Remington seeking bankruptcy protection
Remington, the storied gun maker that began turning out flintlock rifles when there were only 19 states in the Union, has filed for bankruptcy reorganization amid years of slumping sales and legal and financial pressure over the Sandy Hook school massacre.
In papers filed Sunday in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware, Remington outlined a plan to turn over control to its creditors and continue operating with up to $100 million from lenders. It remains unclear what will happen to its 3,500 or so employees as it tries to put its finances in order.
Remington, whose roots go back to 1816, when the Western frontier beckoned, saw its debts mount with the election of President Donald Trump, who has called himself a “true friend” of the National Rifle Association but whose victory ended years of panic-buying by people afraid a Democrat in the White House would crack down on guns.
In 2017, firearm background checks, a good barometer of sales, declined faster than in any year since 1998, when the FBI first began compiling such data.
The Madison, N.C., company’s production of one of the best-known weapons in the world, the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, has also proved problematic. The young man who killed 20 first-graders and six educators in the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut in 2012 used a Bushmaster.
Remington was sued by victims’ families after the Sandy Hook tragedy. That lawsuit was dismissed because of broad immunity granted to the gun industry, but the Connecticut Supreme Court is weighing whether to reinstate it.