Remington files bankruptcy; media blame Trump

An icon of American gun manufacturing has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, as has reported:

Remington Outdoor Company Inc, one of the largest U.S. makers of firearms, said on Monday it had reached a deal with its creditors to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to slash its $950 million debtload.

The planned bankruptcy filing follows a decline in sales at the armsmaker, in part because of receding fears that guns will become more heavily regulated by the U.S. government, according to credit ratings agencies.

Reuters adds that the company's operations "will continue as usual through the bankruptcy," but the anti-Trump (and anti-gun) media were quick to pin the bankruptcy blame on the president.  The headline begins with "Trump slump?"  The headline at includes "Analysts say Trump is to blame":

Gun sales have slumped with Trump in the White House, not because Trump opposes gun rights, but because he champions them.

An AP report at gets the intersection of gun sales and politics about right, but then jumps to a misleading conclusion:

Gun sales spike on the election of candidates who are perceived to be more likely to pursue more stringent gun control laws, whether or not there is any truth in that perception.

The opposite has occurred since Trump was elected.  He became the first sitting president to address the National Rifle Association in three decades, telling members at their annual meeting last spring that "You have a true friend and champion in the White House."

Firearm background checks declined faster in 2017 than in any year since 1998, when the FBI first began compiling the data.

Twenty sixteen was a year of maximum fear among gun-owners, topping off a spike in the number of firearms background checks that began with Obama's election and ran right up through the end of the year.  FBI statistics indicate that firearms background checks, which are a rough approximation for gun sales, more than doubled during the Obama presidency, increasing from 12.7 million in 2008 to 27.5 million in 2016.  

The sky-is-falling conclusion in the account belies the fact that 2017 background checks were higher than in 2015 or any other previous year.  Another FBI table indicates that background checks on the Friday after Thanksgiving 2017 set a "single day record for gun checks" at 203,000.  And that was a full year after we learned that Hillary Clinton had lost the election.

A second column says the record Black Friday 2017 gun sales statistics follow "gun check numbers" that "had leveled off in the first months of the pro-gun Trump administration," but the column fails to add that sales had leveled off at rates far higher than in any year before 2016.

Noting that Back Friday 2017 eclipsed "the previous two records for background checks," observes that all three records were "set on the day after the federal holiday in which Americans give thanks for the year's blessings" – blessings that include our rights as Americans.

Remington's high debt levels and the pressures on the company after "one of its Bushmaster rifles" was used in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting left Remington vulnerable to the recent slide in gun sales, as observes.

The firearms industry as a whole, however, had also built up high levels of inventory, as described at

There was a big burst of gun sales just ahead of the Christmas holidays, when the FBI reported [that] the number of background checks it conducted on potential gun buyers exploded to an all-time high on Black Friday.

Because firearms dealers still had a lot of inventory, they were pushing significant discounts on firearms, oftentimes backstopped by the manufacturers themselves to help move product.  While that has undoubtedly pulled forward a lot of sales that would have occurred at least in the early part of 2018, meaning there will probably still be sluggishness for the first quarter or two of the calendar year, it should also help manufacturers when dealers need to restock their inventory.

While anti-gun politicians have fueled much of the rise in gun sales, the increasing popularity of the shooting sports along with fears of terrorist and other attacks has also spurred gun sales.  An industry observer quoted at adds that "I suspect that if the Democrats make a resurgence this November, gun company stocks will come roaring back with them."

Kurt Schlichter, writing at on the media's fawning over North Korea at the winter Olympics, has a more expressive view:

You know what North Korea doesn't have, besides basic freedoms and food?  An armed populace.  We do.

... Thank our Creator that we live in America, and that our Founders thought, "You know, there's a chance that really evil and/or stupid people could take over sometime, so let's figure out a way to make sure that the Normals can fight back.  In fact, let's give it its very own amendment."

While the media would have us believe that gun sales are sinking and Trump is to blame, anti-gun politicians are never more than an election away from power.

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