Guns – whether you love them, hate them or simply don’t care, there’s no denying the firearms industry has an impact on the United States economy.
According to a recent report by National Shooting Sports Foundation, the gun industry’s lobbyist group, the total economic contribution of the gun industry to the national economy was almost $43 billion in 2014.
Additionally, the industry was responsible in 2014 for 263,223 jobs paying more than $13.7 billion in total wages, and contributed more than $5.79 billion in business taxes and $863.6 million in excise taxes to federal and state governments.
However, firearms can also impact the economy negatively in the form of gun violence – which according to a recent Mother Jones report, could be estimated to have a total cost to the U.S. economy $229 billion in 2012.
And given recent major changes to state gun legislation – such as California’s gun confiscation law, Seattle’s ‘gun violence tax,’ and Texas’s open carry law – and President Barack Obama’s recent executive orders seeking to expand gun control with the intention of limiting gun violence, WalletHub has done an analysis of which states are most and least impacted by the gun industry.
According to WalletHub, the top five states dependent on the gun industry are Idaho, Alaska, Montana, South Dakota and Arkansas, while the five least-dependent states are Delaware, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York and Maryland.
Idaho, the state most dependent on the gun industry, received a “firearms industry” rank of two, a “gun prevalence” rank of eight and a “gun politics” rank of four.
And Delaware, the state with the least-dependence on the gun industry with an overall rank of 51, received a rank of 51 in both the “firearms industry” and “gun politics” fields, and a rank of 48 in “gun prevalence.”
Rhode Island was ranked 51 out of 51 in gun prevalence, while Kentucky was ranked as the most gun-prevalent state in the United States.
However, Alaska was ranked at the top in gun ownership numbers, with 12-times the amount of guns as Delaware, the state with the lowest amount of gun ownership.
Additionally, the state with the most National Instant Criminal Background Check System checks per capita was found to be Kentucky, while the District of Columbia had the least.
According to WalletHub’s analysis, New Hampshire has the more firearms-industry jobs per capita, seven times more than the D.C., which has the least.
However, while Washington D.C., has the fewest firearms-industry jobs, they rank the highest in average wages and benefits in that industry, three times more than New Mexico, ranked 51.
New Hampshire was found to have the highest total industry output per capita – 18 times more than the state with the lowest: Hawaii.
And Montana was found to have the highest total taxes paid by the firearms industry, with the least taxes per capita being collected in Delaware.
WalletHub compared the firearms industry, gun prevalence and gun politics of all 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine how to rank each state’s dependence on the gun industry.
In order to gauge how to score the states on firearms industry, WalletHub looked at the number of industry jobs per 10,000 residents, the average wages and benefits of those jobs, the total output per capita and the total taxes paid per capita. Gun prevalence was judged by gun ownership and gun sales per 1,000 residents. And gun politics were determined by considering the contributions to congressional members per 100,000 residents by both gun-control and gun-rights groups.