Captain Rick: The Private equity firm Cerberus has put U.S. firearms maker Freedom Group up for sale, which includes Bushmaster, maker of the rifle used in the shooting at Sandy Hook school in Newtown Connecticut on Friday that killed 20 children and 6 adults.
Cerberus stated "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." It is selling Freedom to protect the equity of its investors that includes the California State Teachers’ Retirement System and pension plans of other municipal workers, endowments, institutions and individuals.
Dick’s Sporting Goods, one of the world’s largest sporting retailers, said it has suspended the sale of certain semiautomatic rifles from its 511 stores in 44 states "out of respect for the victims and their families." Dick’s also said in a statement that it has removed all guns from its store near Newtown. Its webpage of modern sporting rifles was blank on Tuesday.
Wal-Mart took down a listing on its website Monday for a semiautomatic assault rifle from the same maker as the Bushmaster AR-15, that was used by Lanza. In July, James Holmes used a similar semiautomatic rifle at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, to kill 12 people and injure 58 others.
Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger stock shares have tumbled about 10% in recent days since the Sandy Hook massacre.
The Connecticut State Police have identified the primary weapon in the attack that killed 20 children and six educators at a Newtown school on Friday as a Bushmaster AR-15 semiautomatic rifle with high capacity magazines. Police said that the shooter also used two semiautomatic pistols — a Glock and a Sig Sauer — before committing suicide.
The United States is the largest gun market in the world with an estimated 20 million firearms sold per year with an estimated worth of $3.5 billion.