Wall Street, Invested in Firearms, Is Unlikely to Push for Reform
BY ANDREW ROSS SORKIN
Following the publication of this column, which was critical of the role of private equity firms’ ownership of gun manufacturers, Cerberus announced that it was planning to sell its stake in Freedom Group.“It is apparent that the Sandy Hook tragedy was a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level,” Cerberus said in a statement on Tuesday.
As the debate over gun control rages following the horrific tragedy in Newtown, Conn., one unlikely group is expected to play a central role in pushing back against any reform effort: the private equity industry.
It is often overlooked, but some of the biggest gun makers in the nation are owned by private equity funds run by Wall Street titans. The .223 Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle that was used on Friday by Adam Lanza to massacre 20 schoolchildren was manufactured by the Freedom Group, a gun behemoth controlled by Cerberus Capital Management, named after the three-headed dog of Greek myth that guarded the gates of Hades. Its founder, Stephen A. Feinberg, hunts regularly on the weekends with a Remington Model 700.