For a decade, Marlin Firearms, the leading firearm manufacturer in the United States, has been the subject of a certain annual rumor.
Since 2011, there has been widespread speculation that the gun manufacturer would cease operations. Gun enthusiasts claim that international financier George Soros is buying up firearms manufacturers like Marlin to shut them down. This rumor is causing a stir in the raging gun rights debate again in 2020, even though it is false, as we will explain further.
George Soros did not Purchase Marlin Firearms
Every year since 2011, a claim has surfaced on social media that Marlin Firearms is closing down. The same rumor surfaced again in August 2020, alleging that a George Soros-owned company is buying gun manufacturers to halt firearm production.
According to a Facebook rumor, the Freedom Group is acquiring Marlin Firearms and other manufacturers. The Freedom Group is allegedly owned by Cerberus Capital Management, which is allegedly owned by George Soros.
Snopes debunked the Soros-Freedom Group link in 2011. Cerberus did own a 90%+ stake in Freedom Group as of 2009, but Soros is not involved with Cerberus. Stephen A. Feinberg founded the privately held company in 1992, and it does not include George Soros among its shareholders.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) also stated at the time refuting this claim. The NRA confirmed that Soros has nothing to do with Freedom Group or Cerberus and that Freedom Group poses no threat to the rights of responsible gun owners.
The false claim also cites the fact-checking website Truth or Fiction as a supposed source confirming that George Soros is shutting down Marlin. However, the site has not made such a claim and has stated that the rumor is “Fiction.”
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Marlin Firearms is not Closing Down
A Facebook user who heard the rumor contacted Marlin Firearms via email to see if the rumor of their closure was true. Marlin Firearms responded, and the Facebook user posted their response on his page.
Marlin’s response stated that they are not shutting down. The company will be celebrating 150 years in business in 2020.
The false rumor about Marlin Firearms began in 2011 when the century-and-a-half-old company underwent some changes. That year, the company shut down its 141-year-old manufacturing plant in North Haven, Connecticut. This was misinterpreted as Marlin being shut down, even though it was only a temporary pause in production.
In 2008, Remington Arms Co. Inc., a Freedom Group subsidiary, purchased Marlin. Because of the intense competition in the industry, Freedom Group also acquired other major firearm manufacturers, consolidating each brand’s manufacturing process.
The outdated technology at the Connecticut plant reportedly made it difficult to ensure product quality and safety. Production at this plant was temporarily halted so that Remington could relocate its operations from the old plant.
Remington then relocated Marlin’s manufacturing processes to its Kentucky and New York plants. It also moved Bushmaster’s manufacturing operations to those same plants after acquiring it, as it did with Marlin.
Remington still owns Marlin Firearms. Remington continues to manufacture and sell Marlin-brand firearms under the original 150-year-old brand.