Published: Fri, September 20, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Colt Ending Production of AR-15s for Civilian Market

Colt Ending Production of AR-15s for Civilian Market

Colt first began marketing the semi-auto AR-15 Sporter to consumers in 1963 and continued to sell the SP-1 (R6000) series with few changes until 1984, since moving on to other AR-style rifles. "Given this level of manufacturing capacity, we believe there is an adequate supply for modern sporting rifles for the foreseeable future", further read the statement.

Colt says while this halt in production is in place, they are still committed to their military and law enforcement contracts and say the high-volume contracts are "absorbing all of Colt's manufacturing capacity for rifles".

And he reassured customers that the company remained committed to both the civilian market - but only for handguns at this time - and the Second Amendment.

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

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"On the other hand, our warfighters and law enforcement personnel continue to demand Colt rifles and we are fortunate enough to have been awarded significant military and law enforcement contracts".

Veilleux went on to say the company will continue expanding lines of their 1911 pistols and revolvers "and will continue to provide its customers with the finest quality firearms in the world". The move comes partially because the company wants to focus more on its military contracts. Lately, the weapon has become controversial as it has been used by several mass shooters such as the gunmen in the Aurora, Las Vegas and Dayton shootings.

Colt's current long guns are all based entirely on the AR platform, according to the website MilitaryTimes. Instead, he explained, Colt has determined that the sporting rifles market has reached "significant excess manufacturing capacity". Dick's, one of the country's biggest gun retailers, has also publicly said it's considering stopping all gun sales. 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.

Last year, Dick's Sporting Goods stopped selling assault-style weapons, and in March, the retailer announced that it would pull all guns and ammunition off the shelves of almost 20 percent of its stores.

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