Leah Barkoukis at Townhall brings us the sad but predicted news that Remington Outdoor Company (better known to most of you shooters as Remington Arms) has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. A variety of challenges have been bringing down the company’s bottom line for a while now and this move was likely seen as the only way to keep them solvent. They do not anticipate closing and should remain in business through the transition, but control of Remington will pass to its creditors.
Remington Outdoor Company, which is one of the oldest gun manufacturers in the United States, has filed for bankruptcy protection.
The move was reportedly to occur last month but the filing was delayed after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, which killed 17 people.
According to The Wall Street Journal, a number of factors have contributed to the Chapter 11 filing, including falling sales, a heavy debt load, and lawsuits from the Sandy Hook school shooting.
Remington probably could have survived any of those challenges individually, but the combination of factors was too much for them. The ironic effect of having a pro-Second Amendment president in office is that people aren’t so worried about having their firearms seized, so they won’t be in as much of a rush to run out and purchase new weapons. Adding to that challenge was the continued legal fees and other drains associated with the endless parade of nuisance lawsuits coming from the Sandy Hook groups following the mass shooting in Connecticut. While the company has prevailed in each instance thus far, the legal fees have surely been adding up over the years and there’s been no move to force the groups suing them to pay for those costs.
Seeing Remington fall on such hard times is particularly tough for me. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned here over the years, I grew up barely five miles from the main, original plant in upstate New York and used to ride my bike past there regularly when the weather was good. They were the biggest employer in Ilion, New York for ages and everyone either had a family member who worked there or was friends with one. It was really the heart of the community. They began moving both their headquarters and many jobs to the south years ago because of the horrible business conditions in New York and the lack of respect for the Second Amendment demonstrated by the state government, but they always remained close to the community.
The first gun I ever received, back when I was just finishing elementary school, was a Remington Arms bolt-action .22 caliber rifle. It had belonged to my Uncle and my dad had a 3x scope fitted on it for me. I used to shoot woodchucks that would get into my grandfather’s farm fields and he’d give all the grandkids a quarter if you brought in a woodchuck. (My brother and I quickly realized that you could bring him a woodchuck you shot miles away and still get the quarter. I’m pretty sure Gramps knew what we were up to, but he paid us anyway.)
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. Even if they continue on under the same name but with different ownership, it’s really never going to be the same name and brand that we grew up with. A sad day, to be sure.