EP Armory Raided by the ATF

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┬ánefarious 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.



MAC is an avid shooter, former MCSF Marine, NRA member, Oath Keeper and is commissioned as a Colonel by the Governor of Kentucky. Known for his videos on the Military Arms Channel, he also writes for The Bang Switch, for Shotgun News (Be Ready!) and freelances for Guns & Ammo. MAC has been a life long shooter who has an interest in all things that go "bang" but gravitates towards military type firearms.

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  • Rick Gabriel

    What the… I guess the lesson to be learned here is “don’t piss off the feds” even if you are playing by the rules. The first thing that popped into my head was the FPSRussia raid last year (or was that 2012?). Sounds like anyone who “might” be doing something is getting the door kicked in because…. well, you know, just in case…..
    “I’m from the government and I’m here to help!”

  • Lyge

    That’s news I’ve talked to them 2 days ago and all was good I’m a dealer for ep

    • Ron

      he said it happened yesterday

    • John Smith

      Burn your records.

  • MrSatyre

    There’s never anything “innocent” where the brown shirts are concerned. “Just following orders!” and all of that other bullshit.

  • BOB

    what if they’re raiding their sales records?

    • Rick Gabriel

      Wouldn’t doubt it. Maybe not the “official” reason, but I’m sure it’s a nice bonus for them.

    • steveday72

      Hadn’t thought about that – I think you’ve nailed it.

      Now they can go door-to-door in various states – murdering pets and holding law-abiding people at gunpoint.

  • coalzak

    Well that’s cool. Now the atf has a record of my purchase. I have no doubt that all this was for was to get copies of all of their records and hopefully get lucky enough to shut them down. Heads up Ares Armor! You’re next.

    • NotMe

      The ATF has also demanded that Ares Armor turn over their customer list for EP Armory polymer lower sales. They are 100% for sure demanding customer lists from Dealers of EP lowers. Ares being Ares, is pushing back on this demand.

  • Al

    I just hope they don’t get the records to who’s house to come to when it hits the fan, but that is most likely the case in my opinion.

    • Rick Gabriel

      ..But I thought all of your guns got lost in a tragic boating accident last week. That’s what you told me…right?

      • Al

        yea, now they turned into ghost guns.

      • Willy Maykit

        Did you report tyhat theft to the police at the time?
        If not, you’re up for a felony.

  • teflonron

    That really blows chunks.

  • Roger

    Sales records that may eventually fall into the hands of left leaning states? Glad I didn’t order one after Matt did his review.

  • Steelheart

    This could take a couple years sort out via the courts even if no charges are filed. It’s happened before….


    • John Smith

      And they’ll be out of business in the meantime. Only the wealthy have rights in this country, as only they can afford to fight a govt. that uses the peoples’ tax dollars against them.

  • Konaboy

    They are probably going to follow the sales records to everyone who bought a lower to finish. At the least, those people will be put on a watch list. And since those lowers are not firearms, the Feds can legally keep a list of the purchasers, probably.

    • BOB

      damn, that’s a good point, the 80% lowers lack the protection of the 2nd amendment.

    • Leigh Rich

      Who cares. it is legal. the ATF knows who is buying guns off the 4475. Doesn’t really make a difference.

  • Vic Hyatt

    Moral of the story. Pay Cash !
    Friends of mine in Bakersfield have stated that ATF had received one or two complaints. One is that the store was selling completed lowers and completed rifles to people. The other is that the owner had full auto firearms. Myself I think there were no complaints and it is a fishing expedition. The state of ca’s liberal leaders hate that someone can make their own firearms. Just one of the many reasons I left that state.


    • Suburban

      The powers that be in CA are harassing Ares Armor over their sign, which is grandfathered, but features a scary black rifle.

  • micyek

    I see Ares has taken them off their site. Maybe the feds changed their mind about 80% complete status of these, because they are so easy to finish.

    • Suburban

      Ares has gotten a lot of publicity from their fight with local government over the sign. Perhaps they just sold out of EP lowers and can’t get a resupply.

    • NoMe

      The ATF has also demanded that Ares Armor turn over their customer list for EP Armory polymer lower sales. They are 100% for sure demanding customer lists from Dealers of EP lowers. Ares being Ares, is pushing back on this demand.
      From this, it must be about them thinking the polymers from EP are firearms and not “80s”. Also, that it’s not likely about anything else 10+ rds in a BB rifle, slidefire…
      BUT, they do want Customer Lists, so if you’re an EP dealer, expect contact from the ATF. If your a documented customer of an EP Polymer lower, maybe they’ll get to you too eventually. If they think this is considered a firearm, it would constitute an illegal transfer in their eyes and they’ll likely act accordingly.

