No, SIG Sauer Is Not Bankrupt; Gun Sales Are Booming

There are a number of outlets that are claiming SIG Sauer is bankrupt, which couldn’t be further from the truth. SIG Sauer and other gun manufacturers represent a booming business across the world.

Sales of personal firearms have increased sharply as international economic uncertainty due to COVID-19 restrictions and violent protests in the U.S. continue.

Despite growing sales and demand for manufacturing, SIG announced it will shutter its nearly 70-year-old factory at Eckernförde near Kiel, capital of Germany’s state of Schleswig-Holstein, cutting some 125 jobs and possibly canceling future purchase orders.

SIG attributed “locational handicaps” for its production woes in Germany. But the more we dig into the matter; the more anti-gun and anti-military politics appear to be at fault, even though Germany remains a hot market for gun sales.

SIG Sauer has famously supplied police forces across Germany with its P-series sidearms and has more recently become a major client for the German military, the Bundeswehr. But according to SIG, its historically close relationship with German forces is now in jeopardy. SIG said in a statement that, “When awarding public contracts, both the German police and the Bundeswehr prefer a few local producers. SIG Suer is systematically excluded from tenders due to its international orientation, most of its developments [manufacturing] originating from the USA.”

German public broadcasting network NDR reports that while most of SIG’s production is developed in the United States, but the German plant is a crown jewel for the company, due to its German/Swiss heritage. In 1990, the company built a large facility on a former U.S. Air Force Base in Newington, New Hampshire. The U.S. production unit employs 2,300 people in nine facilities. On June 1, SIG announced it will provide the U.S. Army with a line of “next-generation” machine guns and “greater penetration” ammunition.

In April of this year, Kiel state prosecutors began digging into claims that SIG’s U.S. branch was exporting firearms to Colombia and Mexico without the required German government export paperwork, and threatened CEOs with jail time.

“It doesn’t seem to bother the Federal government that every 14 minutes around the world a person is killed by a German weapon,” said the German Left Party’s Sevim Dagdelen in 2019, referencing the investigation.

SIG’s rivals were included in the chorus of opposition, including Heckler & Koch and  Walther, after a February 2019 mass shooting in which a shooter used Ceska, Walther, and SIG handguns in his murder-suicide spree.

A continuing media narrative concerning the “world’s deadliest gun manufacturers” provided kindling for the fire. German politicians pressured the military and local law enforcement to prefer smaller, local manufacturers that can more easily be controlled and prevented from selling arms internationally. SIG Sauer said in a press release that “Legislation is increasingly restricting the use of sports firearms.”

The statement added that SIG’s shareholders have made major financial contributions to stabilize the company, and SIG has implemented drastic cost-cutting measures, all of these taken to secure the Germany-based location and local jobs. SIG’s statement concluded:

“In addition to the existing problems, there are the current effects of the Corona[virus] crisis, which place an additional economic burden on the continuation of business operations in Eckernförde.”

See full analysis of what this means for the future of SIG Sauer at International Sportsman.

This article originally appeared in its full form at outdoor lifestyle portal International Sportsman.



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