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Colt Defense to Stop Producing AR-15 Rifles for Civilians

Gun maker Colt Defense LLC said it would stop producing semiautomatic rifles for civilians, citing a glut in the market.

The company, whose history dates back to the 1830s, is known for its trademarked AR-15 rifle, which is available to civilians. AR-15 style rifles have been used in many of the deadliest mass shootings, including attacks at a country music concert in Las Vegas in 2017, and a high school in Parkland, Fla., in 2018.

“The market for modern sporting rifles has experienced significant excess manufacturing capacity” in recent years, Chief Executive Dennis Veilleux said in a statement Thursday. “Given this level of manufacturing capacity, we believe there is adequate supply for modern sporting rifles for the foreseeable future.”

The West Hartford, Conn.-based company said it would continue to manufacture its rifles for the military and law-enforcement agencies. Colt said those contracts are absorbing all of the company’s current manufacturing capacity for rifles. Colt will continue to supply its revolvers and pistols to consumers, the company said.

Messages left for Mr. Veilleux weren’t immediately returned.



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