  • coalzak

    Hmmm anyone else notice that they have a “90%” aluminum lower listed? I’m kinda new to the legalities of unfinished lowers, but I can’t help but wonder if this had something to do with it…

  • crabfarts

    80% is a urban mith and does not exsist in the batfe world. The batfe use terms like “trigger housing” and the vauge ” readly converted” a time reference that seams to be ajustable depending on the case.

  • Cowboyhat Armory

    i bought a couple of lowers back when theyre were 100 each.. now theyre 50 each, really good price for anybody wanting to build a rifle or pistol.. i highly recommend EP Armory. Chris Cook is a genius.. 10/30 round pmags for California residents is another great product they sell.

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  • The New Common Sense

    The New Common Sense
    5 minutes ago
    I finally figured out why Liberals are so afraid of guns and want them all gone. And you know what, I see their point. To them guns are evil and they are used to kill other people. You know what? They are right about that too.

    But if you look back into history, you will find that the person that assassinate Lincoln was a liberal democrat, as was the person that shot J F Kennedy. So was the person that shot Martin Luther King, and the guy that shot Reagan. As were the shooters at Columbine, the movie theater and Sandy Hook. It was radical left wingers that shot Bobby Kennedy, William McKinley, and a dumb-ass member of the Occupy Movement that fired an AK-47 at Obama’s White House.

    In short, If I were a Liberal Leftest, I would be afraid of guns too. Especially when they were in the hands of other Liberals. I think we could make the country much safer if we just put one more disqualifying question on the gun form “What political party do you identify with, Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative, Right wing, or Left Wing.

    If they answer Democrat, Liberal or Left wing, you don’t allow them to purchase the weapon. Then everybody is happy and safe. Problem solved.

    • silentdude56k

      You want to take away the rights of a large demographic because of some ridiculous pet theory? Not only that, but you think you’re entitled to keep that right to yourself? You’re just as bad as an anti-gunner. No, you’re worse. Switch “liberal democrat” with “Jew” and your proposition sounds a lot like Hitler’s gun confiscation prior to WWII.

      I’m going to buy another rifle to spite you.

      A California liberal who is sick of getting his rights trampled by Democrats and Republicans

      • Paladin

        I’m pretty sure the comment was made sarcastically.

        • silentdude56k

          I hope you’re right…

      • Roger V. Tranfaglia

        Jion the Tea Party or the Libertarians!!!!!!

      • Jones

        Godwin’s law. Jews ARE typically liberal democrats…..

        • Edward Jaffe

          Actually, Jews are prominent on BOTH sides of the conventional left-right discourse. Example: the NEOCONS & PNAC. Libertarians? Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, Robert Nozick, etc. PROGUN? SAF, TTAG editors, NRA lobbyists, etc. and ME.

      • Libdestroyer77

        Oh silly liberal, you don’t own any guns. You hate guns, remember?

        • silentdude56k

          I’m not blinded by two-party politics.

          • Willy Maykit

            Classic response of the spineless and non-committed.
            Grow a sack and define your values son.

            • silentdude56k

              My values are well-defined. I suggest you stop making uninformed assumptions before you lose any credibility.

      • The Stig

        “A California liberal who is sick of getting his rights trampled by Democrats and Republicans”

        Now you know how I feel every time your side pushes their agenda. Birth control, abortion, gay marriage, gun control, the fake ass “Climate change” crap. Everything. I’m sick and tired of it.

        I’m really tired of the entire system and their absolute idiotic refusal for any kind of compromise at all. People just want to take take take and refuse to give anything in return. Stomp all over my Constitutional rights while demanding things that ARE NOT Protected under the Bill of Rights be forced upon ME.

        • silentdude56k

          We’re never going to agree on everything; each of those topics is its own hornet’s nest. What I’m trying to do is stand firm with those with those who support and are fighting for our 2nd Amendment rights regardless of political ideology. We all need to stand together to educate and outvote the people who want to see that right taken away.

    • Roger V. Tranfaglia

      The kennedy assasinations along w/MLK were CIA ops (or the “shadow govt.) Imho………(possibly George Wallace too.)

