The Navajo Nation is trying to buy up a major US gun manufacturer

The Remington Outdoor Company is a US-based firearm manufacturer that grew out of the original Remington company, founded in 1816. The modern version of Remington owns a number of other recognizable gun brands, including Bushmaster, who manufactures a popular AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle that has been favored in mass killings. But the company filed for bankruptcy in 2018, blaming their failures on an unfair backlash from people who suffered from those mass shootings, particularly families from Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

At the time of that bankruptcy filing, the New York Times reported that the Navajo Nation had sent in a bid to buy the business:

The Navajo Nation — which controls a $3.3 billion investment trust — sent a letter to Remington in May offering to buy the company for $475 million to $525 million, according to a draft of the letter reviewed by The New York Times. The tribe planned to pay for the purchase in cash.

The Navajo Nation's plan for Remington was novel: It intended to shift the company away from its consumer business, including curtailing the sale of the AR-15-style weapons frequently used in mass shootings, to focus on police and defense contracts.

The tribe planned to use profits from those businesses to invest in research and development of advanced "smart guns" — those with fingerprint or other technology intended to prevent anyone but the gun's owner from using the weapon.

Remington rejected the offer then, and emerged from bankruptcy shortly thereafter. But the company never actually fully recovered, and two years later, they've found themselves struggling once again.

And now, according to the Wall Street Journal, they might take the Navajo up on that offer after all — this time for only $300 million. The Albuquerque Journal reports:

The purchase, which could cost up to $300 million, was recommended on June 12 by the tribe's Investment Committee, an advisory group to the Budget and Finance Committee.

The bill proposes Controller Pearline Kirk use the tribe's investment portfolios to fund the purchase.

It also states that due diligence was performed on the company by outside legal counsel contracted through the council's Office of Legislative Counsel and the Office of the Speaker on behalf of the Office of the Controller and chairperson of the Investment Committee, which is Kirk.

Who knows if the sale will actually go through this time. But the potential irony of a Native American nation weaponizing capitalism in effort to reduce gun violence on stolen land is truly, truly glorious.

Gun Maker Remington Preps for Bankruptcy, Seeks Sale to Navajo Nation [Alexander Gladstone and Andrew Scurria / The Wall Street Journal]

A Surprising Bid for Remington, and an Unsurprising Rejection [Andrew Ross Sorkin / The New York Times]

Nation again eyeing Remington? [Arylssa Becenti / Navajo Times]

Firearms manufacturer Remington in talks to sell to Navajo Nation [Noel Lyn Smith / Albuquerque Journal]

Image: Cpl. Asia J. Sorenson (Public Domain)