Activists, businesses discuss Colt’s decision on rifle production

Local News

TIPP CITY, Ohio (WDTN) – Following gun manufacturer Colt’s announcement that it will stop producing rifles like the AR-15 for civilian sales, a local firearm shop says it does not anticipate the announcement will make a major impact on business and the gun industry.

In a statement released Thursday, Colt said its contracts with the military and law enforcement have taken up its manufacturing capacity and that there’s already an “adequate supply” of modern sporting rifles on the market.

According to police, the gunman in the Oregon District massacre used an AR-15 style rifle.

Colt did not cite the recent mass shootings as the reason behind its decision.

Larry Moore, sportsmen’s leader for the Buckeye Firearms Association, a pro-gun rights group, told 2 NEWS he believes Colt’s decision is isn’t ideal, but not concerning.

“It is disappointing anytime we lose access to some firearms,” Moore said.

But the announcement is not unexpected, Moore said, because of recent trends in the market.

Evan English, president of Olde English Outfitters in Tipp City, describes current sales of modern sporting rifles, including the AR-15, as “low to moderate.”

“We’ve seen it higher,” English said. “When there’s more political pressure, all firearms sell better.”

English said gun shops like his may see a slight, short-term spike in demand for Colt’s AR-15 and other rifles, but he does not anticipate much further of an impact on his business or the overall firearm industry.

Several other gun manufacturers produce the AR-15 and other rifles, he said.

“It’s a variable demand, but it’s not huge, so therefore their capacity to compete in that market – they’re going to head in a direction where it’s already pre-sold,” English explained.

But several advocates for gun control say they are still pleased with Colt’s decision.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, who was in Columbus Thursday to urge state lawmakers to take action on gun reform, said she believes keeping any weapons like the AR-15 away from the public is a step in the right direction.

“We keep on seeing them used over and over again in these shootings, and this is a gun that was really made for war,” Mayor Whaley said.

Colt said Thursday it will continue manufacturing other firearms for civilian sales.

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