JACKSON, Wyo. — A recent report lists Idaho and Wyoming, respectively, as the top two states most dependent on the gun industry.
The report, compiled by the personal finance website WalletHub, used 16 metrics across three categories: the firearms industry, gun prevalence and gun politics. Metrics were weighted differently and included firearms-industry jobs per 10,000 residents, gun shows per capita, wages and benefits from firearms positions, total business taxes paid by the firearms industry, strictness of state gun laws, gun ownership rate, gun sales per capita, and gun-control contributions to members of Congress.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 230 mass shootings in 2022. With the recent murders of 19 children at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and 10 people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, gun violence continues to be a highly contested social and political issue, with some states calling for stricter gun laws.
A recent poll by NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist found that 59% of Americans think controlling gun violence is more important than protecting gun rights, while 35% think gun rights are paramount. Six percent responded “unsure” to the question. The split between 35% and 59% is the widest margin recorded in the past decade in favor of controlling gun violence.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates that the firearm and ammunition industry had an economic impact of $70.5 billion in 2021. The trade association also estimates there were 5.4 million new gun owners in 2021.
Idaho ranked first overall in the report, first in the firearms industry, eighth in gun prevalence and fifth in gun politics. Wyoming ranked second overall, fourth in the firearms industry, ninth in gun prevalence and first in gun politics. Kentucky, South Dakota and Montana rounded out the top five.
Read the full report here.