Gun Industry Contributes $51.3B to US Economy, Research Shows

Find out how the firearms industry impacts your state.

No matter which side of the political spectrum you’re on, there’s no denying that guns are big business in America. In 2016 alone, the gun industry was responsible for roughly $51.3 billion in both direct and indirect economic activity across the country.

This figure comes from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), an organization that represents gun owners, retailers, manufacturers and distributors. In its 2017 report, the NSSF details the gun industry’s economic impact across America. The report identified how the firearms industry contributes to wages, jobs, taxes and total economic output on a national and state-by-state level.

You can use this data to see precisely where your state ranks and understand how much economic activity in your state can be traced to one of the most robust and fastest-growing industries in the country — the gun industry.

Economic Impact of the U.S. Gun Industry

Take the Quiz: Can You Guess the Biggest Industry in Your State?

The firearms industry is responsible for more than 300,000 jobs and more than $15 billion in wages, when you count direct, supplier and induced jobs and wages, according to the NSSF report. For 20 states, the total economic impact of the gun industry measures into the billions.

Not surprisingly, small Northeastern states like Rhode Island and Vermont rank near the bottom. Meanwhile, large states like California and Texas rank near the top — but there are also plenty of surprises. New York, which is typically not considered a “gun state,” ranked in the top 10. Sparsely populated Minnesota made the top three, outranking even populous Florida.

When it comes to jobs provided by or associated with the gun industry, heavily populated states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and Texas anchor the top of the list. But when you look at gun industry jobs per capita, several states are a combination of small, sparsely populated or largely rural dominate. Examples are Idaho, New Hampshire, Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming. The same holds true for per capita excise tax, where Alaska, Wyoming, Montana and Maine take the top spots.

Here’s a look at the firearm industry’s total economic output by state:

RankStateTotal Economic Output
1Texas$3,828,028,200
2California$3,635,779,700
3Minnesota$2,428,590,900
4Florida$2,394,885,500
5Illinois$2,183,774,100
6North Carolina$1,979,353,500
7Pennsylvania$1,941,014,200
8Massachusetts$1,859,186,300
9New York$1,835,764,100
10Ohio$1,605,685,300
11Missouri$1,573,148,500
12Oregon$1,438,335,600
13Michigan$1,301,494,400
14Connecticut$1,245,480,500
15Arkansas$1,231,192,700
16Georgia$1,187,490,600
17Idaho$1,165,240,200
18Arizona$1,116,813,000
19Washington$1,032,929,300
20Tennessee$1,028,454,200
21New Hampshire$972,451,900
22Mississippi$963,091,700
23Alabama$954,611,400
24Virginia$935,350,300
25Colorado$927,813,400
26Utah$912,332,900
27Wisconsin$832,563,200
28Kansas$830,014,800
29South Carolina$771,562,300
30Nebraska$750,530,700
31Indiana$678,918,900
32Kentucky$649,289,100
33Maryland$581,152,500
34Louisiana$561,685,100
35Oklahoma$507,298,300
36Montana$455,954,400
37Iowa$406,089,400
38Nevada$397,064,000
39South Dakota$376,872,400
40Maine$360,876,900
41New Jersey$331,319,400
42West Virginia$212,443,900
43Wyoming$183,533,200
44Alaska$141,443,100
45New Mexico$133,242,300
46North Dakota$127,549,200
47Vermont$104,228,800
48Rhode Island$97,327,400
49District of Columbia$39,693,200
50Hawaii$38,730,400
51Delaware$3,768,600

Click to discover the biggest export from your state.

Methodology: All of the data for this article was sourced from the NSSF’s 2017 Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report.