Remington Outdoor, one of the oldest firearm manufacturers in the United States, filed for bankruptcy protection on Sunday amid mounting debt and declining sales.
The gun maker had said last month it was nearing a bankruptcy filing, which it made on Sunday in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware. In its Chapter 11 filing, Remington said it had between $100 million and $500 million in debt and would continue to operate while under bankruptcy protection. It estimated that its assets were between $100 million and $500 million.
Remington did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday evening.
The company, which was founded in upstate New York in 1816 but is now based in North Carolina, was acquired in 2007 by the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management for $118 million. The firm rolled it up with other gun manufacturers, including the maker of the Bushmaster rifle, into a conglomerate called Freedom Group.
Under Cerberus, Remington’s sales initially boomed as total gun sales in the United States grew. In 2012, nearly 8.6 million guns were made in the United States, up from about 3.3 million in 2002.
After 20 children and six adults were killed in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., public outrage zeroed in on Remington after the authorities reported that the gunman had used an AR-15-style rifle made by the company. Families of the Sandy Hook victims sued Remington, saying the manufacturer of the military-style assault rifle used by the gunman bears some responsibility for the attack.
Some investors then divested from the company, and Remington borrowed heavily during that time, including to buy out investors who wanted to leave. But the prospect of imminent gun control legislation helped Remington sales surge 36 percent, to $1.3 billion in 2013, according to Moody’s.
The company expected a similar bump in sales if Hillary Clinton had won the presidential election in 2016 because of her possible pursuit of gun control legislation. But in the first nine months of Donald J. Trump’s presidency, Remington’s sales were down 27.5 percent.
Last month, Remington announced that its lenders had agreed to cut its $948 million debt load by $700 million in exchange for an ownership stake in the company.