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Gun maker Remington files for bankruptcy

A manufacturer can make a Remington ACR Special Purpose Rifle at a 2013 gun show in Las Vegas.

(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Firearms manufacturer Remington Outdoor Company has filed for bankruptcy protection in the face of declining sales and lawsuits arising from the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday night.

According to the Magazine, Remington announced that it would file for Chapter 11 last month, but the actual file is delayed after the Feb. 14 shooting at marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in parkland, Fla. that 17 people were killed.

The paper reported that Remington officials plan to hand over the reins to its creditors, in exchange for writing off most of the company’s debt. Cerberus Capital Management LP bought Remington for $118 million in 2007, starting from $252 million in debt in the process.

Cerberus later formed a holding company called the Freedom Group Inc., consisting of Remington and other firearms manufacturers, including Bushmaster, Cerberus had bought in 2006.

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The Journal reported that the weapon-industry is confronted with weak demand and a high inventory after Donald Trump’s unexpected election to the presidency in 2016. According to the paper, firearms manufacturers strengthened the output in the run-up to the elections, in the expectation that a Hillary Clinton victory would lead to a boost in sales ahead of tighter gun laws.

In 2016, the families of the victims at Sandy Hook filed a wrongful death suit against Remington, claiming that it negligently marketed “military style” weapons to the younger demographics — namely, the 20-year-old Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza.

A court dismissed the first lawsuit, but the plaintiffs appealed to the Connecticut Supreme Court, which is considering the case.

Katie-Hotel Maris, an attorney with Koskoff Koskoff & bieder, representing Sandy Hook families in their lawsuit against the gun manufacturer said in a statement that “We do not expect this filing to affect the families in a tangible way.”

Founded in 1816, Remington is America’s oldest gun maker.

Click for more from The Wall Street Journal.

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