Firearms manufacturer Colt announced on Thursday that they were ceasing production of their AR-15 rifle for consumers, claiming that the American market is already oversaturated with sporting rifles.
"The fact of the matter is that over the last few years, the market for modern sporting rifles has experienced significant excess manufacturing capacity," Colt President and CEO Dennis Veilleux said in a statement shared by the company to Facebook. "Given this level of manufacturing capacity, we believe there is adequate supply for modern sporting rifles for the foreseeable future."
The company said that the decision to cease production of civilian use AR-15s is entirely due to the glut on the market and not due to any political pressure. They also said that they would continue to produce the weapons for military and law enforcement uses. Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke seemed to count the decision as a victory either way.
Beto said during a debate that he plans to go after gun ownership in the United States, citing both the AR-15 and AK-47 as examples.
AR-15s have been one of the types of weapons that gun control advocates have fixated on, in the wake of several mass shootings by men who used the weapon style. The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting— in which 28 children and teachers were killed— and the Aurora movie theater shooting both involved the weapon. An AK-47 was used during a shooting in O'Rourke's home of El Paso that killed 22 people.