RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - On Thursday, gun manufacturer Colt announced it will suspend the production of it’s AR-15 semi-automatic rifles for the civilian market citing a market-saturation of the popular modern sports rifle.
The AR-15 was the weapon used in some of the nations most recent and deadliest mass shootings
This decision comes days after the release of a PSA by national nonprofit organization Sandy Hook Promise that depicts students trying to escape and protect themselves during a school shooting.
The PSA and the gun-maker’s decision is likely to stoke both sides of the gun debate, but local firearms expert Jim Reynolds says Colt’s move has less to do with morals and more to due with money.
“You get the folks that don’t like the gun that think they’ve created a stoppage of some kind, but then what’s going to happen is the folks that are pro gun, they’re going to view this as a ‘There’s a shortage, I better go buy my gun right now,’” said Reynolds.
While production has temporarily halted for consumer use of the popular rifle, Colt CEO Dennis Veilleux said in a statement that “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 adequate supply for modern sporting rifles for the foreseeable future.”
Reynolds says decisions like this can create a false sense of demand among gun owners.
“They’ll run out and buy one and once they do that, dealer inventory will be depleted and dealers will want more guns from Colt and Colt will start manufacturing them again,” said Reynolds.
AR-15′s are no longer available to purchase off the gun makers website, however Colt says it will continue produce the rifles for law enforcement agencies and the military thanks to weapons contracts.
The company adds it will continue to defend and stand by the second amendment.
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