AUSTIN, TX — It’s no secret that Texans love their weapons, the gun culture strong as oak in the Lone Star State spurred by the pioneering spirit of its people amid the state’s wide open spaces. Yet according to a recent study, the state is the 22nd most dependent on the gun industry — far below top-ranked Idaho, and sandwiched between Nebraska and Louisiana.
Gun ownership in America is in the spotlight again after several mass shootings, most recently one at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead. The reinvigorated debate about gun restrictions that has ensued triggered the latest study by the personal finance website WalletHub, which released its 2018’s States Most Dependent on the Gun Industry report on Monday.
The study takes a look at the states that depend most heavily on the arms and ammunition industry both directly for jobs and in terms of political contributions and indirectly through ownership of firearms. To achieve its rankings, the study examined the 50 states across 16 key metrics.
The reckoning yields Texas as the 22nd most reliant overall on the gun industry among the states, with a data set in the study ranges from firearms industry jobs per capita to gun sales per 1,000 residents to gun ownership rate. In sub-categories, Texas ranked highly in various categories:
- 18th – Gun Ownership Rate.
- 35th – Firearms-Industry Jobs per Capita.
- 14th – Avg. Firearms-Industry Wages & Benefits.
- 31st – Total Firearms-Industry Output per Capita.
- 26th – Total Taxes Paid by Firearms Industry per Capita,
- 34th – NICS Background Checks per Capita.
- 17th – Gun-Control Contributions to Congressional Members per Capita.
- 19th – Gun-Rights Contributions to Congressional Members per Capita.
To read the full report, click here.
By one estimate cited by WalletHub, guns contributed more than $51 billion to the U.S. economy and generated over $6.5 billion in federal and state taxes in 2017. But in recent days since the Feb. 14, 2018, Parkland school shooting, some states have considered putting more restrictions on the gun industry. For example, Oregon closed a loophole that previously allowed convicted domestic abusers or stalkers to purchase firearms and the Florida Senate also voted to raise the minimum age to purchase any gun to 21 in the wake of the high school shooting.
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