The Associated Press reports that famous American gun maker Colt is suspending production of the popular AR-15 and possibly other assault style rifles for the civilian market.
The monumental announcement Thursday could likely ripple across the industry after a summer of multiple tragic mass killings, as well as almost yearly school shootings, many involving assault weapons such as the AR-15 along with high capacity magazines.
But amid a raging national debate in the wake of deadly shootings, the decision appears fundamentally market-driven, given a company statement cited lack of public demand and excess market capacity.
"At the end of the day, we believe it is good sense to follow consumer demand and to adjust as market dynamics change," an official company statement said. "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."
The AP summarized the statement from the West Hartford, Connecticut-based company as follows:
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.
Perhaps anticipating expected push back from gun rights advocates and lobbyists, Colt assured that it would remain committed to manufacturing and sales to the military and law enforcement community.
"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," the statement continued.
"Currently, these high-volume contracts are absorbing all of Colt’s manufacturing capacity for rifles," Veilleux said in the statement.
Likely this is attributable to the historic American company's assault rifles’ $1,000+ price tag, combined with lower priced competitors moving into the market.
Possibly even of the year… pic.twitter.com/ESnA4Qur93— NRA (@NRA) September 19, 2019
Meanwhile, with this announcement as well as Democrat presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke promising to confiscate Americans' AR-15s, we might likely see a run on assault rifles at local gun stores continue.