Gunmaker Remington has filed for bankruptcy protection at a time when the gun debate is making headlines around the country.
Madison, North Carolina-based Remington told investors on March 23 that it had negative operating cash flow of $7.4 million. Its 2017 revenues were $603.4 million, down some 30 percent from 2016.
According to records from the Bankruptcy Court of the District of Delaware, Remington Outdoor Co. agreed to a prepackaged deal that would give holders of the firm’s $550 million loan an 82.5 percent stake.
The gunmaker earned unwanted attention when one of its products – a Bushmaster XM-15 – was used in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre. Remington’s sales reportedly took a significant negative turn after the massacre and the company still faces a lawsuit filed by family members of the victims. A similar weapon made by Smith & Wesson was used in the Feb. 14 shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
U.S. gun sales have reportedly been in decline since Donald Trump took office as president. It has been common for gun sales to increase under Democratic regimes and ebb under Republican regimes due to perceived likelihood of gun control measures.
According to a study by Harvard University and Northeastern University, the number of privately-owned guns in the nation grew by over 70 million from 1994 to 2015 to a total of about 265 million, with half of those guns owned by just 3 percent of the population. In 2015, another gunmaker, Colt Holdings Co., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The Remington announcement comes on the heels of an estimated 800,000-person March 24 protest in Washington D.C. in support of stronger gun control laws and action to prevent future school shooting. At least 200,000 people attended a similar event in New York City.
Remington is the nation’s oldest gunmaker, having been founded in 1816 as E. Remington and Sons.