ‘lower’ parts of AR-15 rifles. But on Friday there was a much different conversation.

“They’re under the assumption that we’re manufacturing illegal firearms — which is completely untrue,” Cook said.

Federal agents raided his brand new store and his southwest Bakersfield home.

Gene Thome owns another local gun shop.

“I guess the big selling point for some people is — it doesn’t have to be registered, it doesn’t have a serial number,” Thome said.

Despite offers, Thome chose not to sell the unfinished polymer or metal pieces in his store. Complete parts can sell for around 150-dollars but they need to be registered.

The do-it-yourself can be brought home today for as cheap as 30-dollars.

The part being manufactured is called the lower receiver. 80-percents look a lot like this. With the right tools and parts you get something more recognizable. When it’s all put together you get something that looks like this, a complete AR-15 rifle.

“I think at some point it could be a gray area that’s why we never sold them in the store,” Thome said.

Still today the ATF didn’t tell us why EP Armory was targeted, or what agents were looking for calling it an ongoing investigation.

“They did take some of our inventory. They did take some of our paperwork,” Cook said.

For now the ‘low’ parts have Cook caught up with the feds.

“We’ll just have to have my attorney look at it more exactly what’s going on,” Cook said.

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