Court sides with Remington in M4 case

m4 carbeins

M4 carbines propped in a teepee formation at a police range in Djibouti City, on Aug. 29, 2012, during a firearms re-qualification led by Texas Army National Guard instructors. (Photo: DVIDS)

A federal court sided with Remington Arms in a dispute with the government’s vetting process regarding an Army contract that had been awarded to Colt after it declared bankruptcy.

Senior Judge Nancy Firestone granted Remington’s motion to supplement the administrative record to include Colt’s recent financial troubles, which would have disqualified the gun maker from winning the contract, according to the judge’s opinion issued March 30 by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The case will also be remanded for re-evaluation.

Meanwhile, the opinion prohibits the government from placing orders with Colt until it assesses the company’s financial status and then submits the information to the court. The government must give a status report by April 25.

Although Colt emerged from bankruptcy proceedings in February, at the time the contract was awarded it did not have a plan of reorganization nor had it renewed the lease for its manufacturing facility, Firestone says. If the government had not overlooked Colt’s financial issues, Remington could have had a “substantial chance” of securing the contract.

Remington filed suit last November against both Colt and FN because the $212 million contract to produce M4 carbines had been awarded to both of them in September. Although FN was named as a plaintiff, the opinion does not effect its business dealings. All three companies bid for the contract when the solicitation was issued in 2014.

Colt filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June after two quarters of missing financial obligations. The company had accumulated roughly $380 million of debt and other liabilities when it filed.