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.
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:
|Rank||State||Total Economic Output|
|49||District of Columbia||$39,693,200|
Methodology: All of the data for this article was sourced from the NSSF’s 2017 Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report.