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Colt AR-15 Rifle Production Suspended

US gun manufacturer Colt has said it will suspend the production of sporting rifles for consumers.

Those include the AR-15, a semi-automatic rifle that has been used in several recent US mass shootings.

Colt says it remains committed to the right to bear arms, but that the US market is already saturated with similar weapons. It will focus instead on fulfilling contracts for customers in the military and police, it added.

Colt’s decision is unlikely to make it more difficult for people to get hold of semi-automatic weapons, as many other manufacturers make similar rifles, observers say. “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.”

The AR-15 has been used in several recent mass shootings, including in Newtown, Connecticut, and in Orlando and Parkland, Florida, The New York Times reports. Earlier this month, Walmart announced it would stop the sale of some types of ammunition following recent shootings, including one at one of its stores in Texas that left 22 dead.