Who would have thought an announcement by a bit player in the AR-15 market would garner so much international news coverage? However, Colt’s official press release has grabbed attention all the way to New Zealand.
The ominous sounding headlines should surprise no one. After all, Colt’s decision to stop selling ARs to civilians fits the political narrative against guns…even if the decision had nothing to do with politics.
TTAG first reported on the decision by Colt to end long-gun production for civilian markets over a week ago on September 11th.
The long, difficult saga of Colt’s Manufacturing has taken another turn. Firearms distributer RSR Group has sent an email blast to their retail customers announcing that Colt will no longer produce long guns for the retail market.
Over a week later, on September 19th, the company published a formal announcement on its website.
And now the mainstream media happily report the story as if it marks some watershed moment in the firearms manufacturing community. But despite the big headlines, this is actually a nothingburger of a story, considering there are literally hundreds of manufacturers of America’s favorite rifle.
The New York Times headline reads: “Colt to Suspend Production of AR-15 Rifles for Consumers.”
The UK’s Guardian story reports on “US gunmaker Colt to stop making rifles – including AR-15 – for civilians.”
On the other side of the world, New Zealand’s Stuff website headlines the story: “US AR-15 maker Colt will stop producing the firearm for civilians because there are so many.”
Yahoo News’ AP version seems the most comprehensive.
Colt suspends production of AR-15 for civilian market
West Hartford, Conn. (AP) — Gun-maker Colt is suspending its production of rifles for the civilian market including the popular AR-15, the company said Thursday in a shift it attributed to changes in consumer demand and a market already saturated with similar weapons.
The company said it will focus instead on fulfilling contracts with military and police customers for 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’s chief executive officer, Dennis Veilleux, said in a written statement. “Given this level of manufacturing capacity, we believe there is adequate supply for modern sporting rifles for the foreseeable future…”
Despite a national debate on gun control, Colt’s decision seems driven by business considerations rather than politics, said Adam Winkler, a gun policy expert at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law…
“Given these sales and the history of Colt being a completely disorganized, dysfunctional company that goes into bankruptcy and can’t keep anything going properly, my assumption is that this is a business decision that is being driven by their own business problems,” he said.
Leave it to David Hogg’s Astroturf March For Our Lives to claim credit for Colt’s decision.
You all. The firearm manufacturer, Colt is ending production of AR-15s due to lack of demand. This is real life. We’re winning. https://t.co/iB19k1VUR4
— March For Our Lives (@AMarch4OurLives) September 19, 2019
We have to wonder what color the sky is in March For Our Lives’ world. Will they next claim credit for the sun rising in the east tomorrow morning?
As Colt made clear in their statement, this is a business decision. Their AR line had been losing market share for years as they have lots of stiff competition making better products available for less money. Focusing on their 1911s and revolvers makes good business sense.
So there will be no shortage of AR-15 rifle availability anytime soon. Unless, that is, Beto O’Rourke and his friends can pass legislation to force Mr. and Mrs. America to surrender their guns or face police confiscation raids.