News broke yesterday that the BATF had raided the business premises of EP Armory and the home of it’s owner, Chris Cook. News reports are sparse as the ATF is being fairly tight lipped about the nature of their investigation. Local news sources are reporting that the ATF is on the hunt for “illegal weapons”. As of this writing the ATF has now allowed the store front to reopen for business.
We recently reviewed an 80% lower receiver from EP Armory here on TheBangSwitch. EP Armory receivers are mostly complete and only require a small amount of machining to convert them into a fully functioning AR15 lower receiver. However, as 80% complete receivers they are not considered to be firearms in the eyes of the government. Once manufacturing is completed by the owner, they are not required to be serial numbered or to be registered on a 4473 form despite the fact they are now deemed to be firearms. Your EP Armory AR15 becomes one of those mystical “ghost guns” bantered about in the media as of late.
There’s nothing nefarious about building your own firearm. As American citizens we have the right to manufacture our own firearms and when we do, there’s nothing the federal government can say about it… that whole interstate commerce thing. As long as you don’t manufacture them for sale you can make as many as you like for your own personal use and it’s none of Uncle Sam’s business.
Who knows what the G-men are ferreting for, one can only speculate. What I do know is that a fine, and highly arbitrary, line exists between a 80% complete lower and a receiver that’s considered to be a firearm in the eyes of our overlords. Could this be related to the nebulous methods used by the BATF to define 80% lowers? <shrug>
Perhaps Mr. Cook was up to something shady. Perhaps it’s the ATF that’s up to something shady and they’re after copies of EP Armory’s sales records… We won’t know until the ATF breaks their silence, or if charges are ultimately filed.
Let’s hope this is nothing more than an innocent misunderstanding and EP Armory is back on its feet in short order.