One of America's Largest Gun Manufacturers Just Declared Bankruptcy
A day after hundreds of thousands of Americans demanded action on gun control at the March for Our Lives rally, one of the country's largest gun manufacturers has filed for bankruptcy. Remington, which has produced the AR-15s used in numerous mass shootings, has announced a "debt-cutting deal with creditors amid mounting public pressure for greater gun control," according to Yahoo Finance.
This is just the latest blow for a company whose sales have been declining for years, leaving it between $100 million and $500 million in debt.
In addition to manufacturing the AR-15, Remington also makes the Bushmaster-style rifle used in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. Families of the victims sued Remington, and while the suit was ultimately dismissed, multiple investors withdrew from the company. According to the New York Times, "Remington borrowed heavily during that time, including to buy out investors who wanted to leave."
Founded in 1816 and taken over by a private equity firm in 2007, Remington enjoyed a brief sales reprieve during the Obama administration, as dealers preyed on consumers' paranoia that a Democratic administration would toughen gun restrictions and regulations. That sales bump ended with the election of Donald Trump. "Over the first nine months of his tenure," writes New York Magazine's Benjamin Hart, "they’re down by 27.5 percent."
Other gun manufacturers have reported similar struggles in what has become known as the “Trump slump.”
Just two days before the Parkland, Florida shooting, Remington announced it was transferring control of the company to its creditors, including JPMorgan Chase. Time will tell if the bankruptcy is the first of many in the gun industry.