Following a weekend that saw hundreds of thousands of people protesting for tighter gun laws in the United States, one of the country’s oldest gun manufacturers has filed for bankruptcy.
Remington, which makes the AR-15 rifle used during the Sandy Hook school shooting, has seen sales flag under the Trump administration. That’s typical for gun makers, which tend to perform better when Democrats are in power.
The company announced its plan to file for bankruptcy in February, and says that the proceedings will not disrupt its operations. The move is aimed at restructuring its debt, reducing it by $700 million. It also finally rids Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm that owns Remington, of a nuisance. Cerberus, which for years dominated the US gun market, has tried to sell Remington since the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012.
The Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza, used a Remington-made Bushmaster AR-15 rifle in his rampage, killing 20 children and 6 adults. The families of the Sandy Hook victims sued the gun manufacturer in 2014 for its responsibility in the shooting.
As Cerberus was trying to extricate itself from the gun industry on moral grounds, its executives were funding anti-gun control ads in 2014.
The private equity firm is run by Steve Feinberg, a billionaire the Trump administration is reportedly considering to lead the president’s Intelligence Advisory Board.
Gun manufacturers—both domestic companies and foreign ones, which make up a large share of the US gun market—have not fared well under Trump. Consumers tend to buy more guns when they fear tighter restrictions, which they expect when Democrats are in power. When a Republican’s in office, the pressure is off.