The Navajo Nation is one of the country's biggest Native American tribes, and it oversees a sizable investment trust. What it wanted to do with some of the $3.3 billion in it attracted the notice of the New York Times: buy the gunmaker Remington. The bid—a cash offer of $475 million to $525 million—was rejected last week, but it was "novel" enough for the Times to get into the specifics of what the tribe intended to do had Remington's board been game. The idea was to stop the sales of all consumer guns other than long guns used in hunting and zero in on securing police and defense contracts. It might have had an edge there, in that the government has targets it has to hit in regards to contracts held by minority-owned businesses, and the Native American Incentive Act could further enhance that edge.
Once successful with that new path, the Navajo Nation intended to sink some of its profits into the R&D of "smart guns," meaning those featuring technology that would allow only a gun's owner to shoot it. The Times reports that kind of R&D hasn't gained much steam among gun manufacturers, suggesting opposition from the NRA has been a roadblock. One other bright spot in the bid: It would provide the opportunity to bring parts-machining and assembly jobs to the tribe, which is suffering from unemployment in excess of 70%. As for why the bid was turned down, the tribe said the privately owned company simply said it wasn't currently engaging with third parties. Read the full article for more on why resubmitting the bid in 2019 may, and may not, be possible. (Read more Remington stories.)