Colt suspends sales of AR-15 rifles

The Colt AR-15 rifle and accessories. Photo: Wikimedia
The Colt AR-15 rifle and accessories. Photo: Wikimedia

US weapons company Colt says it is suspending the production of rifles for the civilian market, including the popular AR-15.

The semi-automatic rifle has been used in numerous mass shootings in the United States, and was one of the weapons used in the Christchurch mosque massacre on March 15 this year.

Colt's chief executive officer Dennis Veilleux said it is not permanently ending production, but the company will now concentrate on fulfilling military and law enforcement contracts.

There are estimated to be five to 10 million AR-15-style rifles in the US, as part of the 300 million firearms owned by Americans.

Mr Veilleux said Colt remains committed to the Second Amendment right for Americans to bear arms, and was adapting to consumer demand.

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