Government supports dismissal of Ares Armor case against ATF
Lawyers for the Department of Justice submitted a memorandum Friday in the United States District Court, Southern District of California, in support of defendant’s motion to dismiss Lycurgan, Inc., dba Ares Armor vs. B. Todd Jones [successor name to be substituted], in his official capacity as Head of the San Diego Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The case involves Ares’ contention that ATF erred and overstepped its authority in declaring the firm’s EP80 polymer precursor receivers (“80 percent receivers”) to be complete receivers, and thus “firearms” as defined by the Gun Control Act of 1968.
“The EP80 contains a completely formed fire-control cavity, which is also marked to indicate where to attach the firing components,” the government explained. “Although the cavity is filled with plastic, which is also of a contrasting color, that plastic can be easily removed, leaving a pocket of the dimensions necessary to accommodate the fire-control components. Hence, in less than an hour, using commonly available tools and no special skill, the EP80 can be made into a usable part of a weapon that will fire.”
The government disputes that its “classification of the EP80 as a firearm was arbitrary,” and claims its actions are consistent with prior decisions. It further contends plaintiff claims should be dismissed because that classification is “within [ATF’s] constitutional and statutory authority ... For the foregoing reasons, defendant's motion to dismiss and for summary judgment should be granted.”
Government contentions have been disputed by Ares Armor, not just in court filings but also in a “letter to BATFE director” posted on the company website in January. The detailed rebuttal, signed by CEO Dimitrios Karras identifying himself as “One of your restless villagers,” actually thanked Jones for his “indirect admission that a firearm receiver is not a ‘receiver,’ as defined by the GCA of 1968, until it can house all of the necessary parts that it is intended to house.”
The next step in the court process is unclear at this writing -- a call to Ares Armor this afternoon was not answered by a live operator to allow for further inquiry. Case watchers interested in learning more can read the original complaint and view plaintiff and defendant filings and court orders at the Michel & Associates, P.C. website.