The Remington Outdoor Company, America's oldest gun manufacturer, has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection, according to USA Today. The gesture comes in the wake of nationwide protests against gun proliferation in the United States.
The North Carolina based company was formed in 1816. They sell handguns, rifles and shotguns.
The recent legal action means that Remington will be able to continue operating while its parent company, Cerberus Capital Management, attempts to re-organize the brand's assets and pay off company creditors.
Stephen Jackson, Remington's chief financial officer, noted a decline in business in the last year.
“[The] overall business and industry environments continue to cause significant financial hardship," he said, according to USA Today.
Although the federal government does not track data on gun sales, records of background checks show huge surges in firearms purchases in anticipation of the 2016 election. Because Trump is thought to be increasingly relaxed about imposing future restrictions on guns, gun owners are currently less fervently purchasing more weaponry.
Remington was also tied to the Sandy Hook school shooting, which took place on December 14, 2012. Reports confirmed that shooter Adam Lanza had used a Remington weapon to massacre 28 individuals, including children and his own mother.
In 2016, courts heard arguments from the parents of children slain in the shooting, who were suing the company for their involvement in the deaths, according to CBS News. The case was dismissed after it was upheld that gun manufacturers could not legally be held liable for shooting deaths.
Lawyers for Remington at the time defended the company from detractors.
"No matter how tragic, no matter how much we wish those children and their teachers were not lost and their families had not suffered, the law needs to be applied," said James Vogts, an attorney for Remington, according to NBC News. "Under the law — federal law and Connecticut law — the manufacturers and sellers are not responsible for the crimes and the harm they cause."
The suit has since been appealed to the Connecticut Supreme Court, according to Fox News.
Lawyers speaking on behalf of the families of the deceased have been arguing that the company's marketing had targeted the young Lanza.
“They knew they were hitting their mark and Lanza was responding to their marketing,” said lawyer Joshua Koskoff, according to Reuters.
How the company's bankruptcy will impact the ongoing legal battle is unclear.
Remington had announced their plans to file for bankruptcy on February 12, but delayed the execution in the wake of yet another school shooting, this time in Parkland, Florida.
Other gun manufacturing companies have also suffered financially in recent memory. American Outdoor Brands, which owns Smith & Wesson, reported declining earnings earlier this month. In Feburary, Sturm Ruger, a Connecticut-based gun company, laid off hundreds of workers, according to CNN Money.
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