Appeal Promised After District Court Sides with ATF in Unfinished Receiver Case

By David Codrea

ares
Night of broken glass redux? The more things change, the more they stay the same. (Ares Armor/Facebook)
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- The United States District Court for the Southern District of California ruled against Ares Armor in its lawsuit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in a decision filed Thursday. United States District Judge Janis L. Sammartino, a George W. Bush appointee, ordered dismissal of plaintiff claims.

The lawsuit, naming former ATF Director B. Todd Jones “in his official capacity,” was filed after a series of actions that began when Special Agent Gordon Geerdes pressured Ares owner, former Marine Sergeant Dimitri Karras, to turn over a list of customers who bought unfinished receivers with contrast color core “biscuits.” These parts had “pre-cast indices to guide purchasers in drilling certain holes required to build a functioning firearm receiver.”

Karras refused, at which point ATF set in motion a series of actions resulting in a warrant and a seizure of lower receivers and Ares’ customer list.

Ares claimed First, Second and Fifth Amendment violations by ATF, as well as a violation of the Firearm Owners Protection Act.  ATF argued for dismissal, citing “lack of subject matter jurisdiction …  [and] failure to state a claim,” as well as for summary judgment on the claim by Ares that classifying the part as a firearm was “arbitrary.”

In siding with ATF, Judge Sammartino cited matters of jurisdiction, including sovereign immunity [you can’t sue the government unless it agrees] and ripeness [readiness of a case for adjudication]. As for First Amendment claims, the judge dismissed the argument that “different colored material is non-functional and informational, providing information or instruction through the use of different colors.”

She also sided with ATF in ruling “the Second Amendment does not extend to the unrestricted manufacture, distribution, sale, or purchase of firearms or their parts,” that regulation of the parts is “presumptively lawful …  ‘fall[ing] outside the historical scope’ of the Second Amendment,” and that ATF’s action “places only a marginal burden on the right to bear arms in self-defense of one’s home.”

[Note this disregards a primary founding intent behind the Second Amendment, that it is meant to protect the right of the people to keep and bear arms outside the home.]

As for Fifth Amendment claims, Sammartino stated “Plaintiff has failed to establish a deprivation of a constitutionally protected liberty or property interest or a denial of adequate procedural protections.” And in dismissing the claim of a Firearm Owners Protection Act violation, the judge rejected registration list concerns over ATF seizing Ares’ customer list.

Because Judge Sammartino dismissed four of the claims without prejudice (meaning Ares can appeal), AmmoLand asked lead counsel Alan Beck what was next for the case.

“Ares will be appealing the decision,” Beck replied. “Ultimately, the ATF needs to be held accountable for its actions in the Courts or else their encroachment on our civil liberties will not end. I am proud to have represented Ares Armor and I will be happy to appeal it.”

Also see earlier stories about the Ares Armor case posted by this author, which includes a suggested reading list of prior developments.

David Codrea in his natural habitat.

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.

He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and also posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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    Carlos PerdueMark GillesSkdiencaedauHOMER GRAHAM Recent comment authors
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    Mark Gilles
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    Mark Gilles

    Gordon Todd Geerdes in action: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QRXOlhyPAus In mid 2013, I had began working on this video presentation for a few months already, and it was known about by my FPO the entire time. Somehow, word appeared to have reached ol’ “Gordy”, and he apparently didn’t like what I had originally intended to do with it, which was file a USC 1983 under the premise of constitutional rights violations, which would’ve exposed the criminal and felonious violations of state and federal law. His retort was to clandestinely “re-investigate” my case, in a futile attempt to bring additional charges relating to the… Read more »

    Sk
    Guest
    Sk

    This smells bad. How come I can still order these unfinished receivers online? I get a catalog at least twice a month with these parts in it for sale.

    diencaedau
    Guest
    diencaedau

    I think the average American, true Americans, do not have it in their hearts and minds to do nothing at all. It will take the military command, the pentagon included, to stop this man. The white man and black man will sit back and let our great nation go to hell in a handbasket. Obamma hates our country to no end and is stopping at nothing to get what he wants, the destruction and fall of our America. The same America that I fought in the hell hole of a place called Vietnam, as did the 54 thousand some odd… Read more »

    HOMER GRAHAM
    Guest
    HOMER GRAHAM

    I HAVE BEEN INTERESTED IN BUILDING AN 80% LOWER FOR SOME TIME, BUT HAVE QUESTIONED IF THE GOVERNMENT WOULD END UP WITH A LIST OF BUYERS AND CONFISCATE THE “WEAPONS” MADE FROM THE KITS. I GUESS I JUST GOT MY ANSWER. OUR GOVERNMENT IS OUT OF CONTROL. THEY ARE ALLOWING STATES TO OVER-RIDE THE SECOND AMENDMENT AS LONG AS IT FOLLOWS THEIR AGENDA. THE BILL OF RIGHTS IS NO LONGER HONORED. I FEAR THE NEXT ELECTION MIGHT BRING ANOTHER CIVIL WAR. IF YOU ARE NOT ARMED, YOU WILL BE A LAMB LEAD TO THE SLAUGHTER. I AM AN OATH KEEPER.… Read more »

    VT Patriot
    Guest
    VT Patriot

    I’m seriously concerned if their will even be an “election” in ’16. The way this marxist inspired goobermint is progressing, they are at the brink of the cliff. How much more are people going to stand? Is this the ’76 of our generation?

