Survey finds Alaska most dependent on gun industry

Source: WalletHub

A survey published Wednesday recognized Alaska as the state most dependent on the gun industry.

The idea, said Richie Bernardo, a senior writer for WalletHub, is to identify which states’ economies depend most on guns as the industry faces a lull under the new presidential administration.

“Gun sales are down since Donald Trump won the White House,” Bernardo writes. “And while that’s good news to some, it could be a bad sign for state economies relying heavily on the firearms industry.”

WalletHub analysts ranked the 50 states and the District of Columbia on a score of 0-100 using a weighted system consisting of three broad categories: gun politics (30 points), gun prevalence (35 points) and firearms industry (35 points).

Alaska, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota and Idaho swept the top five, with Alaska leading the pack at a total weighted score of 80.02. Alaska outranked all others for its rate of gun ownership and came in second for the “highest total taxes paid by firearms industry per capita,” edged out by Wyoming.

California, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Rhode Island rounded out the bottom five with scores of less than 20 points each.

The survey doesn’t provide in-depth numbers to support its decision to rank Alaska number one for gun prevalence and gun politics, and number six for firearms industry — a metric used to describe the “jobs per capita” offered in each state, among other indicators.

Analysts measured gun politics through political contributions per capita to congressional candidates, both for and against gun control. Gun prevalence was measured by gun sales, advertisements and ownership rates.

New Hampshire ranks number one in the industry category, the survey finds, but comes in at number 12 overall, due to a low “gun politics” score of 45.

Gun manufacturers including Sig Sauer Inc., Sturm, Ruger & Co. and Heckler & Koch have facilities in New Hampshire.

Despite the slowdown post-election and continued talk of an extended slump, Ruger ended its fiscal year with a 21 percent increase in earnings — $664.3 million in sales and a $87.5 million profit.

Stock prices for competitor Smith & Wesson, however, have dropped consistently this year, hitting $18.83 earlier this month. Likewise, Vista Outdoor recorded severe drops in its stock price even though the company reported nearly identical results from last year for gun and ammo sales, previously reported.

Ruger’s stock dropped 26 percent in the election aftermath, but held steady around $50 a share.

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