Colt halting AR-15 production for civilian market

National

DENVER – SEPTEMBER 13: A Colt AR-15, now legal with a bayonet mount, flash suppressor, collapsible stock and a high capacity magazine that holds more than 30 rounds, sits on the counter of Dave’s Guns September 13, 2004 in Denver, Colorado. Between 1994 and September 13, 2004 these guns could only be sold to law enforcement and military but now it is legal for civilians to purchase them due to the expiration of the Brady Bill. (Photo by Thomas Cooper/Getty Images)

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Gunmaker Colt says it is suspending its production of rifles for the civilian market including the popular AR-15.

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. He said in a statement Thursday the company will concentrate on fulfilling military and law enforcement contracts with its rifle manufacturing.

The West Hartford, Connecticut-based company has received some criticism from gun rights advocates for moving away from the civilian market.

Veilleux said in the statement the company remains committed to the Second Amendment and is adapting to consumer demand.

A national gun control debate has focused on access to AR-15s and other assault-style rifles because of their use in mass shootings.

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