Gunmaker Remington Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Remington, one of nation's top gunmakers, files for bankruptcy

The company has longstanding ties to upstate NY.

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.

Remington was founded in 1816 in NY by Eliphalet Remington II. Still, Remington was left damaged when some investors distanced themselves from the company.

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Just two days before the shooting in Parkland, Remington announced it was transferring control of the company to its creditors, including JPMorgan Chase. The company made its first rifle in 1816 and went on to supply the USA military during both world wars.

Remington had in February reached a deal with lenders to reduce its debt by about $700 million and add about $145 million in new capital. We already saw this in 2016, when the gun manufacturer Colt bounced back after declaring bankruptcy allowed them to restructure and eliminate $200 million in debt and raise $50 million in new capital.

Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics show firearm background checks spiked in the last months of the 2016 presidential campaign rising from 1.87 million in May, when Trump was trailing Clinton, to 2.56 million in November, the month Trump was elected.

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Remington representatives did not return messages from CNNMoney, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the gun industry group, declined to comment on the bankruptcy. Those fears dissipated after the election of Trump, a Republican who was endorsed by the National Rifle Association. American Outdoor Brands (formerly Smith & Wesson) saw profits slide 90 percent a year ago, and Sturm Ruger recently reported a 35 percent decline in quarterly sales. Time will tell if the bankruptcy is the first of many in the gun industry.

The bankruptcy filing comes about a month after the latest mass school shooting.

But that anticipated bounce in sales failed to materialize after Trump's surprise victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

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The point is, while it was an internationally recognized brand in firearms manufacturing, Remington Arms was always more of a family affair for those who grew up in the shadow of that factory.

Remington, which makes the AR-15 rifle used during the Sandy Hook school shooting, has seen sales flag under the Trump administration. Families of the victims sued Remington, and while the suit was ultimately dismissed, multiple investors withdrew from the company.

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