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Cerberus to Sell Interests in Freedom Group, Makes Adam Lanza’s Bushmaster AR-15

It seems as if after all shootings, the debate about gun control sparks up across America only to die down again until the next tragedy.

Sandy Hook, however, was a different kind of horror.

This time, the nation learned that the victims were young children -- and it's a horror that has encouraged action instead of just debate.

The business responsible for manufacturing the Bushmaster AR-15, the rifle Adam Lanza is said to have used in the Sandy Hook shooting, is selling off its investment in the gun industry.

The private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management announced Tuesday morning that it will sell its interests in the Freedom Group conglomerate, which is one of largest producers and sellers of firearms in America. Cerberus was responsible for merging Bushmaster with other gun companies to create the Freedom Group, which made quite the profit this year.

The gun conglomerate netted $677.3 million from Jan. to Sept. 2012, according to the New York Times.

Despite the lucrative business, Cerberus decided to do away with Freedom Group altogether in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting.

A statement released Tuesday morning read: “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.”

The letter goes on to explain that the business does not believe in taking a stance for or against gun control, but Cerberus invests on behalf of the pension plans of firemen, teachers, policemen and other unions and so believes in taking action on behalf of its investors.

“Accordingly, we have determined to immediately engage in a formal process to sell our investment in Freedom Group … We believe that this decision allows us to meet our obligations to the investors whose interests we are entrusted to protect without being drawn into the national debate that is more properly pursued by those with the formal charter and public responsibility to do so,” the statement reads.

Support for gun control has risen since the tragedy and, perhaps this time, preventative measures will be taken.


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