Company That Made Nikolas Cruz's Gun 'Shares Nation's Grief'

American Outdoor Brands CEO calls Parkland shooting 'incomprehensible'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2018 2:37 AM CST
Gun Company CEO Says He 'Shares Nation's Grief'
A "closed" sign hangs on the door of Sunrise Tactical Supply gun shop in Coral Springs, Fla., on Feb. 15, 2018. Federal law enforcement officials say the rifle used in the Parkland mass shooting was purchased legally there.   (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed)

The CEO of the company that made the rifle used in the Parkland mass shooting says the firm "shares the nation's grief"—but it hasn't changed its mind about gun laws. "We share the nation’s grief over this incomprehensible and senseless loss of life, and we share the desire to make our community safer,” James Debney, CEO of American Outdoor Brands, said when announcing the firm's latest results Thursday, per the Guardian. He said the company, formerly known as Smith & Wesson, would seek "effective solutions" to safety issues, while still "protecting the rights of the law-abiding firearm owner." Debney is a strong supporter of the NRA, though he has said he never fired a gun before becoming CEO of a gun-maker.

Debney blamed "challenging market conditions" for falling sales and a collapse in profits, Bloomberg reports. He added, however, that after the Parkland shooting, there had been "increased foot traffic" to gun stores, leading to "some increased sales," Reuters reports. "We will operate our business under the assumption that the next 12 to 18 months could deliver flattish revenues," said Debney, announcing that the company had cut its profits forecast and sales targets. In after-hours trading, the company's stock, already down more than 50% over the last 12 months, fell 12%. (The GOP is "flummoxed" by President Trump's push for gun control.)

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