MADISON, Miss (WJTV) – One of the major gun manufacturers in the country is making headlines Thursday after announcing they’ll be suspending civilian sales of Armalite Rifles. Also known as AR-15’s.
The news came from Colt Gun Manufacturers which brings up the question of why and what does it means for gun shops here and the people who buy from them?
There are many advocates for gun control calling this a victory as some push for AR-15’s to be taken off the streets. But colt and its clientele say its a simple move because of how semi-automatic weapon sales have changed.
In the last decade, semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 have soared in sales becoming one of the most popular rifles in America.
“You can hunt with them, you can use them for home defense,” Hunter Sartain, owner of Guns N Gear told us. People have competitions with them, some people set them up for long-range shooting.”
This trend has sprung up a big field in competition creating what Colt called an “adequate supply” of sporting rifles and they must adapt to consumer demands as markets change.
“They feel like the market is saturated and they feel like they’re bread and butter is a military contract,” Sartain continued. “And that’s where they’re aiming right now.”
Colt will continue to sell the rifle to law enforcement and the military. But private-sector gun shops who buy from the manufacture say they won’t face any economic setbacks with many other semi-automatic manufacturers out there.
“To look elsewhere it’s really not that hard,” Sartain said. “There’s probably 300-400 other manufacturers out there, everything from mom and pop in a garage to manufacturing facilities. Out of all the AR-15s we carry there’s probably one Colt in stock.”
No matter how either side sees the manufacturers move, gun control remains one of the hottest topics dividing American politics.
Colt would not comment on how long this suspension on AR-15 sales to civilians would be.