Colt to stop production of AR-15 rifles for civilians, says enough guns are available in the market
Weapons manufacturer Colt has announced that it will stop making rifles, including AR-15 rifles, for civilian sales, stating that there are enough of them already in the market. In a statement released on September 19, president and chief executive officer Dennis Veilleux said, that over the last few years, the market for modern sporting rifles has experienced significant excess manufacturing capacity. "Given this level of manufacturing capacity, we believe there is an adequate supply for modern sporting rifles for the foreseeable future," he said.
Veilleux said that Colt's manufacturing capacity for the deadly guns is currently "absorbed" with "significant military and law enforcement contracts". "We are fortunate enough to have been awarded significant military and law enforcement contracts. Currently, these high-volume contracts are absorbing all of Colt’s manufacturing capacity for rifles. Colt’s commitment to the consumer markets, however, is unwavering," said the statement.
The gun company, who is based in West Hartford, Connecticut did not mention the use of AR-15s in many mass shootings in the country and the mounting public pressure for gun control in their statement. They did, however, reiterate that they support the Second Amendment, in spite of the move. "At the end of the day, we believe it is good sense to follow consumer demand and to adjust as market dynamics change," he said, "Colt has been a stout supporter of the Second Amendment for over 180 years, remains so, and will continue to provide its customers with the finest quality firearms in the world."
The AR-15 rifles on the Colt website are still visible but have been listed as out of stock.
Gun control activists had called for a ban on these assault rifles after shooters in several mass shootings, including the ones in Colorado, Connecticut, California, Texas, Las Vegas, and Florida. A total of 154 lives were lost in the killings.