BATFE and the war on legal gun sales

Ares Armor raid

It’s no secret that the government has been doing everything it can to control the sales of certain weapons, particularly the AR-15. What particularly bothers the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) is the fact that people can purchase the parts to make this sort of weapon, without serial numbers. It has bothered them so much, that they recently decided to raid a legally operating store that is owned by a Marine Corps veteran.

Dimitri Karras, owner of Ares Armor, was willing to allow BATFE to enter into his place of business. He offered to allow them into the section of his store where the AR-15 parts were stored - a section that is restricted to all but authorized personnel, that all other employees know they would be fired for attempting to enter. Karras was willing to let the government see whatever they liked, except one thing. He refused to surrender his customer list.

So, to protect the constitutional rights of his customers, Karras obtained a Temporary Restraining Order on March 13, 2014, to prevent BATFE from taking it. The agency wasn’t pleased with that, or the fact that the gun shop owner went to the media with his story, so they obtained a warrant.

On Saturday, March 15, 2014, BATFE raided a location of Ares Armor, and treated the people inside like criminals. They entered the building forcefully, weapons drawn and raised, as though they expected armed resistance. Since Karras had only refused to surrender a customer list, there was no reason to assume there would be resistance of any kind.

While BATFE agents did act disrespectfully, they did not shut down the store. They had no legal cause to do so. The only reason they acquired the warrant, and entered the building was to acquire the list of customers that were legally doing business with Ares Armor. And that was in spite of the fact that a court, by issuing the Temporary Restraining Order requested by Karras, agreed that at the very least there was a legitimate argument for protecting the privacy of the Ares Armor clientele.

According to an interview with The Pete Santilli Show, Karras is assuming that this is not over. He has more than one store, so he expects that BATFE will be back to raid his other locations.

As for the Marine veteran, he is in for a war. After seeing battle in Iraq, he’s now of the opinion that the Iraqi people have more freedom than Americans. His message to BATFE is simple — they can keep raiding, but he will keep talking. Time will tell which one will give up first.

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