Remington Outdoor, one of America’s oldest gunsmiths, has filed for bankruptcy for the second time in as many years, with plans to sell its business.
The 204-year-old gun conglomerate continued to struggle with weak sales after a 2018 restructuring that reduced its heavy debt load and ceded ownership to some of its creditors, according to its filings late Monday. in chapter 11.
Arms sales have climbed in the United States amid the coronavirus pandemic and massive protests against police brutality and racism. But that push couldn’t save Remington, whose net sales fell to about $437.5 million last year from more than $865 million in 2016, according to the company’s filing.
Part of the company’s troubles allegedly stem from the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, in which the shooter used an AR-15 rifle made by Remington’s Bushmaster brand. Twenty children and six teachers were killed.
Remington went into debt in part to cover legal costs as the victims’ families sued the company, according to the New York Times.
After Remington’s filing on Tuesday, the families of the nine Sandy Hook victims urged JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon to stay away from their lawsuit.
JPMorgan is one of the former creditors who now own the company.
“We call on JPMorgan and other business owners to do the right thing,” said Mark Barden, who lost his son, Daniel, in the shooting.
“Leave our case intact so we can shed light on Remington’s reckless decisions to help ensure your family doesn’t have to endure the endless grief of losing your child to preventable gun violence.”
JPMorgan did not respond to a request for comment.