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.
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) released the following statement on the announcement:
“I appreciate Colt Manufacturing for recognizing the need to suspend production of AR-15s for civilians. This weapon of war has no place on our streets, and I respect the courage it takes to go against your company’s profit-motive. This White House could learn something from this moment. President Trump and Congressional Republicans need to stop stalling on gun violence prevention bills that the public is demanding. It is long past time to take action.”