Colt halts production of AR-15s for civilians

Clay Curtis
September 21, 2019

There are already so numerous weapons in the country that the market is saturated, the manufacturer's president said in a statement, and executives decided "it is good sense to follow consumer demand".

Colt has decided it will suspend the manufacturing of AR-15s for civilian sale, citing an "adequate supply" already on the market. In fact, he says the current contracts they have with law enforcement and armed forces are "absorbing all of Colt's manufacturing capacity for rifles".

A national gun control debate has focused on access to AR-15s and other assault-style rifles due to their use in mass shootings.

Adam Winkler, a gun policy expert at the UCLA School of Law, was quoted by The Associated Press as saying the company needs to tread lightly to keep from antagonizing its customers.

But demand by "our warfighters" and law enforcement personnel is high, "and we are fortunate enough to have been awarded significant military and law enforcement contracts", the statement said.

"Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47, and we're not going to allow it to be used against your fellow Americans any more", Mr. O'Rourke said during a Democratic presidential debate this month.

Instead, he explained, Colt has determined that the sporting rifles market has reached "significant excess manufacturing capacity".

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Veilleux said in the statement the company remains committed to the Second Amendment and is adapting to consumer demand.

Police Acting Superintendent Mike McIlraith shows MPs in Wellington an AR-15 style rifle similar to one of the weapons a gunman used to kill 51 people at two Christchurch mosques.

The US weapons company Colt says it is suspending the production of rifles for the civilian market, including the popular AR-15.

In the past few years, major retailers across the United States have curbed or discontinued gun sales - pressed by public outcry, but also by competition from local firearm stores and online retailers.

Walmart announced it will stop selling handguns and certain kinds of ammunition that can also be used in assault-style weapons.

The AR-15, a semi-automatic version of the US military's M16 - which was standard issue for American ground forces for decades - has come under particular fire in recent years from gun-control advocates.

"We've seen in the past that when gun manufacturers are viewed to have given in to gun-safety advocates, gun owners will boycott them and really hurt their business", he said.

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