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US Gunmaker Remington Files for Bankruptcy

U.S. firearms and ammunition manufacturer Remington has filed for bankruptcy protection in order to reorganize its operations and put in place a debt reduction deal with its creditors.

The company filed its petition for the so-called Chapter 11 bankruptcy Sunday, six weeks after announcing an agreement to reduce its $950 million in debts while transferring ownership.

Remington’s filing listed both its debts and assets between $500 million and $1 billion.

The company is one of the largest firearms makers in the United States and has been in business for 200 years.

But its sales have been slumping, dropping from $865 million in 2016 to $602 million last year. In 2013, it reported more than $1.2 billion in total sales. 

A February document describing the restructuring plan estimated sales will rebound in the coming years, returning to more than $800 million by 2021.

A company report released in October of last year said the decline was due to a number of factors, including “reduced consumer demand and excess inventories,” as well as changes in buying behaviors and a rise in imported products.

It also discussed various government proposals to increase gun regulations, warning that if they were to become law “the cost to the company and its customers could be significant.”

That report, and Remington’s restructuring plan, came before the most recent mass shooting in the United States, a February attack at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead. 

Since that shooting, there has been an increase in calls for more gun control. Several major retailers have instituted changes in gun sales policies that range from stopping gun sales to raising the minimum age of those eligible to purchase firearms. 

Banking giant Citigroup also announced it would require new retail clients to insist on background checks for gun purchases as well as a ban on sales to people under the age of 21. The state of Florida similarly enacted a new law limiting gun purchases to those age 21 and older.

Many Americans believe current gun laws are appropriate or too strict, while a new poll indicates growing support for stricter measures.

The poll by the The Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released Friday said 69 percent of Americans support stricter gun control, up from 61 percent in October 16 and 55 percent when the poll first asked the question in October 2013.

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