By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Newsmax
Remington, a company that began making flintlock rifles when there were only 19 United States, has filed for bankruptcy protection.
Mounting debts at the arms manufacturer have snowballed, ironically, since the election of Donald Trump, who has called himself a “true friend” to the gun industry.
Remington, which as roots dating to 1816, has lined up $100 million with lenders to continue operations.
It remains unclear what will happen to the 3,500 or so employees at Remington as it reorganizes.
Panic sales that drove revenue for gun makers ever higher evaporated with Trump’s arrival in the White House, and Remington’s production of one of the most well-known weapons in the world, the Bushmaster AR-15, have overwhelmed the Madison, North Carolina, company.
Third-lien noteholders will take 17.5 percent of Remington and four-year warrants get a 15 percent stake.
The Bushmaster AR-15 rifle was used in the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut in which 20 first-graders and six educators were killed in 2012.
The same gun was used to kill 17 in a Parkland, Florida, high school, a massacre that lead to drew hundreds of thousands of anti-gun violence protesters to the capital and to the streets in cities across the nation this past weekend.
There were no takers.
But it was larger trends already underway that doomed Remington.
Arms manufacturers had for years ramped up production as gun ownership became a red-hot social, and political flashpoint. Some gun-rights advocates have binged on guns on the misguided belief that a Democratic administration would harshly restrict gun sales.
Trump was the first sitting president to address the National Rifle Association in three decades, telling members at their annual meeting last spring that “You have a true friend and champion in the White House.”
Any belief that more restrictive regulation was on the way evaporated.
In 2017, firearm background checks, a good barometer of sales, declined faster than in any year since 1998, when the FBI first began compiling that data.
But there were clear signs that gun sales, even as production increased, were already in decline. By 2015 Cold Holdings Co., another storied gun maker, had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Some of Wall Street’s heaviest hitters are stepping into the national debate on guns as investment firms ask firearms makers what they are doing about gun violence.
BlackRock is a major shareholder in gun makers Sturm Ruger, American Outdoor Brands, and Vista Outdoor Brands. About a week after the shooting in Parkland, BlackRock said it wanted to speak with the three firearms makers about their responses to the tragedy.
It’s also looking into creating new investment funds for investors that exclude firearms makers and retailers.