The company that manufactured the weapon used by Adam Lanza to kill 26 people, including 20 first graders, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012 has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Remington Outdoor Company, which is owned by Cerberus Capital Management, filed Sunday in U. S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.
The company, like other gun manufacturers, has seen slumping sales and is involved in eight lawsuits, all of which will be stayed as the bankruptcy process unfolds.
Among those lawsuits is one filed in January 2015 by Sandy Hook survivors after Lanza used Remington’s Bushmaster AR-15 to shoot his way through a front window and then kill 26 people at the elementary school before killing himself.
While the case was initially tossed due to the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), a bill pushed through by National Rifle Association supporters that limits litigation against arms manufacturers, it was appealed and is now before the Connecticut Supreme Court.
The plaintiffs contend that the Bushmaster AR-15 should never have been sold to Lanza’s mother, Nancy Lanza, or anyone else in the public because the gun was designed for military use.
Remington has also been targeted in a lawsuit over a trigger defect, the Hartford Courant reports. A settlement was reached in the case, but it was delayed when Judge Ortrie Smith expressed concern that only 3,000 gun owners would benefit from the settlement while 7.5 million of the guns were sold.
Smith eventually approved the settlement, but the case has been appealed.
Remington officials insist the bankruptcy will not keep them from meeting their obligations and they took steps Tuesday toward keeping the company running with the bankruptcy court judge approving a $75 million loan to provide operating capital, according to Reuters.
The Remington bankruptcy filing came just one day after national attention was drawn to gun violence by the March For Our Lives activities in Washington, D. C. and across the United States.
Major retailers have opted to stop selling guns since 17 people were shot to death at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida February 14.
The political climate has not been welcoming to gun manufacturers, but their problems started well before the latest school shooting.
Gun sales have fallen since Donald Trump became president. Even though Trump is a supporter of gun ownership and gun owners’ Second Amendment rights, that has not translated to an increase in the number of people buying weapons.
Typically, gun companies fare better when a president is in office who may favor legislation restricting gun ownership or the types of weapons that can be sold.
Another problem for the companies has been the concentration of gun ownership in the U. S. where a small percentage of people own most of the guns. A Harvard University and Northeastern University study cited by the Courant notes that 50 percent of the guns in this country are owned by just three percent of the people.
Remington has not been the only gun company that has seen his fortunes fall in recent years.
Another gun manufacturer, Colt Holdings Company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2015.