Dallas NRA attendees were puzzled by the large empty spot in the convention floor that was supposed to be the Freedom Munitions booth location. It looked like it had been partially assembled and then abandoned at the last minute.

Now news comes that Freedom’s parent company, Howell Munitions and Technology of Lewiston, ID has filed for bankruptcy protection.

The company has faced financial challenges that forced reductions in employees and created a conflict with a lender, Zions First National Bank, according to court documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Nevada late last week.

The business has about $5.4 million of unsecured claims from its 20 biggest creditors, according to the bankruptcy.

From news reports, it appears that the company had some, uh, differences of opinion regarding corporate management with its lenders.

In April, the relationship between the companies and Zions worsened, with (David) Howell stepping aside as president or managing member of the companies and the bank appointment of a chief restructuring officer, according to Howell.

The bank-appointed chief restructuring officer “had no knowledge” of the companies as he closed business operations, terminated employees and pursued the sales of assets, according to Howell.

“By reason of the negligent and ill-advised acts taken by the bank-appointed (chief restructuring officer), substantial damage has been done to the operations” of the companies involved in the bankruptcy, according to Howell.

On Thursday, just a day before the bankruptcy filing, the companies involved in the bankruptcy “terminated” the bank-appointed chief restructuring officer, according to Howell.

The former senior management was reappointed, led by Howell as president, and the companies involved in the bankruptcy have employed a financial turnaround expert, according to Howell.

Howell filed for Chapter 11 protection indicating that they intend to stay in business and Freedom’s website is still up and accepting orders. Howell also operates X-Treme Bullets, a component retailer.