Vista Outdoor made a surprising move earlier this week when the company announced they will sell their firearms brands and exit the gun-making industry.
In the press release, Vista states they will halt firearm production, but plans on staying the course with its ammo manufacturing, which they claim is the companies “largest core business.” Vista also plans to focus and grow its other outdoor products as well.
“An increased focus on our heritage ammunition business will manifest itself in more innovative and breakthrough new products introduced over the next few years,” Vista Outdoor CEO Chris Metz said in the release.
Vista will now start looking for potential buyers of its Savage and Stevens firearm brands after the company faced unrelenting pressure from retailers within the outdoor market to stop making guns following the tragic shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
According to The Hill, REI was among the outdoor retailers pushing for Vista to ditch its gun-making business, and even suspended all their orders for the month of March when the company wouldn’t confirm if they would still produce firearms or not.
CEO Christopher Metz broke the news to investors Tuesday saying, “the company grew too fast and beyond its core” when it acquired over 50 brands in a three year stretch.
“We can confidently say that our core lies in the hunting and shooting sports market and in adjacent activities, such as camping and hiking,” he said. “Our key consumer is someone who participates in these and other outdoor activities.”
A list of companies Vista owns in the firearms, ammunition and shooting accessories includes: Savage Arms, Stevens, Federal Premium, Speer, and American Eagle.