The Freedom Group, described by Takeaway partner The New York Times as "the most powerful and mysterious force in the American commercial gun industry," manufactured some of the weapons used by the Washington, D.C. sniper in 2002, by James Holmes in Aurora, Colorado, and by Adam Lanza in Newtown, Connecticut last Friday.
While a majority of the Freedom Group's products are purchased by law-abiding Americans, the investment firm Cerberus Capital Management announced they would sell the company on Tuesday. The decision came just a few hours after the California State Teachers' Retirement System (Calstrs) and the California Public Employees' Retirement System (Calpers) said they might reconsider their relationship with the firm.
New York Times reporter Peter Lattman describes Cerberus's decision to sell Freedom Group as "unusual" for a Wall Street firm. "The move by Cerberus was...something that you rarely see on Wall Street, where, responding to some event, outside of profit and loss and the bottom line, Cerberus, this private equity firm,decides it's going to put Freedom Group up for sale."
Lattman continues, "They're going to have a hard time selling this company...and they're going to have to answer to a controversy over the gun laws in this country, and if the gun laws become more strict, that's going to hurt their bottom line."