We’ve known since February that Remington has been seeking financiers to help it enter a controlled bankruptcy, but this week Big Green made it official.
Remington Outdoor and its subsidiaries have submitted a Chapter 11 petition to the federal bankruptcy court in Delaware, according to multiple media outlets. The oldest gun manufacturer in the nation is reportedly $950 million in debt and has struggled to offload products after ramping up production in 2016, according to Remington’s Chief Financial Officer Stephen Jackson.
Jackson told USA Today that expected consumer demand in 2017 “ultimately did not materialize.” Other gun manufacturers found themselves in the same boat, prompting “unusually heavy discounting and promotions to reduce their own excess inventory.”
Remington reshuffled its executive staff in 2017, but they couldn’t match the low prices of their competitors. The company also faced a massive class action lawsuit, less-than-impressive recent offerings in the handgun category, and a recent drop in nationwide firearm sales.
This isn’t the end of Big Green—at least not immediately. The bankruptcy deal will maintain the company’s operations, continue pay and benefits for employees and ultimately turn the operating control of the company to creditors.
Cerberus Capital Management acquired Remington in 2007 for $118 million. They unsuccessfully tried to sell the company earlier this year, but have since agreed to a deal in which the company’s creditors—Franklin Templeton Investments and JPMorgan Asset Management—will exchange debt for equity.
While the federal government (thankfully) doesn’t keep records of gun sales, the number of background checks has declined since Gun Salesman in Chief Barak Obama left office. The number of background checks conducted by the FBI remains much higher than before Obama took office, but there was an 8.3 percent drop in 2017.
Mainstream media outlets have dutifully included in their coverage of Remington references to this week’s gun control protests, apparently suggesting that the two are somehow related. But as much as Emma Gonzalez would like to take credit for bankrupting Remington, the company’s troubles began long before high schoolers started dictating national policy.
If she’s not careful, though, she might steal the Gun Salesman in Chief title from our former president. AR-15 lower receivers have been suspiciously difficult to find of late. Primary Arms is out of stock of several of the most popular brands, and Aero Precision’s lower receivers have disappeared as well.
The firearms community hasn’t quite hit Full Freakout Mode circa 2016, but if Gonzalez continues her crusade and the 2018 midterms swing left, Remington sales will be back up in no time.