Remington, the historic gun manufacturer that has been in business since 1816, announced on Monday, Feb. 12 that it would be filing for bankruptcy protection.
The company has been arming American citizens since the pioneers moved west, and has provided weapons for the U.S. army as well, yet it has faced a slump in business recently, which many attribute to Republican control of the U.S. government.
President Donald Trump has been a staunch advocate of Second Amendment rights, as have his GOP allies in the Senate, the House of Representatives and other areas of government. Remarkably, this secure position for federal gun laws has driven sales down, as firearm enthusiasts aren't worried about leaders changing the regulations any time soon.
Remington is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which will allow it to stay in business while it works out a plan to turn itself around and reach deals with its creditors, according to a report by Bloomberg. The company was acquired by Cerberus Capital Management in 2007, and picked up nearly $1 billion in debt shortly afterward. Ceberus is controlled by Stephen Feinberg, a private-equity mogul who has supported President Trump from the very beginning.
Just two days after Remington's announcement, a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida reignited the gun rights debate in the U.S. A 19-year-old expelled student named Nikolas Cruz walked into the building with an AR-15 assault rifle he had purchased legally, and killed 17 people. In the aftermath, his former classmates have spoken up against the loose gun regulations in their state.
The survivors from Stoneman Douglas High are travelling to Tallahassee to meet with state legislators and demand tighter restrictions. They're also organizing a march on Washington at the end of next month, and high school students across the country are participating in a walk-out on April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre.
No matter how the industry fluctuates, it's unlikely that the name "Remington" will disappear from the world of firearms entirely. The company has a 200 year-long history, and has become a trusted name for gun enthusiasts everywhere.
However, Remington was the subject of some tough scrutiny and even litigation after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The gunman in that case carried a Remington Bushmaster, and investors began jumping ship due to the bad optics.
However, Cerberus couldn't find another firm willing to buy the manufacturer, and they were stuck with it.