    Clark Kent
    Guest
    Clark Kent

    The only change in November of 2016 is that Hillary will be elected POTUS. Count on it. ‘Soap box, ballot box, cartridge box’ – Abraham Lincoln.

    Carlos Perdue
    Guest
    Carlos Perdue

    LOL. Cuck Kent sees the future!

    Ken the Vet
    Guest
    Ken the Vet

    Every day I read about these ridiculous things happening…obviously “our” government has lost its collective mind. Drones and traitors occupy the offices of DC. It’s time to dust off, lock and load, and take this country back piece by piece. If something doesn’t change after next November, I fear there will be civil war…

    Timothy Meagher
    Guest
    Timothy Meagher

    80% lower providers should give a big F-OFF to the ATFBE this Christmas season. The 80% sellers should join together and all of them should see complete 80% lower receiver kits to buyers at cost. We need to get these kits onto as many Hans as possible to tell the jack booted ATFBE thugs that if they pull these unconstitutional tactics, the shooting community of the United States will fight back and make if so cost prohibitive to grow after the 80% buyers that perhaps they will rethink and perhaps even cease their anti 2A campaigns. Perhaps I’m full of… Read more »

    james
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    james

    How is using a paint scheme on the item any different from positioning the item in a jig to help you
    do the machine operations on it?

    The item is still in an unfinished state jig or color coded paint marks. No tooling has been done to make it finished until the end user buys it and modifies it.

    AZArchangel55
    Guest
    AZArchangel55

    So what is the crime? Painting with a deadly color? Patent or trademark infringement?? As the Constitution of the U. S. is the SUPREME LAW of the land, and the Second Amendment is perfectly clear, what part of the ATF is constitutional, or better yet, who can empower them?
    Si vis pacem, para bellum!!

    Janek
    Guest
    Janek

    Is “KrystalNacht II” on the ‘event horizon’?

    Rattlerjake
    Guest
    Rattlerjake

    Dwal, Really?!?! A company has the right to keep a list of customers who they can contact with sales, additional products, and for warranty info. It is the government that has NO right to request or take this information without the consent of each of those customers. It is nothing but government overreach and violation of an individual’s rights.

    Rattlerjake
    Guest
    Rattlerjake

    Kenneth, This “claimed” immunity from suits that the government has is a lie. If the government can sue an individual or company then the reverse is true.

    Rattlerjake
    Guest
    Rattlerjake

    Woody, The ATF and all those involved will soon be held accountable. This country is about to come apart at the seams and when it does they will cease to exist as will all of the other government agencies and the government itself. The left has effectively destroyed this country for their own benefit, yet when is implodes their wealth and power will end and the 3% that are patriots will take charge. As further proof Revelation has prophesied exactly what is occurring.

    Kenneth
    Guest
    Kenneth

    In siding with ATF, Judge Sammartino cited matters of jurisdiction, including sovereign immunity [you can’t sue the government unless it agrees]. Wow just wow, imagine if that held true for the rest of us puny civilians, “I’m going to sue you”, “No”, “Oh ok”. So much bullshit.

    RM Molon Labe
    Guest
    RM Molon Labe

    soon…
    Molon Labe

    Dwal
    Guest
    Dwal

    Aries should not keep a customer list.

    Jaque Bauer
    Guest
    Jaque Bauer

    Tell me, how is this case any different than how the NAZI’s targeted persons they disliked, other than summary execution, which some might say exists also ? And the Democratic Socialists did not have the protections of the Bill of Rights. Administrative law in unquestionably unconstitutional, yet the stack of regulations, codes, rules, fines, and other entrapment’s would pile from earth to the moon, or so I would imagine. Administrative law is used by the government as punishment, as a revenue source, and to control the behavior of individuals and businesses. This Republic has strayed so far from its original… Read more »

    hippybiker
    Guest
    hippybiker

    In the 17th 18th and 19th century the American people had a remedy for b*stard judges like this. It was called “Tar and Feathers!”

    TEX
    Guest
    TEX

    What the ATF did to Ares Armor they will happily do to you too [me] ! ….You want to fu*king bet ?!?! The son of a bitches will happily do it to you if you allow them to do it to you !

    Woody W Woodward
    Guest
    Woody W Woodward

    The idea of expecting United States District Judge Janis L. Sammartino or any other federal judge, to hold an agency of the federal government responsible for the actions of its employees is beginning to look like an exercise in futility. If Waco, Ruby Ridge, fast and furious gun walking, the Reese’s persecutions, and other malfeasances too numerous to list haven’t resulted in ATF’s chain being jerked by federal courts it’s probable that ATF will never be held accountable for anything.
    [W3]

    Longbow
    Guest
    Longbow

    Remember, Boys and Girls, the Glass Breaking Thugs are proud of themselves. They believe they are doing good work. What they have done to Ares Armor, they will happily do to you.