Gunmaker Colt revealed on Thursday that it would end production of sporting rifles, including the AR-15, for the civilian market. The firm, however, will continue to manufacture rifles for government weapons contracts, and law enforcement personnel.
Committed to the second amendment
In a statement posted on its website, Colt reiterated its commitment to the second amendment. "There have been numerous articles recently published about Colt’s participation in the commercial rifle market. Some of these articles have incorrectly stated or implied that Colt is not committed to the consumer market. 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," read the letter.
The firm further explained that there is simply too much supply of AR-15 guns. "The fact of the matter is 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," further read the statement.
Several other manufacturers produce AR-15-style guns such as Palmetto State Armory and Smith and Wesson. 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 emphasized that they will continue selling the guns to law enforcement and military personnel. "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. Currently, these high-volume contracts are absorbing all of Colt’s manufacturing capacity for rifles," read the statement.
Following market demand
The firm stated they were just following market demand. "At the end of the day, we believe it is good sense to follow consumer demand and to adjust as market dynamics change," read the statement.
America's gun violence crisis has lead to large U.S. retailers stopping sales of some semi-automatic rifles. Walmart has revealed it would stop selling handguns while Dick's has publicly stated it is considering ending all gun sales.