      • Ben Gordon

        Have fun proving that.

        • Edward Jaffe

          Have fun proving that LHO shot JFK with a WWII crappy bolt gun and off-center scope and old ammo and no practice. The shot has NEVER been accurately simulated — never mind the “magic bullet” damage. The issue with JFK, RFK, MLK — is not who DID it but who didn’t.

          • Ben Gordon

            All of that crap and you still can’t prove it.

            • KingVJowers

              Oh, and in the transcript of the case they pretty much proved that James Earl Ray was too incompetent and untrained with a rifle to have done it. He only carried a six-shooter but only ever loaded 5 bullets because he once shot himself in the foot by accident because he was so incompetent with a firearm.

              Go read the transcript if you’re not busy drinking beer, or watching, Amerikan Idol. I’ll even give you a link to a partial copy of the court preceeding.


        • KingVJowers

          Uhhh, the government admitted as much as it pertains to MLK; however, most Amerikans, like you, are too stupid, too lazy, to do the work it takes to find out the truth.

          KingVJowers, 1999.

          THE COURT: In answer to the question did Loyd Jowers participate in a
          conspiracy to do harm to Dr. Martin Luther King, your answer is yes. Do
          you also find that others, including governmental agencies, were parties
          to this conspiracy as alleged by the defendant? Your answer to that one
          is also yes.

      • Evan

        Lovely. Another member of the tinfoil hat club heard from. Why, pray tell, would the CIA want to kill any of the above mentioned people? Why would they use lunatics like Oswald and Ray and Sirhan Sirhan instead of whatever James Bond type assassins that the “shadow government” would surely have?

        • what

          you know that a court proved that the govt had killed MLK right? google it.

          • Willy Maykit

            Google nothing.
            Provide links or stfu.

            • z

              learn how to google, the King family won the civil suit

            • KingVJowers

              I did, so you lazy beer swilling, nascar watching, Communist Practicing Amerikan whiners can be spoon fed just like your use to getting from your government masters. You are so hopelessly enslaved that you think picking a new master from one of your own wretched lot every 4 to 6 years makes you free.

        • Edward Jaffe

          There is always a patsy. SOP. That is how you have “case closed”.

    • TexTopCat

      I would expect the change, under current leadership, to be “Do you desire to own a gun?” if Yes you are too mentally unstable to be allowed one.

    • Phauxtoe

      Learn something from History.
      Here in NYS, we were sold down the River by Both Republicans as well as Democrats. Stop falling for the False Party Politics.
      THey all want to control you and what you do!

    • Laron Woods

      You are spot on! That would solve the problem! Sadly, the left wing liberal government isn’t going to allow that question to be included!

  • chewbaca

    these idiots were up to all kinds of illegal activity, their last promo video is probably what got the attention of the feds! in it they are prancing around just outside of bakersfield with 30 round mags in bullet buttoned rifles ( a AW felony ) and using a slide fire stock ( illegal in california ) its no wonder they got their door kicked in ! they deserve everything they have coming to them

    • DoodleBug

      What makes you think those videos were filmed in California?

      • chewbaca

        anyone who knows bakersfield knows the location of where they were out shooting, its a popular spot for dirtbikers and shooters alike. doesn’t take a scientist to figure that out !

        • Leigh Rich

          Is chewbaca the liberal troll?

    • balmy

      they deserve it? hahahaha stfu bitch you should be pissed at the govt not them

      they are free men as am i

      if you choose to be a slave then you are apart of the problem

      • the intellectual

        yes moron !!! if you deliberately daunt the government by doing illegal things then your playing with fire, if you stand in front of a bull waving a red flag don’t cry about it when you get stuck by the horn !

        • balmy

          instead of that how about you support them have you thought of that

          oh yeah your just a kid that prefers hes phone over a warm fucking vagina

          the sooner we stick together the faster shit will get done in this place

    • Idiots

      Yeah your an idiot. All the laws you mentioned are California laws and con not be enforced by the ATF. Educate yourself before you make yourself look like an idiot next time.

  • Nunyabusiness

    Welcome to forced registration of your fire arms. We already know that the BATF are keeping the form 4473 filled out when purchasing a weapon as back door registration. Now they will make up charges to confiscate the sales records of every company that sold 80% lowers. Sales receipts of uppers, barrels, bolt assemblies etc will be next, just you watch. Welcome to the USSA.

