May 1, 2018 – WASHINGTON D.C.

Another company, this one among the largest ammunition makers in America, is distancing itself from firearms following the massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High in February.

Vista Outdoor Inc. has been pressured for months by retailers that sell its other goods like Bell bicycle helmets and CamelBak water carriers, to stop manufacturing firearms.

The Utah company said Tuesday that it will be seeking buyers for its firearms manufacturing business, and will focus on products for outdoor enthusiasts. It will continue to sell ammunition, its biggest core businesses.

REI, the national outdoor retailer, suspended all orders from Vista in March after it refused to say if it would continue to manufacture weapons. REI said it’s aware of Vista’s announcement, but did not say if it would resume doing business with the company.

During a conference call Tuesday, Vista CEO Cristopher Metz said that the company was already moving in the direction of shedding its firearms business, “way before any of the noise came about eight weeks ago.”

In the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida shooting, Dick’s Sporting Goods banned the sale of assault-style rifles and the sale of all guns to anyone under 21. Other retailers followed with similar restrictions, including Walmart, Kroger and L.L Bean.

In March, Citigroup became the first bank to put new restrictions on firearm sales by its business customers, requiring its clients and business customers not to sell a firearm to anyone who hasn’t passed a background check or anyone under the age of 21.

Also in March, the investment firm Blackrock said it would be canvasing gun makers and retailers to determine how they will act following the shooting in Parkland, Florida. BlackRock, which manages over $6 trillion in assets, is a major shareholder of gun manufacturers Sturm Ruger, American Outdoor Brands and Vista Outdoor through indirect investments.

In mid-February, 14 students and three educators were killed and 17 were wounded in a hail of gunfire. Former student Nikolas Cruz has been charged in the deaths using an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle.

Vista last year had revenue of $2.5 billion. It is looking for buyers for its Savage and Stevens firearms brands, and other product lines not related to firearms.

Now, what can be done? With an increasing number of large sporting goods companies abandoning their firearms business, it’s important to know which companies are associated with the NRA, and which ones aren’t. Here is a list of Vista Outdoor’s sub-companies and other brands to avoid:

Also known as Bushnell Outdoor Products, Bushnell specializes in optics and imaging. Its products include binoculars, spotting scopes, telescopes, night vision equipment, GPS devices, laser rangefinders, riflescopes, holographic weapon sights, game cameras, and other high-end optical equipment. It also sells Bollé Performance Eyewear ski goggles and sunglasses and Serengeti Eyewear all-purpose sunglasses. David P. Bushnell founded Bushnell Corporation in 1948 during his service in the Allied-occupied Japan. In 1999, Bushnell was acquired by private equity firm Wind Point Partners. In 2007, Bushnell was acquired by MidOcean Partners, another private equity firm, which acquired it in a leveraged buyout. In 2008, Bushnell acquired the assets of Simmons Outdoor Corporation from Meade Instruments. ATK announced its acquisition of Bushnell on September 5, 2013 for $985 million in cash, subject to post-closing adjustments.

Cascade Cartridge, usually called CCI Ammunition, is based in Lewiston, Idaho. In its infancy, CCI made centerfire primers for government use. As of March 2015, it mainly manufactures rimfire ammunition but also makes centerfire handgun ammunition, primers for reloading and industrial purposes, and shotgun shells. CCI was founded in 1951 by Dick Speer, brother of Speer Bullets founder Vernon Speer. CCI was previously known as the Speer Ammunition Company.

Federal Cartridge, usually styled Federal Premium, is located in Anoka, Minnesota. Federal Premium manufactures finished shotshell, centerfire, and rimfire ammunition, as well as powder, primer, and shell casings.

Kyle Reeves and Jeremy Wilkens founded Jimmy Styks in 2009 in Huntington Beach, California. In July 2015, Vista Outdoor announced its intent to purchase Jimmy Styks for $40 million upfront with additional payments to the founders, who are staying with the company, triggered by meeting financial targets over the next three years. Jimmy Styks makes stand-up paddle boards and accessories. It will be integrated into Vista Outdoor’s outdoor products division. This purchase price is multiple of about 5.5 times the expected 2015 calendar year EBITDA.

In January 2016, Vista Outdoor announced that it would use its relationships with retailers to expand the number of stores that offer Jimmy Styks products.

Additionally, here are some of Vista Outdoors brands:

(1) Bee stinger

(2) Bell Sports

(3) Blackburn

(4) CamelBak

(5) CoPilot

(6) Final Approach

(7) Giro

(8) Gold Tip

(9) Krash

(10) Millett

(11) Night Optics

(12) Serengeti Eyewear

(13) Tasco

(14) Weaver Optics


We encourage you to look for alternatives to these brands.



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