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Colt suspends AR-15 production

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 9/20/19, 10:10 am

The gun-maker said it is shifting focus to fulfilling military and police contracts. Colt said Thursday that it is suspending production of its rifles for the civilian market, including the semi-automatic AR-15. Colt CEO Dennis Veilleux said in a statement that the company remains committed to the Second Amendment.

Is this an ideological or a business decision? Colt said similar weapons have saturated the U.S. market and changes in consumer demand drove the decision. “The fact of the matter is that over the last few years, the market for modern sporting rifles has experienced significant excess manufacturing capacity,” Veilleux said. “Given this level of manufacturing capacity, we believe there is adequate supply for modern sporting rifles for the foreseeable future.”

Dig deeper: Read my report in The Sift about Walmart and Kroger limiting their gun sales and open-carry policies earlier this month.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. Follow Rachel on Twitter @Rachel_Lynn_A.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Fri, 09/20/2019 12:31 pm

    Yawn. Read into this what you will. Colt has had many struggles over the past 40 years or so, a lot of them due to poor management decisions. 

    Colt was once the primary producer of the M-16 series rifles for the US military and for sales to the military forces of our allies. Colt also was the original producer of the semi-automatic version, the AR-15, to civilian firearms enthusiasts. 

    But many years ago, in competitive bidding, they lost most military contracts to Fabrique Nationale (FN), a Belgian arms company, who built plants in the US. 

    Similarly, Colt’s civilian sales declined as dozens of other manufacturers brought more innovation and often cheaper prices with their own versions of the civilian AR type rifles. 

    There’s no “virtue signaling” here. Colt is basically saying, “We’re no longer competitive in this market so we’re dropping out.”