UNDATED (AP) — The company that makes one of the weapons believed to have been used to kill elementary school children in Connecticut is being put up for sale by its owner.
The private-equity group Cerberus (SUR'-bur-uhs) Capital Management says it will sell its controlling stake in Freedom Group International, the maker of Bushmaster rifles.
In a statement, Cerberus calls Friday's school shooting rampage "a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level."
Freedom Group says it's the largest firearms manufacturer in the U.S. It sold 1.1 million rifles and shotguns last year, along with 2 billion rounds of ammunition. Its products are sold to law enforcement and military customers, as well as retailers who sell them to hunters and gun enthusiasts.
Shares in publicly-traded gun makers have been dropping for a third-straight day, as the political winds appear to be shifting. Some Republicans now say they're willing to discuss the issue of gun control, along with mental health issues and violent video games,
The retail chain Dick's Sporting Goods says it is suspending sales of military-style rifles during "this time of national mourning." The company also removed all guns from sale and display at its store closest to Newtown, where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School before killing himself.