SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KSWB/CNN) – With a federal search warrant in hand, federal agents confiscated computers, customer lists and the questionable polymer 80 percent lower receivers from four Ares Armor store locations throughout San Diego County over the weekend.
“There were women and children inside our retail establishment when the [Bureau Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive] agents came in guns drawn,” said Dimitrios Karras, Ares Armor executive officer. “They came into our firearms manufacturing facility saying arms up like they were invading Iraq.”
The raid happened three days after Ares owner was granted a temporary restraining by a judge to stop ATF agents from searching their stores.
The ATF confirmed they were investigating the stores for federal firearm violations stemming from the sale of a new plastic version of the 80 percent lowers, which gun enthusiast use to build their own AR-15 rifles.
Building a rifle with specific versions of the 80 percent receivers is legal if it has a serial number. The polymer lower receiver appears to be manufactured differently with two parts make them a firearm and illegal sell, according to the ATF.
“We did ask the court to clarify if these things were firearms or not,” said Karras. “We did ask for protection as this gets resolved within the court system.”
Karras said they had their polymer lower receivers locked in a closet – waiting to turn them over to the ATF as of Wednesday. He was more concerned about the feds taking lists of his customer’s information.
“If anybody is a criminal organization that should be investigated I think they should look in the mirror. We gave them a black eye publicly,” Karras said. “They tried to do an underhanded deal with us. They said ‘hey hush, hush. Keep it secret and nobody’s going to know that we took the customer list from you nobody’s going to know we took this from you.'”
The investigation has some customers nervous about their right to bear arms.
“I’m on that list and I’m waiting for the knock on the door to tell me they are here to remove my second amendment rights,” a customer said.
Related story: ATF raids plastic gun parts maker