WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Colt has decided it will suspend the manufacturing of AR-15s for civilian sale, citing an “adequate supply” already on the market.
The consumer market for rifles has experienced excessive manufacturing and there’s too much supply of AR-15 guns on the market to justify making more, company officials said in a statement. Colt will still manufacture other consumer guns, including pistols and revolvers, and it will continue to expand its network of dealers.
“The fact of the matter is that over the last few years, the market for modern sporting rifles has experienced significant excess manufacturing capacity,” said Dennis Veilleux, President and Chief Executive Officer of Colt.
Colt’s website still has AR-15 rifles on its sale page, but they are all listed as “out of stock.”
Veilleux says they will continue to manufacture the rifles for military and law enforcement. 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.”
“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.”
Several other companies make the AR-15-style guns, including Palmetto State Armory and Smith and Wesson. The type of firearm has come under scrutiny because it’s the weapon of choice for mass shooters. The gunmen in the Aurora, Las Vegas and Dayton shootings, among many others, used AR-15-style weapons.
Large US retailers have stopped selling some semi-automatic rilfes in response to America’s gun violence crisis.
Walmart announced it will stop selling handguns and certain kinds of ammunition that can also be used in assault-style weapons. Dick’s, one of the country’s biggest gun retailers, has also publicly said it’s considering stopping all gun sales.