    • Eric Lopez

      no they didn’t deserve it but they should have seen it coming. Lesson learned no freedom for you. I guess you can’t taunt the government, otherwise they will get back at you. That’s the lesson learned!

  • Andrew Dale Bowder

    “as long as you don’t manufacture them for sale” I’m so glad you said this. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard “Oh, you can’t sell that.” When you actually can, you just can’t manufacture it with the intent to sell.

    • William Carpenter

      Until SB808 gets passed, then everyone in CA becomes an unlicensed firearms manufacturer that can make tax free weapons and sell them as they will have serial numbers on them thanks to Sen. deLeon

  • Riddley Walker

    I always get a little curious about these things when I hear the term “raid”. In what I do we deal with the Feds (FAA) a lot and I’ve heard of inquiries being referred to as “raids” when it was little more than an incident investigation.

  • Kyle Clements

    Fascist pig dogs. I really do despise the ATF. And I do have personal experience dealing with the beuracratic assholes. Every agent I ever met was a pencil dicked moron who wouldn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground if there wasn’t a convoluted and ambiguously worded regulation to tell him.

    Source: worked for a company manufacturing explosives initiation devices.

  • harperman

    Given their past record if anyone is up to something “shady” it is the ATF. they are a rogue agency and should be disbanded.

  • Scott Joseph

    I guess it’s all the more reason to pay in cash for such things. I’m guessing that since it isn’t a “firearm” yet then you don’t have to put your name down on any paperwork so you’re clear of them looking you up. I remember reading something about a gun shop in CA that was being harassed about selling 80% lowers as well by local government.

    • Suburban

      That was probably Ares Armor

  • z0phi3l

    Anyone else notice the ATF only acts like fascists during the Presidency of Democrats? Had anything half as bad as this happen in the Bush years the Left would have been harping about it every time they opened their mouths, yet here we are, AGAIN, the ATF is acting like the GESTAPO, the Left is blindly letting Obama illegally target Tea Party Groups and illegally “raid” legal businesses for intimidation and for harvesting illegal data on purchasers

    • Leigh Rich

      Thank Obama..i didn’t vote for him..

  • bob

    this kind of reminds me of what happened with cav-arms. hopefully they won’t seize assets for months before filing charges like they did in that case.

    • steveday72

      Well the EP Armory website is showing “Out of stock” on everything, so that may be the case.

      If so, then the BATFe will be “destructively testing” each and every one of them to see if they can remove the molded-in-plug without any machining – just so they can file trumped up charges on the owner(s).

      • Suburban

        It was the ATF that declared the EP lowers to be 80% complete. The law doesn’t require machining to make the lower 100%. AK lowers are often made at home by bending, without any machining.

  • Forrest Alley Jr

    The U.S. Supreme Court has released a ruling saying that military-style weapons are protected by the 2nd amendment, and thus the right of ordinary citizens to “keep and bear” them cannot be taken away or restricted.
    In their Opinion of the Court, the Justices indicated that weapons which are “part of the ordinary military equipment” came under the protection of the 2nd amendment, even in civilian hands, as well as a gun whose “use could contribute to the common defense.”

    As in all Supreme Court cases, this ruling will remain valid and in force without limit, unless a subsequent Supreme Court case overrules or reverses it. To date, no such case has done that, except DC v. Heller which ruled in 2008 that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right, not contingent on military membership.

    The case was US v. Miller (307 U.S. 174), ruling delivered on May 15, 1939. It remains valid to this day.

  • Mike

    73armory.com has 80% lowers available NOW! EP is out of all stock, undoubtedly due to this ATF issue.

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  • John Bunce

    I’d be interested in seeing the search warrant when its released….what lead to the probable cause……

  • dan

    this administration and its minions are ANTI BUSINESS…and want only government to succeed…..the use of force is what government IS….once you disrespect the law of this land…the Constitution….as all government agencies do…daily…imho

  • steveday72

    Nothing more than a politically pressurized fishing expedition…

    I’m sure they were hoping to find at least one 80% lower without the white plastic filling. Either that or one that was machined out to test the product.

    Hopefully the guys at EP were meticulous about destroying such parts, so the gestapo came out empty handed and with long faces.

