Montana ranked 2nd most dependent state on gun industry,


Phil Drake, [email protected]
Published 4:24 p.m. MT March 19, 2018

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HELENA — Montana is ranked the No. 2 state in terms of being dependent on the gun industry, according to a poll released Monday.

WalletHub.com, a personal finance website, said it based its rankings from 16 metrics such as states that depend most heavily on the arms and ammunitions industry for jobs and political contributions and indirectly through firearm ownership.

WalletHub notes that one estimate reports that guns contributed more than $51 billion to the U.S. economy and generated more than $6.5 billion in federal and state taxes in 2017.

The data set ranges from firearms industry jobs per capita to gun sales per 1,000 residents to gun ownership rate.

Gerry Dunn of Gerry Dunn’s Tools-Gunsmithing in Great Falls said he was not surprised by the survey’s findings and listed several gun manufacturing businesses in northwestern, southwestern and southcentral portions of the state.

“There is a large number of firearms manufacturers in Montana,”  he said.

WalletHub said the poll was sparked due to recent developments in the firearms industry and debates on how, if at all, it should be restricted following the Parkland school shooting.

The poll compared the economic impact of guns on each of the 50 states to determine “which among them leans most heavily on the gun business, both directly for jobs and political contributions and indirectly through ownership,” according to the survey.

Montana ranked sixth for gun ownership rate, third for firearms industry jobs per capita, first in gun control contributions per capita to congressional members and fifth for National Instant Criminal Background Check System background checks per capita, the survey found.

WalletHub said it used information from the U.S. Census Bureau, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Federal Bureau of Investigation, BMJ Publishing Group, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Third Way and the Center for Responsive Politics.

The survey quoted experts who offered varying opinions as to whether new laws would reduce gun safety and have bipartisan congressional support.

“Assault weapons and bump stocks should be banned,” said Barry Kellman, a law professor at De Paul College, in the news release.

“Neither is within the scope of the Second Amendment’s protection,” he said. “There should also be strong restrictions on access to guns by persons who are identified as posing as a risk to others or themselves; this would require strengthening background checks.”

Idaho was the most dependent state ahead of Montana. Alaska was third, then South Dakota and Wyoming.

Maryland was least dependent at 50th; New Jersey was next, with Rhode Island, Delaware and New York rounding out the bottom five.

Dunn said he makes small woodworking tools for Brownells, an Iowa-based firearms supplier, who told them they are being used in England, France and South Africa.

He said the Montana hunting, sportsman culture was conducive to gun makers being based here.

“Who can live with just one gun?” he asked.

“I suppose there are people like that, but I don’t know any,” he said, adding he was being facetious.

For more on the study, go to: http://bit.ly/1nJT3DQ.

In a nutshell

In a recent WalletHub poll, Montana ranked …

• 6th – Gun ownership rate

• 3rd – Firearms-industry jobs per capita

• 4th – Total firearms-industry output per capita

• 4th – Total taxes paid by firearms industry per capita

• 5th – National Instant Criminal Background Checks per capita

• 1st – Gun-control contributions to congressional members per capita

• 13th – Gun-rights contributions to congressional members per capita

Source: WalletHub.com

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