Colt stops making AR-15, military-style rifles for civilians

Cheryl Sanders
September 20, 2019

Colt's chief executive officer, Dennis Veilleux, says it is not permanently ending production but believes there is already an adequate supply of sporting rifles on the market.

In addition, Veilleux said the company is expanding its network of dealers across the country.

Legendary gun maker Colt has announced Thursday that it would stop making the AR-15 and other long guns for the civilian market, citing falling demand and obligations to military and law enforcement markets.

"We want to assure you that Colt is committed to the Second Amendment, highly values its customers and continues to manufacture the world's finest quality firearms for the consumer market", he added. Those applications, the best available statistic from tracking gun sales, have been rising steadily, with a slight decline after Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, something call the "Trump slump".

"There have been numerous articles recently published about Colt's participation in the commercial rifle market".

The company insists it's a "stout supporter of the Second Amendment" despite this move.

"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.

"We listen to our customers", Spitale said.

The semi-automatic rifle has been used in numerous mass shootings in the U.S., and was one of the weapons used in the Christchurch mosque massacre.

Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke, whose hometown of El Paso was the site of a shooting in August left 22 people dead, has been pushing for mandatory rifle buybacks over the past few weeks. An AR-15-style rifle was used in the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in CT in 2012, in which 26 people were killed, and in the 2018 shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in south Florida that left 17 dead.

Colt's decision comes amid unprecedented political scrutiny over the sale and potential regulation of the AR-15 and other rifles for civilian use in the wake of several mass shootings.

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