  • Nic_223

    As a foreigner from a country (netherlands) where firearms were banned shortly after the first world war to keep them out of the hands of “dirty socialists” I find this all fascinating when does a piece of metal become a firearm? US law enforcement bending itself into all kinds of impossible corners.Do people also sell 80% silencers to avoid the tax stamp? And yes here gun laws were enacted to keep them out of the hands of the left not the right :D firearms=revolutions.

    • Suburban

      Manufacturing “silencers” requires ATF permission beforehand, which for individuals is taking about a year to obtain.

  • Riddley Walker

    So, has anyone seen the trailers for Noah yet? Is our own Kentucky Colonel going worldwide in a Hollywood production or is that Russell Crowe? I can’t tell!

  • Sad

    People should start forming local militias to protect our communities from this illegal activity , I they are some out their but are they really training?

    They the ATF has all the sales records of who bought the AR 15 lower 80% polymer lowers from EP and EP was forced to suspend any future and pending sales.

    They have been taken down even on Amazon. My son bought two so we can do it as a project before he ship off to Paris Island this Nov. Who’s next ?

    I live in CT and along with my fellow patriots who refuse gun registry now we all are over 100,000 class D felons . A harsh wind is coming , their will be doors kicked down and they will be meet with fierce resistance .

    A innocent civilian will be killed in one of these raids protecting his family and property and it will be gloves off .

    Molon Labe
    Former U.S Marine
    2/7 WPNS Co.1st Mar. Div.

    • Dale Smith

      Mr. Sad, you will have militia members from all over this nation flooding into CT if any door-kicking commences. I can tell you, for a fact, that there’s a large group that have already committed to heading north. If this happens, hopefully it’s during the summer, as us Texas boys will freeze our nuts off.

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  • Leigh Rich

    Their 80% lower has been out of stock since the raid everywhere.

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  • William Carpenter

    So, it looks like the feds are claiming that these are manufactured as complete lowers and then the white polymer is added to make it a 80% lower. Kind of seems like this would be the case too as how do you separate the colored versions if not. And if that is the case, then they are indeed illegal as you can’t go backwards from 100% to 80% even if you still make the end user complete it. If they had kept them one solid color, this wouldn’t have been looked at closer I think, but the white “cut out” areas kind of give this away and make it too easy to finish.

  • Mike Johnson

    I don’t know – doesn’t that seem like harassment pure & simple? It appears as if the BATF found no legal improprieties with EP Armory, nor did they find any illegal equipment at Mr. Cook’s home. I would instantly hire a lawyer and drag those “officers” and their superiors into court to prove that what they did was due to probable cause. And sue for damages for the largest amount possible.

    Doesn’t it seem like if they actually, really want to apprehend illegal gun owners, they can go down into the hood and snatch up all those weapons that are used by thugs and criminals every single day, instead of using the full force of the gov’t to intimidate & persecute folks who are trying the best they can to run a business?

  • Mike Johnson

    Oh, and if possible – we should support EP Armory by making a purchase from them small or large.

  • Guardian

    The ATF went to Ares Armor too, so they want a complete list of who has the lowers. The ATF hasn’t disclosed what the investigation is about, but I’m pretty sure they’re flirting with our rights.

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  • Noc

    Well… if there wasn’t tracking on who had what registration wise, there is now.

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  • brutiscular

    It is a fact the the ATF confiscated all EP armory’s Ply ar lowers along with Aries, This only difference Aries would not give up his customer list EP did , why would ATF want a customer list ?

    All dealers should burn throw away all hard drives and any records of non FFL sales. ATF knows what is happening and all control will be lost on their end . I see some Waco’s coming up x 100.

    Making a AR-15 from a poly lower and a pre assembled trigger group was so damn easy. They must be 10’s of thousand of un serielized AR’s now hahaha I love it

    Molon Labe
    Semper Fi

  • brutiscular

    The facts are ATF is way out gunned by the citizens of this country . 2012 ATF approved the manufacturing and sales of the AR15 poly lower The plug was made first the the lower was poured around the plug …

    Now 2014 ATF says its the other way around , EP is making an fire ARM FIRST (the lower)THEN PLUGGING IT ..CHEEKY LIL BASTARDS ARNT THEY?

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  • Sal

    Check out “NUTNFANCY CHANNEL” for what’s going on regarding this


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  • danske

    My family members help manufacture illegal arms in Denmark during WWII. I guess we know how that ended. What will be the results here?!