Colt suspending production of rifles for civilian market including AR-15

The American firearms company Colt is suspending production of military-style weapons for civilian use, including the popular AR-15.

In a statement Thursday, Colt’s president and CEO Dennis Veilleux attributed the West Hartford, Connecticut-based company’s shift to changes in consumer demand and a market already saturated with similar weapons.

“The fact of the matter is that over the last few years, the market for modern sporting rifles has experienced significant excess manufacturing capacity,” Veilleux said. “Given this level of manufacturing capacity, we believe there is adequate supply for modern sporting rifles for the foreseeable future.”

The company will concentrate on fulfilling military and law enforcement contracts with its rifle manufacturing, Veilleux said, adding the company also is expanding its lines of pistols and revolvers.