A former Marine gun store owner is refusing to turn his customer list over to the federal government as demanded. Dimitri Karras, said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) agents want to investigate his more than 5,000 California customers who purchased gun parts from his store.
Dimitri Karras is the CEO of Ares Armor in National City. The gun parts store owner said ATF agents threatened to close him down if he did not turn over his customer list. The customers reportedly purchased a specific 80 percent lower receiver used to build an AR-15 rifle. The lower receiver serves as the base of the semi-automatic rifle.
It is legal in California to build an AR-15 rifle that has no serial number if the base meets ATF specifications. Karras’ problems stem from selling an AR-15 lower receiver which does not meet current guidelines. Ares Armor makes the gun part out of plastic instead of the ATF mandated metal. The semi-automatic rifle reportedly contains markings which alert the gun owner where to drill
Ares Armor was among a handful of stores which recently received a letter from ATF agents demanding that they not only turn the non-complaint gun part over to the federal government, but provide the names of all customers who bought the item as well.
The California gun parts store owner had this to say during an interview with KSWB-TV:
“They said either give us these 5,000 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. They were going to search all of our facilities and confiscate our computer and pretty much shut our business down. The government invades our privacy on a daily basis and everyone thinks it’s okay. This is one of those situations where hopefully the government institutions come in and say, ‘This is protected and you’re not taking it from them.'”
The former Marine did not object to turning over the plastic AR-15 lower receiver to the ATF, his attorney had already invited the agents to come do so at any time. Karras figured a shut down raid was forthcoming and filed a temporary restraining order against the ATF. Until a judge determines what the appropriate action is, ATF agents cannot come onto the gun parts store property and confiscate anything. A preliminary hearing is scheduled to review the situation on March 20.
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