Remington Arms seeks bankruptcy protection

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Remington Arms, with a manufacturing facility that Ilion, is seeking bankruptcy protection for the second time in as many years. The company emerged from reorganization under U.S. Bankruptcy Court protection in mid-2018. It is headquartered in Madison, North Carolina, but traces its roots to its founding more than 200 years ago in Ilion. It still has approximately 1,000 workers in the Mohawk Valley, including hourly workers who were laid off earlier this month.

Remington Arms has been weighed down by lawsuits and retail sales restrictions following the Sandy Hook school massacre, officials said. In a Chapter 11 filing in U.S. Bankruptcy court for Northern District of Alabama this week, the nation’s oldest gunmaker listed assets and liabilities of between $100 million and $500 million, and between 1,000 and 5,000 creditors.

In the most recent legal action this year against the Madison, North Carolina, company, families of those killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting were granted access to the computer of the shooter.

The families are looking for evidence of the shooter’s exposure to advertisements for weapons. They say Remington violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act by marketing its Bushmaster XM15-E2S, an AR-15 style weapon, to civilians.

The weapon was used to kill 20 children and six adult staff at the school.

Gun sales have slumped, as they typically do, under a Republican administration, because gun owners are not as compelled to stockpile weapons out of fear that Congress will create tougher gun-control laws. But the past three years have been particularly volatile, fueled in part by a mass shooting in Las Vegas and other high-profile mass killings that have led retail chains to restrict sales, or removed guns completely from stores.

According to June FBI figures, 3.9 million background checks were conducted last month, the most since the system was created in November 1998. The checks are the most reliable metric used to measure gun sales.

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